The Tea Leaf Trust

The tea-growing regions of Sri Lanka (mainly the 'Hill' country) are where the majority of the poorest people on the island live. Many people in this region lack the education/training needed for skilled jobs, and therefore have to resort to extremely poorly paid labour-intensive work; mainly picking tea or working as farm labourers cultivating vegetables for local businesses.

The Tea leaf Trust is committed to providing educational resources for the tea-pluckers (mainly of Tamil Nadu origin) and the poor farmland communities (mainly of Singhalese origin) that border the tea plantations. It is envisaged that these resources will help both of these communities live a better quality of life, reduce poverty and promote integration/strengthen cohesion between these groups.

The Tea Leaf Trust is a UK registered charity (charity number 1123427). The Club has been working with Trust Director, Tim Pare, by providing financial and advisory support. In particular, the Club has funded a teacher to deliver the educational objectives. See

Kumi Fruit and Wood Tree Nursery

Working with CREATE, a community based charity in the Kumi District of North Eastern Uganda, Oswestry Borderland Rotary Club is funding the set up of a sustainable agriculture project. This partnership will build a nursery capable of growing 10,000 budded orange trees every year and provide:

 Cash income and food for up to 5000 rural families in one of the poorest parts of the world.

An agriculture advisory service for up to 1000 local farmers

Employment for three young people

 Coffee trees, wood fuel trees and shade trees.  A permanent improvement to the local water supply.

Projects of this nature make an enormous difference to the daily lives of the local community who live in one of the poorest parts of the world.

The improvement to the local water supply needed for this project will indirectly transform the lives of 15 families who currently rely on the inadequate existing facility.

The driving force behind the Kumi project is Emmanuel Maraka. Theachievements of his team, working with local charity Dolen Ffermio, has been recognised by a Gold Star Award. This is a United Nations initiative to recognise work done by charitiesin achieving the Millennium devolopment goals. EmmanuelrecentlyvisitedtheUKtoreceivetheawardattheWelshAssembly.

Shelterbox and Aquabox

Members remain concerned about the number and scale of natural disasters which occur around the world,includingtherecentdevastingeathquakeinHaiti.Apart from contributing to individual disaster appeals, the Club actively supports the Shelterbox and Aquabox schemes.

Shelterboxes are each equipped with a ten-person tent, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, water purification and tools.Two shelterboxes, funded by the Club, were deployed at Jogjakarta, Java, following the Tsunami disaster.

Aquaboxes, which consist of a portable water tank complete with water purification unit, are purchased by the Club and arrangements are then made to fill each box with equipment appropriate to disaster relief (clothing, blankets, cooking utensils etc.). When packed, the boxes are transhipped to a central location in the UK ready for rapid distribution to a disaster area anywhere in the world.

The Club has approached local schools for help in filling the boxes and the enthusiasm of the staff, pupils and parents has been much appreciated.

Rotarians get local schools involved in AQUABOX project for Haiti Rotarian Neil Ruby from Oswestry Borderland Rotary Club made a presentation to the children of Prestfelde Preparatory School, Shrewsbury for its work supporting the Rotary AQUABOX project. The Aim of the project is to give a rapid response provision of safe drinking water and welfare aid items in the wake of both man-made and natural disasters.

Much of the current focus of the charity is in Haiti and the project has already sent 818 boxes to this devastated region of the world. To date the Charity has sent nearly 90,000 boxes worldwide. "In areas of devastation like Haiti the standard Aquabox which contains humanitarian aid and a water purification system capable of keeping a family of four going for three months comes into its own". The project is also working in many other parts of the world including Sri Lanka, Honduras and Eritrea.

Neil talked to the children about the project, thanked them for their help in filling three boxes and presented them with a certificate to mark their achievement. The photo (attached) shows standing in front with the certificate Cordelia Harpin, Hannah Morgan, Shivani Wood and Lillie Ratcliffe. Neil Ruby standing behind.

Teacher Alayne Morgan commented "the children and their parents were very positive about the project and agreed to help the Club fill at least one Aquabox with welfare items ranging from toothbrushes to screw drivers, babycare products to torches. In the end we had enough items to fill three boxes." Neil commented "They were really excited about this project and being able to help in such an immediate way." On behalf of the Rotary Club, Neil went on to thank all the staff, children and parents who helped contribute. The Rotary Club of Oswestry Borderland has purchased 18 boxes in the last 12 months, which come complete with a filtration system and water purification kit. The objective is to fill them with the welfare aid items and get them back to the Aquabox organisation for distribution around the world.

Any other schools interested in getting involved in Rotary Aid projects, or for further information, should contact Neil on email or phone 07957 354223.


From time to time, all members of the Club are asked to fill a Shoebox. The Shoebox scheme is an Rotary GB&I international project which began in 1994 in District 1280.Each box is filled with goods suitable for children, teenagers or households and returned to the depot in Preston.In due course, consignments of Shoeboxes are shipped to central and eastern Europe for distribution.Countries to receive these gifts have included: Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Croatia, Albania and Kosovo.