Help us reach our target of £100,000 for educational aid for Cuba. CSC director Rob Miller reports on the final push for NEU and CSC’s appeal
In just a couple of months two 40-foot shipping containers packed full of educational aid will be sent to Cuba to support children and teachers in Cuban schools. The appeal has already raised almost £70,000. We are now asking supporters to join in a final push for fundraising activities and donations to help us reach our £100,000 target.
I’d like to give a huge thank-you to everyone who has donated and organised fundraising events so far, and to those CSC groups and National Education Union (NEU) activists who are planning activities in the coming weeks including social events, live music, meals and speakers in Haringey, Birmingham and Manchester (see page 24 and opposite).
Several Unite branches have also launched an appeal to raise funds for grassroots sports equipment including everything from balls for football, volleyball and basketball, to bats, team kits and nets, as well as specialist equipment to enable students with special educational needs and disabilities to participate.
In November I met up with Niurka González, general secretary of the Cuban teachers’ union (SNTECD), in Havana to discuss the whole project and finalise the details of current needs and logistics for the containers’ arrival and distribution of aid.
Niurka told me that she couldn’t “thank people enough for all their efforts in support of children and teachers in my country. We are ready to receive this solidarity from the UK and are already making plans for distribution to schools across the whole island.”
In October, 24 teachers on an NEU delegation met with students and teachers in Havana and Pinar Del Río where they heard first-hand about the difficulties and shortages faced on a daily basis. The delegates are available to speak at meetings in support of Viva La Educación, so please get in contact if you would like someone to speak at an event you are organising.
As we move into the last few months of fundraising, please do all you can to help. We can assist with information leaflets, publicity, speakers and advice as needed. Every donation large or small will be gratefully received.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have access to large quantities of educational materials, or relations with suppliers who may be able to help. A full list of needs is provided on the appeal website.
We are confident that with your help we can achieve our ambitious target of £100,000 to fill the containers with essential resources for schools and teachers across Cuba. We are planning send-off events to be held at the NEU conference in Harrogate this April and a full report will be in the next issue of CubaSí.
To donate, or for fundraising ideas and resources, please visit www.vivalaeducacion.org.uk
Forthcoming fundraising events
Tuesday, 21 February, 6:30pm, BRISTOL
Film and Talk
Tony Benn House, Victoria Street, Bristol BS1 6AY
Saturday 25 February, 2-5pm, MANCHESTER
Meal and speakers for Viva La Educación
The Sportsman Inn, 57 Mottram Road, Hyde, SK14 2NN
Friday 3 March, 7-10pm, BIRMINGHAM
Social for Viva La Educación
St Andrews Community Centre, Handsworth, B21 9RE
Wednesday 22 March, 7:30pm, LIVERPOOL
Accoustic and unplugged protest music from CSC group members and friends.
The Casa, Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BP