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Primary and secondary schools have regularly been destroyed in Israeli raids on Palestinian settlements in the Gaza Strip. Sometimes they are deliberately targeted because they are believed to be the meeting-places of terrorist groups. The schools are rebuilt, often with the help of the United Nations, not to foster terrorist activity but to allow children the education that is one of their human rights. Profits from Robert Southam's novel, Aïsha's Jihad, have been used to rebuild one such school.


Cuzco, high in the Peruvian Andes, was the capital of the Inca empire destroyed by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. The Inca tradition of weaving from llama, alpaca, vicuña and guanaco wool continues today in the impoverished villages surrounding Cuzco. CADEP, a local organization, provides a covered market for the weavers in the centre of Cuzco, greatly increasing their sales. CADEP takes 10 per cent of the profits from the weavers and uses the money to teach the brightest of the villagers to read and write in Quechua and Spanish and to pass on their skills to others, so spreading literacy through the province. Profits from The Snake and the Condor, Robert Southam's second novel, are being used to help finance this teacher training project.


Migrants from the desperately poor country areas of Peru converge on the capital in the hope of finding a better life there. Instead, they find even greater poverty. Two million Peruvians live in cardboard shelters in the shanty-towns of Lima. An enterprising local organization run entirely by women has set up comedores (literally, dining-rooms) in cabins all over the shanty-towns. These not only provide a daily meal for a few pence but also act as community and learning centres: those who eat at the comedores are also offered a free lesson in reading and writing given by the cook / teacher. fm Oxford has already paid for equipment for a comedor in the district of El Salvador and is planning to finance the building and equipping of its own comedor during the next year or two.


Projects supported in Africa, Asia and Latin America

Infant mortality in Africa could be reduced by more than half if villages had a supply of clean water. Water Aid (www.wateraid.org.uk) is an excellent organization digging wells and latrines and providing pumping equipment, clean water and sanitation for villages in the worst affected areas of Africa. Through its contributions fm Oxford has so far brought sanitation and clean water to three villages in Uganda and plans to do the same for many more rural communities throughout the continent.


Michael Wilkerson is a former Oxford undergraduate who was recently awarded the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University's Civic Award for his work helping Africans out of poverty. One of his projects is Own Your Own Boda (www.tugendedriven.com), which helps motor cycle taxi-drivers own their own bike in eighteen months instead of renting indefinitely. 'Ownership more than doubles incomes and allows riders to invest in better homes, health and education for their families.' fm Oxford has so far put one taxi-driver on the road to greater prosperity and plans to do the same for more.


Helen Lieberman was one of the bravest and most active white opponents of South African apartheid, who risked her life creating schools in black townships Whites were prohibited from entering. Apartheid ended more than fifteen years ago but schools are still needed and Helen Lieberman's work continues. Visit www.ikamva.com


The profits from our tour of Athol Fugard's My Children! My Africa! will be used to create a school in Eastern Cape.