Craster WI, September meeting

Craster WI held its September meeting in the Copley Hall, Howick, as the Craster Memorial Hall is being refurbished.

Our president Sylvia Biott welcomed 21 of our members and three visitors from Brizlee WI. Marion Gallon, our secretary, gave us information from Cresswell House and two invitations from other WI branches. Two walks have been arranged for more energetic members and their dogs.

Sylvia then introduced our speaker Gerrie Faye and her husband, Ron. Gerrie gave us a very interesting and informative talk about the charity, Send a Cow. The charity had been formed about 20 years ago by a group of Christian farmers from the West Country who had found the contrast between our living standards (in spite of the effects of milk quotas and the enforced slaughter of healthy cows to prevent the spread of disease) and those in many parts of Africa, to be staggering.

Even today we can buy many products from Africa that are just not available for sale to their own people. Seventy per cent of the population live in rural areas and are totally dependent on growing their own food. Health issues, climate change and social instability add to their problems.

The charity now works in seven African countries, encouraging families and communities to become self-supporting through building up sustainable agricultural practices. It provides cattle and other livestock which in turn produces food – milk, meat and eggs and also manure to improve the soil for growing vegetables and other crops.

Gerrie was optimistic about the effect the charity has in improving the lives of many families. For as little as £6 a chicken can be supplied, teaching animal care £10, a kit of seeds and tools for £40, and a dairy cow £750. These are sums well within the reach of donations from individuals or groups in this country.

Sylvia proposed a vote of thanks to Gerrie.

The raffle winner was Beryl Ainslie. The competition, the letter G, was won by Elizabeth Herd, second Shirley Tucker and third Sybil Dawson.