|Desmond Tutu arrives in Wales to praise Africa links|
|News - Political News|
|Thursday, 25 October 2012 10:45|
NHS staff, school pupils and youngsters who have benefitted from Welsh Government backed links with Africa will get a special visit from the Archbishop Desmond Tutu as he begins a whistle-stop tour of Wales today (Thurs 25th Oct).
The world renowned activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner is visiting Wales as a guest of the First Minister to recognise the achievements of the ‘Wales for Africa’ programme.
‘Wales for Africa’ helps individuals, groups and communities across Wales create links and get involved in projects with countries in Sub Saharan Africa. The initiative is the focus for Welsh efforts to help deliver the UN Millennium Development Goals to halve global poverty by 2015.
In the six years since its creation the scheme has linked hundreds of Welsh communities with hundreds of African communities, influenced the school curriculum, supported Wales to become the world’s first Fair Trade Nation and delivered a world leading climate change project in Uganda with the UN.
Accompanied by the First Minister, Archbishop Tutu will meet people who have been involved in ‘Wales for Africa’. He will attend an Assembly at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr with sixth form students who will have the opportunity to ask the Archbishop questions. The school has a strong link with Moshoeshoe II High School in Lesotho and there have been a number of pupil and teacher exchanges in both directions.
The group will then travel to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital to see an exhibition displaying various Wales – Africa Health links where Welsh NHS staff have travelled to Africa to help disadvantaged communities and gain skills which has enhanced their work at home.
The day will culminate at a special ‘Wales for Africa’ celebratory event at Valleys Kids in Rhondda Cynon Taff. Valleys Kids have been involved in a groundbreaking link with the Langer township of Cape Town. Earlier this year groups from both communities performed a specially composed musical “Torchbearers” at the Wales Millennium Centre and are now travelling to Cape Town for a repeat performance. The Archbishop will be shown a new short film highlighting the story of ‘Wales for Africa’ so far.
The First Minister said:
“We are truly honoured today to welcome Archbishop Tutu to Wales to see for himself the achievements and bonds being created by Wales for Africa. The Archbishop is a man of stature, a Nobel Peace Prize winning activist whose record on fighting for human rights and the oppressed cannot be matched.
“I was delighted when he accepted our invitation to come here and meet those individuals and volunteers from Wales who have taken part in Wales for Africa projects that have created links between communities separated by thousands of miles. In the grander scheme of world affairs the initiative may be small, but it is a uniquely Welsh, community based approach to helping some of the most disadvantaged.
“Wales for Africa is not a one way street where people from Wales simply travel to Africa, but a special initiative that allows those of us in Wales to gain a deeper knowledge of the problems facing the continent and bring lessons and knowledge back home to the benefit of all of us. Archbishop Tutu’s visit shows the level of recognition Wales for Africa has rightly achieved and the Welsh Government is determined that this success continues into the future.”