During 2015 we took a large consignment of your used stamps to Glasgow Presbytery for the Church of Scotland World Mission’s Stamp Appeal, and you will be pleased to hear that throughout Scotland £3,511 was raised for the Church of Scotland’s own HIV Programme which helps partner churches overseas and organisations in Scotland as they engage with the realities of HIV and AIDS in families and communities.
The new 2016 Appeal started on 1st March this year, and we will shortly be taking the contents of the recycled stamp box to Glasgow Presbytery again. This year the money raised will support the Othara Eco-spirituality Centre which was recently opened by the Church of South India in Kerala. The centre aims to educate local people about climate change and the importance of conservation, and the Stamp Project will support initiatives such as
- The harvesting and re-use of rain water
- The establishment of a biogas plant to power the kitchens
- The development of a small dairy and chicken farm for native breeds.
The Church of South India hopes that the knowledge people gain at the Centre will inspire them to live sustainably and encourage others in their community to do the same.
We also took a very large number of used spectacles to our local optician who collects for Vision Aid Overseas. There are many collection points for used specs, including eye hospitals, and they all support this international charity which is dedicated to transforming access to eye care services in developing countries. It is estimated that 640 million people, 10% of the world’s population, are disadvantaged by poor vision and a lack of spectacles. VAO currently operates Vision Centres in Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Zambia and Sierra Leone. These Vision Centres are run to the highest standards, and give patients a walk-in eye examination, affordable glasses, and a referral to further specialist care if necessary. They have trained personnel, facilities for eye tests, and an optical laboratory where lenses can be made up.
How the “used spectacles” scheme works is that the used spectacles are recycled in an environmentally friendly way, and the income generated from the recycling is used to support Vision Aid Overseas programmes in developing countries. The recycled spectacles are not sent overseas.
Many thanks for your continuing support to these two initiatives.