Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Jersey Overseas Aid Commission 2015 Projects

The Jersey Overseas Aid Commission launched its 2015 projects last night. I've always thought that Jersey's approach to overseas aid is an excellent one.

There's a line I always remember from "Goodbye Mr Chips" when Chips' wife Katherine admonishes him with the words - "You can't satisfy your conscience by writing a check for a few guineas and keeping them at arm's length."

That is something which JOAC never does, as the volunteers literally roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty in the projects. It's that element of direct contact which is important, both to keep a real link with those countries we are helping, and also the experience of being out in the field, helping other human beings, will impact positively on those who volunteer.

I saw that the projects were being launched, and contacted Senator Paul Routier, who very kindly let me have the details of the projects as listed below in advance of the launch, so I could prepare this blog (my blogs are usually prepared the night before).

The work of JOAC is on their website, and otherwise publicised, but I wanted to just ensure that it went to a wider audience still.


The Jersey Overseas Aid Commission has the following list of beliefs listed on their website:

· It is our moral duty to care about other people and to help them help themselves;

· It is our duty to our children and grandchildren to address issues of poverty which may in the long-term threaten global security;

· It is the States’ duty to meet existing international obligations. Jersey is a signatory to Agenda 21,, which is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organisations of the United Nations System, Governments and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the enviroment, committing Jersey to moving to a target of overseas aid funding which is comparable with that of other nation states.

That the great need for overseas aid is illustrated by the following:-

· There are 1.7 billion people who continue to live in extreme poverty

· Over 925 million people were undernourished in 2010. This equates to 13.6% of the estimated world populationof 6.8 billion. Nearly all of the undernourished are in developing countries. Every 3.6 seconds one person dies of starvation. Usually it is a child under the age of 5.

· Some 40 million children are living without access to basic healthcare

· More than 30% of children in developing countries - about 600 million- live on less that USD 1 a day

· 10 million people aged 15-24 are infected with HIV

· Two thirds of the worlds 800 million illiterate adults aged 15 and over, are women

The Commission helps by both emergency funding towards help in disaster areas, and work on the ground.

Bangladesh 2015: Community Works Project

The aim of the Bangladesh 2015 project is to build additional classrooms, latrines, headmasters office and staff room at Little Stars Primary School in Muktaram Village which is in the Kurigram district in Northern Bangladesh. The Kurigram district has a population of approx. 2 million people, 17 rivers and its main crop is rice. This will be the third visit for a JOAC team. A team visited the school in April 2012 to help build classrooms and a team visited in 2013 to help construct a health clinic.

Zambia 2015: Community Works Project

The aim of the Zambia 2015 project is to build additional classrooms, latrines, and staff accommodation at Ng’andu Primary School in Mukuni Chiefdom of the Southern Province, Zambia. The school was opened in 1938 and although it has had some renovation work done it is one of the oldest in the area. Many of the children attending are orphans as a result of the high incidence of HIV/Aids in the area.

Uganda 2015: Community Works Project

The aim of the Uganda 2015 project is to build nursery classrooms, latrines, and staff accommodation at Sermon on the Mountain Primary School in Luweero, Uganda. A team of JOAC volunteers helped to build primary classrooms, admin offices and a kitchen block at this school in 2007.


Application forms are available to download from the website :

Or by contacting Karen Nisbet on Tel 865801 or email

Application forms will also be available at The States Greffe Book Shop, Mourier House, St Helier.

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