13 Dec 2013

Jubilee Hope to set sail for Tanzania

Jubiliee Hope 

We often feature tales of fundraisers and their inspiring activities, but sometimes there are stories about colleagues coming together, rolling their sleeves up and adding a different spin to corporate social responsibility. Here’s an inspiring take on corporate volunteering as staff from Wood Group PSN (WGPSN) use their skills and expertise to support communities in Tanzania through the Vine Trust.

Giving back on a local scale

International volunteering charity, Vine Trust seeks to connect people to changes lives through housing and healthcare in some of the poorest communities in the world. Focused on identifying local needs, the charity strives to support vulnerable children and families with the help of the surrounding communities.

WGPSN, the world’s largest provider of brownfield services to the oil and gas industry, is working with Vine Trust to invest in, and give back to, the Moshi region of Tanzania. The company is doing this through a number of initiatives. One project is supporting the rebuild of a floating medical ship to provide medical care for the communities of Lake Victoria in Tanzania.

Refloating the “Jubilee Hope” hospital

In the Lake's Tanzanian waters alone there are more than 150 island communities, with as many as 500,000 people without access to healthcare. Isolation makes these communities difficult to assess and provide for – and so they are, for the most part, neglected.

The Jubilee Hope, the Vine Trust’s third medical ship, is undergoing a refurbishment programme supported by WGPSN. Currently in dry dock in Glasgow, the New Year will see the finished 150-tonne clinic make its way to the shores of Tanzania. By the end of January a team of WGPSN engineers will be on site to break it into two parts. From Tanzania, the Jubilee Hope will travel 500 miles to Lake Victoria where, late February, another team will be supporting the rebuild.

The Jubilee Hope will then be transformed into a floating, medical centre, decked with state-of-the –art medical equipment.

Fully refurbished, the ship will allow the Vine Trust to provide vital medical care to over 100,000 local people living in isolated communities on Lake Victoria.

Building a house: creating a home

On the ground teams of volunteers will also be working with local communities to build homes for vulnerable children and families - identified by local Tanzanian organisations at a grass roots level as most in need of support. In addition to completing tasks such as painting, building foundations, and mixing cement, the volunteers will get time to play with the children, visit some of the families who have already been assisted by the Vine Trust, and help make the houses they build, a home.

Relevant and meaningful CSR

A fundamental aspect of this CSR project is fundraising. Over the next five years Woodgroup PSN have a target of £500,000. Monies raised will help support the building, transport and maintenance of Jubilee Hope and provide building materials for houses and orphanages.

Kirsty Simpson, communications coordinator for Wood Group PSN, believes free fundraising is essential to the success of this CSR strategy.

She said: “In the past we have used other well-known fundraising websites, and although they have great functionality, with our fundraising target so large (£500,000), and the needs in Tanzania so great, we cannot afford to lose out on any money going directly to Vine Trust. MyDonate’s free fundraising site is exactly what CSR should be – relevant and meaningful.”

To support the initiative please visit Wood Group PSN’s fundraising page

For more information about Vine Trust please have a look at the charity’s website

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