Wednesday, 5 October 2016

NIDOS Annual Conference: Scotland for a Fairer World

2 Trustees attended the NIDOS ( conference, 'Scotland for a Fairer World', on Thursday 29th September, Pollock Halls of Residence, University of Edinburgh: Click here for the conference programme

This was an opportunity to meet the new Scottish Minister for International Development, Alasdair Allan, MSP; to hear about the new NIDOS strategy 'Envisions 2020'; to vote in a new name for NIDOS (SINDA: Scottish International Development Association); to network with like minded people...but most of all to witness our Friend of Chitambo (Foch) Trustee, Agnes, being 'inaugurated' as a Trustee of NIDOS/SINDA.

Ba Agnes inaugurated as NIDOS Trustee
This was  a very proud moment for Foch as we now have 2 African Diaspora committee members in positions within Scotland's top International Development organisations.  Earlier in the year, our Acting Treasurer, Olu, who is originally from Nigeria, was appointed to a finance post at the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP), and now Agnes as a NIDOS Trustee. 

It was also thrilling to hear the Minister recognising Scotland's close historical links with Zambia, including that although Dr. David Lvingstone is often associated with Malawi, he actually spent more of his life in what is now Zambia, and died Chitambo.  Well, at Old Chitambo (Chipundu, where the Livingstone monument is).  Chitambo Hospital was built in his memory, 100 miles away in less malarial territory...and still going today.  You'll not I do not say 'still going strong' because  that's the rub.  Despite it's huge historical connections with Scotland, Chitambo Hospital remains totally under resourced today.

The Minister particularly asked to meet groups which had Scottish Government Small Grant funds for projects in countries other than Malawi.  Scotland has a 'special relationship' with Malawi and the Minister is off to Malawi this week.  Hopefully he will be visiting  Zambia is amongst the 4 new partner countries to be supported by Scottish Government funding: Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, and Pakistan.  Click here for the Ministerial announcement: Ministerial announcement

The conference ended with an evening reception, including wonderful African storytelling and singing from Zawadi Choir.  The morale of one story was 'be careful what bones you throw out of your window'.  A woman, making soup, unthinkingly chucked the soup bone out of the window, unwittingly escalating full scale war between 2 villages.  A salutary lesson for us all?

Zawadi Choir entertains us

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