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/ 4 January 2016

First ALMA Tutudesks arrive for Christmas

Tutu Desks in Africa

ALMA, our diocesan partnership with the Anglican church in Angola and Mozambique, is delighted to share that their 2014-15 special project has come to fruition: 2,200 ALMA Tutudesks have been delivered – 1,100 to Maputo (for Maciene and other schools in Lebombo Diocese) and 1,100 to Nampula (for Nacala and other schools in Niassa Diocese).

We launched the London part of the project on ALMA Sunday 2015 in St Paul’s Cathedral so it is wonderful to hear that 2,200 ALMA Tutudesks have been delivered to Maputo and Nampula.

Tutudesks are an interim solution to the problem many sub-Sharan African schools and school children encounter: the absence of desks. Emeritus Archbishop Tutu has lent his name to the large plastic lap trays which give children a firm surface on which to write. They are also teaching aids in their own right and pupils from Twyford and Maciene Schools identified the educational items that have been included on the ALMA Tutudesk.

Graphic designers Paperjam did the artwork pro-bono, and the desks are made in a not-for-profit co-operative in South Africa. Co-incidentally Prince Harry visited the project workshop in early-December. Each desk costs about £11 to produce and deliver.

Bishop Carlos Matshine, Bishop of Lebombo, presented 800 desks to Maciene School on 15 December to the evident delight of the staff.

The Bishop of London, who has been a great supporter of the project, said:

“Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s path to worldwide leadership in the struggle against tribalism and racial discrimination was via education. He never tires of saying how grateful he is to his teachers in early life.

“The Tutu desk is both a tribute to him and recognition of the vital importance of offering life chances to the young people of Mozambique through education. I hope that these desks will not only celebrate a great man but be the foundation on which many great men and women begin their way through life.”

Bishop Manuel Ernesto, Suffragan Bishop in Niassa, added:

“The Tutudesks are finally in Nampula! We are all excited beyond words. Many thanks in advance on behalf the school communities in Niassa.”

Commenting on the installation Sheenagh Burrell, ALMA Co-ordinator, said:

“We are delighted the desks have reached their destination and will be in use in Mozambican Schools when the new school term starts. This is a very practical way for our partnership to impact on the lives of the young.”

More information on ALMA and how you can help or donate can be found from the AlmaLink website or by viewing their facebook page.

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About Sheenagh Burrell

Sheenagh Burrell is the ALMA Co-ordinator.

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