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Archive for August, 2007

Reports on Aid Programmes Summer 2007

Monday, August 27th, 2007
  • Primary Health Care Teams – South Africa
  • Education Programme – Peru
  • Children’s Refuge – Colombia
  • Water Filtration – Uganda
  • Girls Orphanage – Ghana
  • Micro Enterprise – Philippines
  • Funding of important projects has continued apace in the first half of 2007 through the income generated from the sale of Trade Aid UK sugar. We are delighted by the volume of sales in Tesco stores throughout the UK which has permitted us to support charities with their important work in the developing world. This has been given a boost by the launch of an ethical Travel Insurance product, travelandinsure.com. This company has teamed up with Trade Aid UK to support aid projects through the sale of its travel insurance policies.

    PRIMARY HEALTH CARE TEAMS – SOUTH AFRICA

    Funding has been directed through the Charity, Links International (www.linksinternational.org.uk) towards Primary Health Care teams in South Africa. Training has been provided to local staff who travel to remote villages and locations to instruct on simple health care issues with tremendous success. These teams have proven to be a very effective instrument in improving infant mortality rates, and overcome the misinformation and obstructive thinking on such crucial areas as Aids, childbirth, nutrition and basic health care. Regional government has been keen to work with Links International and, at the personal invitation of Nelson Mandela, they were able to send a team to his own village to train 250 delegates. This is vital on going work and will continue to receive funding from Trade Aid.

    EDUCATION PROGRAMME – PERU

    Through Project Peru (www.projectperu.org.uk), an aid charity based in Guildford, we have been able to fund a teacher for six months to work in their Refuge in Zapallal near Lima. This is a home established to provide food, shelter and support for children and families in need. The charity provides a base in which shelter and security is given to displaced and marginalised people, in particular, woman, young children and the elderly to improve their access to free education, healthcare and nutrition.

    CHILDRENS REFUGE – COLOMBIA

    Through the charity, IMC, (www.imc-uk.org.uk), we continue to contribute to the on going costs of running a children’s home in Fusa near Bogota, providing a safe environment for children who would otherwise be left to the dangers of street life. Without a home or any hope of regular food, children can very easily fall prey to drugs and child prostitution. The home provides a secure haven, where good food and education are provided so that the children can grow up with life skills to take with them into adulthood.

    As an additional help to similar families living in the same village, IMC provides a feeding programme designed to cater for up to 100 children to give them one hot meal each day. It is planned to extend the existing successful programme in Fusa to other areas.

    WATER FILTRATION – UGANDA

    Through the charity Links International (www.linksinternational.org.uk) we have provided essential funding to purchase water filtration units to help bring clean fresh water to remote villages in Uganda.

    The units work by a simple filtration system which will take any water, no matter how polluted, and by a gradual overnight process will filter a bucket of filthy water into water totally fit for human consumption. The filters work on a small scale so that each family in a village can have their own supply. This is an exciting new project with huge potential worldwide. Access to a safe clean water supply is denied to well over 1 billion people worldwide so we are carefully monitoring the success of these units in Uganda with a view to distribute them to other countries with peoples in need.

    GIRLS SCHOOL – GHANA

    We were approached by Links International in March 2007 to assist in an urgent project to provide clean running water to the Pentecost Senior Secondary School in Accra, Ghana. This is a school for 400 girls and we were able to provide this from our emergency contingency funds and we are glad to report that the installation has been successfully completed.

    MICRO ENTERPRISE – PHILIPPINES

    Following on from the Spring 2007 report, we are pleased that micro-enterprise schemes have started in the Philippines in one of the worlds most deprived areas, the rubbish mountain known as “Smokey Mountain”. This is an area outside Manila where literally thousands of children and adults scrape an existence from scavenging in this vast rubbish tip. They do the only work there is, waste picking on this dump and they work long hours in the fly ridden wet rubbish to earn one peso a day. Sadly, one peso is far short of being able to provide even the most basic essentials for a family and a common sight on ‘Smokey Mountain’ are people sorting through cartons of leftover fast food so that they can feed their families. Micro enterprise is a way a getting people to start up their own very small business, earning enough to feed their families and eventually to provide a better life for them.

    Links International are actively engaged in the long term process of helping families in the Philippines lift themselves out of the poverty by providing seed corn capital to start their own businesses. In January 07 Links International sent out two representatives to train local staff in how to setup and run a micro enterprise project. On the 16th July, the first small business was launched with a successful applicant setting up a tailoring service making school uniforms. There is potential for micro enterprise to mushroom here, freeing hundreds of families from the clutches of poverty by providing the ‘seed corn’ to assist their passage towards self sufficiency. We hope to be able to regularly report throughout 07 & 08 on this work in progress.

    Annual Travel Insurance – Is it the best option?

    Friday, August 3rd, 2007

    Should I buy an annual travel insurance policy, or just cover myself for the holiday I have booked, and will paying for an annual travel insurance policy save me money over the year?  These are questions that we are constantly asked and we can only look at this on a client by client basis.  The best way to answer this type of question is to show the advantages of annual policies but set them against their obvious limitations and armed with this information, customers can make their own decision on what suits them best.

    So what does an annual travel insurance policy give you?

  • The more trips in a year, the more cost effective an annual policy will be.
  • Many annual policies have options, such as Wintersports cover, included as standard, but do check the small print.
  • It is generally possible to extend the trip duration for a small extra premium which is a much cheaper option than a long duration single trip policy.
  • One purchase lasts the whole year.
  • BUT

  • It only provides cover for the area selected.  An annual Europe travel insurance policy will not cover a trip to the USA in the same period.
  • It’s more expensive as an up front cost.
  • Many insurers impose age restrictions for taking out an annual policy.
  • There might be restrictions on family annual insurance policies that prevent children from travelling independently
  • Travel insurance is an additional cost, quite often taken out at the last moment, and although most people recognise that it is sensible to be insured, they don’t want to pay too much.  If you can plan ahead and want the flexibility of taking more than one holiday or trip abroad, then buying an Annual Travel Insurance policy is, more often than not, a good investment, but do make sure that what you buy satisfies your particular needs.

    Floods Cause Travel Chaos’…will my Travel Insurance Policy cover me?

    Friday, August 3rd, 2007

    Floods and delays on the roads, and at airports, have caused misery and chaos for thousands of holiday makers getting away for the first week of the school summer holidays.  So are you covered if you take out a travel insurance policy?

    Under most travel insurance policies, insurers will respond to claims for Delay and Abandonment as well as Missed Departure.  Some insurers, such as Travelandinsure.com, provide cover for events beyond your control so if you have been delayed by the floods then the travel insurance will cover you for additional accommodation and travel expenses incurred to get you to your destination, so your holiday is not lost.  Don’t forget to obtain a written report from the airline confirming the delay and a report from the police or breakdown service if your vehicle has been held up in the floods.

    So, after the misery of rain soaked Britain, you will still be able to enjoy the holiday you have planned, albeit a little late and do spare a thought for those less fortunate back home as you are soaking up that Mediterranean sun.

    Floods affect air travellers’!

    Friday, August 3rd, 2007

    Once again parts of Britain’s travel network has been brought to a near stand still with chaos on the railways, roads and airports, just as the busy holiday season begins with thousands stuck in road jams, railways under water and aircraft unable to land or take off in some regional airports…welcome to sunny Britain.  Travel Insurance claims phone lines are busier than ever with help and advice being available to stranded travellers.

    For those flying from UK airports and who suffer delays or are stranded, then it’s useful to know what rights you have.  Under the European directive of Air Passenger Rights, all EU operators have a duty of care to passengers and should be responding to claims for delay by providing at least food and drink vouchers for those caught up in the delays at the airports.  The only snag is that, as with so much EU legislation, what is given in one hand is often taken away in the other.  Under these rules the airline can claim protection for delays relating to, yes that’s right “weather” amongst others.  The protection the airlines have is a sting in the tail for passengers as losses from “Weather, Air Traffic Problems, Security & Safety, Political Unrest, and Strikes, are reasons why an airline will not pay out compensation to travellers.  So all WASPS have a sting in their tails!

    So what about travel insurance?  Under the delay section of a policy, most insurers will give some benefit for periods of delay faced at the airport.  Do check your individual travel insurance documents as some of the cheaper basic covers do exclude this protection.