Newsletter January 2021

Dear Friends and Supporters

What a year it has been! 2020 started with a major recruitment drive in Uganda just before the onset of COVID-19, and although our training programme was suspended for a time, it ended on a high note with our trainees from our rural programme, finally back at college.

RURAL PROJECT UPDATE

Five women who all live in villages which surround the town of Jinja in Eastern Uganda, and who were hand- picked to train as “fashion entrepreneurs” in Kampala, have nearly completed their course. This is an enormous feat for these WOMA sponsored women, given many months of interruption owing to the COVID-19 pandemic which forced them to stay at home when the college was closed. For many of these women “home” is a crowded shack in dismally poor conditions where social distancing is impossible and supplies of fresh water are limited. But we have been so impressed by these women’s determination. Life was tougher than ever during the months of restrictions, but some of our trainees starting using the skills they’d recently gained making masks to sell in their neighbourhood to support themselves and their families.

We would like to pay tribute to our colleagues at the Ugandan charity Reach A Hand Uganda (RAHU) who got us through this difficult time acting as our ambassadors and eyes and ears on the ground. Humphrey Nabimanya and his team visited the women in their villages to check on their welfare and to assist in making plans to bring them back to Kampala to resume their studies, when it was safe to do so.

Our Kampala based WOMA team picked up the baton to ensure the women were settled back at college, assisted with accommodation and food and we are grateful to the Principal at Namasuba College of Commerce who kept in touch with us about their progress. We are so proud of these extraordinary women and would like to share some of the photographs we recently commissioned of them back at college. You can see more photos on our Facebook and Twitter pages and on our website.

NEW YEAR – NEW WEBSITE!

We are delighted to announce that our website has been given a great new look thanks to the hard work of Mark Wardell, MW Marketing. He has put in many hours of work in his spare time redesigning the site for us and we are hugely grateful to him for his efforts. You can see the new website by clicking here. We will be keeping it regularly updated so keep an eye on it for future developments. We would also like to say a special thank you to Lorraine Jordan for looking after our previous website for so long.

PLANS FOR 2021

We have another group of WOMA sponsored women poised to begin their training in the next couple of months. Regrettably in 2020 due to COVID-19 we have not been able to turn around the numbers we would have liked for both the rural and regular WOMA programmes, but we plan to scale things up again this year.

FUNDRAISING

We were sadly unable to host any world music fundraising gigs in 2020 and unable to participate in any sporting events to raise funds. However, we continue to pay for the women to undertake their training and acquire a discounted sewing machine on completion of their course. So, if you would like to start the year by making a donation to WOMA it would be very well received. It can be a one off donation or a regular monthly payment.

We’d like to thank those who have recently set up a monthly standing order. It is extremely helpful for us to know that we have a certain number of regular payments coming in when we are deciding how many women we can select for each college intake.

HOW TO DONATE

You can make a one off donation or set up a standing order by either: Visiting our Justgiving page https://www.justgiving.com/woma.
Or directly into the WOMA bank account
Barclays Bank
WOMA (World of Music & Arts Assists) Sort code 20-44-86
Account number 50128678

GIVE AS YOU LIVE

Another great way to raise funds for WOMA that won’t cost you a penny is to use the Give as You Live website when you are shopping online.

https://instore.giveasyoulive.com.

It’s linked to most of the major household brands such as M&S, Boots, Waitrose, John Lewis, and many more.

If you register with Give as You Live on their website and nominate WOMA as your chosen charity, every time you shop online WOMA will get a percentage of the money you spend. The amount varies from 1.5% to 7%.

The most important thing to remember when you are shopping online is to access your chosen retailer via the Give as You Live website.

AMAZON SMILE

Amazon has a separate system for donating to charity called Amazon Smile. If you want to purchase anything from Amazon you can go to smile.amazon.co.uk if you nominate WOMA as your chosen charity Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of anything you buy.

These are great ways for a small charity like WOMA to raise funds without costing you anything, so please consider registering.

May we wish you a peaceful and healthy 2021 and we look forward to introducing you to the latest WOMA graduates in the next few months. We also hope that when the restrictions allow, we will be able to hold that long awaited fundraising gig and tribute to our late Trustee and dear friend, Debbie Dickinson.

KEEP IN TOUCH

Do follow our progress on Facebook @womatrust, Twitter @womatrust, Instagram womatrust and of course on our new website www.womatrust.org.

Best wishes

Karen, Nora and Mike (WOMA Trustees)