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by Richard Thomas - 11:13 on 16 August 2013


16 AUGUST 2013

1. We have resumed the general meetings after the summer break and I hope that everyone who could get away had a good time which was matched by how well those who were here enjoyed the summer.  It was good to see three new faces at the meeting – we can’t be far off achieving a hundred members which is very good news.

2. At yesterday’s general meeting we welcomed Mike and Rosey Whittles who came to talk about their work with ASHA in Bangla Desh. Mike and Rosey run the charity from Orkney which relies on donations and especially sales of the work done by the girls in Bangla Desh.  It was quite timeous since we have all read about the very difficult conditions that many – perhaps most folk in that country have to work under and anything that alleviates that and pays the people fairly must be welcomed.  We were also able to have a look at and buy some of the work done by ASHA. 

3. ASHA is a small charity working in Dhaka city, Bangladesh, amongst the poorest people of the slums and busties, bringing hope into desperate lives. ASHA began by providing basic literacy training to street girls, offering them a first step on the ladder of self-respect and hope. Over the years more than 300 illiterate teenagers have received basic education that they would otherwise have been denied. Many of these girls have now gone on to receive work-training and experience in one of our Next Steps ASHA training centres. Here they learn practical skills and produce a variety of craft goods and hand-embroidered fashion accessories. We are completely dependent on the kind donations of our supporters and funds raised through the sale of Next Steps ASHA products. All the money received goes towards the cost of maintaining the education centres, paying wages to girls and staff and to the provision of medical help and support in cases of need.  If you wish to find out more about ASHA you can visit the website on www.mhasha.org.uk.

4. The U3A nationally is expanding its education facilities and if anyone is interested, there are some new tutored online courses on:

Short stories
Just before Victoria (history)
Three Viking women
The First World War
Digital imaging
Introduction to Anglo-Saxon poetry

These can be accessed through the online courses menu on the U3A website.  You might need to register yourself on the site if you are interested in pursuing the courses – if you do take anything up I would be interested to learn how you got on please.  The site generally is very useful on U3A matters and in particular what facilities there are for obtaining information on areas of interest for study and what other U3as are doing which we might pick up at some stage.
5. We have now been accepted into VAO and if anyone acting within the U3A wishes to access the services for printing, meeting rooms and the like please contact Hilary Morrell who has the details of what is available.

6. We are planning a quiz afternoon on Thursday 5 December in the MacGillvray room as an extra social event to keep brains active before the Christmas break so watch this space for further details.

7. The next meeting is on WEDNESDAY 18 September at 2 o’clock in the MacGillvray room when Moira will be leading work on crafts.

16 August 2013

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