The Bristol Link with Beira (BLB) is a project of Southern Africa Resources Centre (Charity Number 1000003).
A Friendship Agreement between these UK and Mozambican port cities was signed in 1990 to offer practical solidarity to a country on the frontline in the war against Apartheid South Africa.
BLB also has a Memorandum of Understanding with an NGO in Beira, who can identify and implement projects on the ground.
Mozambique is considered by the UN as one of the least developed countries, with over 50% of the population living on less than £1.40 per day.
Beira has a population size similar to Bristol, who are vulnerable to extreme weather events, experiencing life in a ‘Cyclone Corridor'.
BLB has set up people-to-people, and organisation-to-organisation networks between the cities of Bristol and Beira to empower and benefit local communities and to generate links and learning between the two cities. Natural disasters, made worse by climate change, add further challenges to Beira, whilst globally we address issues of climate justice.
Health and education
In the past, BLB has supported various health awareness projects, and most recently, as a response to coronavirus (COVID-19), provided sewing machines and materials to make face masks for disadvantaged families in the informal settlements in Beira.
BLB obtained finance, enabling repair works at a primary school and a pre-school after Cyclone Idai.
In the past, students and teachers have benefited from exchanges, and schoolchildren from both cities are encouraged to understand each other through projects supported by BLB.
Community and civil society
Council employees from Bristol have offered capacity building workshops in Beira, and some functionaries from Beira have observed the working environment in Bristol. Over the years, several of Beira's mayors have visited Bristol.
BLB encourages and supports organisations in Beira to apply for funding available in UK.
The link between the two cities also provides opportunities for student placements and research.
Climate change and energy
BLB ran a Climate Action campaign, comparing the issues in Beira to those in Bristol and then showcasing inspiring actions on each Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) in Beira.
BLB is targeting SDG 11 Sustainable Cities, and SDG 17 Partnerships in its work.
BLB have been advising a local start-up who, with UWE, were developing a container-based toilet block to convert human waste into cooking fuel and soil conditioner, for use off-grid in densely populated, low-income areas in sub-Saharan Africa, such as Beira.
BLB is a voluntary organisation and depends on the people of Bristol for administrative, logistical and financial support. Please contact us if you can help BLB in any way.
Trustee Chair, Bristol Link with Beira
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