New Internationalist

Ideas For Action

Issue 155

new internationalist
issue 155 | January 1986

IDEAS FOR ACTION

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Campaign Against
Arms Trade

5 Caledonian Road
London Ni 90X
UK
Tel: 01-278 1976

AIMS
To end all arms sales by: a comprehensive educational and information campaign on the subject, introducing and qucstioning the arms trade amongst the general public; the raising of the arms trade and its implications in the political arena’; encouraging the conversion of military industry to socially-useful production.

METHODS
CAAT works to increase the awareness of the arms trade through its network of supporters who work in a variety of peace, development, church and other groups. There are Local Contacts throughout Britain who act as a focus for activity against the arms trade in their area.
The CAAT office produces leaflets. Factsheets, badges and other campaigning material for use by its supporters. It also publishes a newsletter every two months with the latest information about the arms trade and campaigning against it.

SUCCESSES
CAAT played a major role in stopping the sale ofarmoured cars to El Salvador in 1978 and in preventing the export of the AMAC I 'riot control’ vehicle to Chile in 1984. More generally CAAT is beginning to make the arms trade much more of an issue of public concern. especially through the ‘Bread not Bombs’ Weeks of Action held in May 1984 and, jointly with Oxfam, in May 1985.

FAILURES
Not ending thc arms trade! Not involving more of those whose primary political work is in the trade union and labour movements.

FUTURE PLANS
To continue work on the links between disarmament and development (we hope to employ a Development Education worker shortly) and to build up our network of active supporters across Britain so the arms trade becomes a concern in as many campaigning groups as possible.

HELP NEEDED
We need more individuals to get involved with CAAT as supporters and to raise arms trade issues in their peace and human rights groups. trade union, political party or place of worship. We also need groups of all kinds to affiliate to CAAT and to keep the arms trade on their agendas.

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Green Deserts
Rougham
Bury St. Edmunds
Suffolk 1P30 9LY
UK
Tel: 0359 70265

AIMS
To work towards the permanent relief of famine by combatting desertification and by promoting sustainable development amongst rural communities in the arid zones of the world.
To channel resources into tree-planting. agro-forestry, appropriate technology and non-formal environmental education. enabling rural communities to become self-reliant.

METHODS
In Northern Sudan, on the fringes of’ the Sahara. a community forestry project has been running since 1981. Working with local people. trees adapted to the arid desert climate have been planted and maintained. These trees. once estalished. become the property of the local community. Work is also continuing with the construction of check-dams to trap flood waters long enough for trees to become established.

SUCCESSES
After four years’ work in the Sudan. plots of trees have been successfully established in several locations. These have aroused much interest amongst local people, leading to many further requests for tree seedlings and for further plantations. Green Deserts has demonstrated that tree-planting is a viable proposition despite the extremely arid conditions of the area.

FAILURES
Despite the widespread interest shown in the project. the scale of operations. hence the impact of the work, is limited by lack of funds. The drought of the past few years in the region has made the task of establishing plots of trees more difficult, although a small amount of rain fell in August 1985.

FUTURE PLANS
The project in the Sudan will be expanded over the next four years to involve more local communities and to increase the rate of tree planting operations. In association with SOS Sahel International. Green Deserts will help to establish village tree nurseries and carry out extension and education work, including the use of a puppet theatre, amongst villagers.

HELP NEEDED
Supporters arc needed to help with publicity and fund-raising to enable to practical work of halting desertification to continue.

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Village Volunteers
The Institute of Cultural Affairs
277 St Ann’s Road
London N15 5RG
UK
Tel: 01-802 2848

AIMS
The Village Volunteers see community self-reliance and long-term development as vital to the future of Africa. They see self-motivation and community co-operation as keys to change and they assist village poor in the creation and implementation of their own projects. The organisation in Britain aims to support the efforts of the African Village Volunteers.

METHODS
Village Volunteers are dedicated individuals who have been chosen by their villages to receive training in local development methods. They share the struggles, concerns, language and culture of those they are serving. They work shoulder-to-shoulder with the villagers. helping them design and run schemes in agriculture, education, environmental care, health etc. Projects are determined by the people, according to their priorities. Many initiatives are run by and for women.

SUCCESSES
In Kenya, Village Volunteers have organised planning meetings in 1,000 villages. 70,000 people are directly involved in determining projects and in carrying out the plans and 450.000 villagers have turned out for various community projects. Villagers are trained as health caretakers who share skills and information with their neighbours, which has resulted in marked improvements in health.

FAILURES
Sufficient financial support to ensure long-term efforts by individual volunteers has been lacking, resulting in inhibited expansion of projects. Collaborating with other agencies in the field has been difficult, which has aggravated the delivery of technical support to the villagers’ projects.

FUTURE PLANS
To expand existing projects in Kenya. Egypt.
Zambia. Ivory Coast. India, Philippines.
South Korea. Guatemala. Jamaica. Tonga.
Venezuela. Brazil and Peru.

HELP NEEDED
Village Volunteers encourages enquiries from the general public. For more information please write to Fiona Berresford at the above address.

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