Local Group Heading To Africa To Help Children

A dozen people from Windsor are in a remote area of Africa helping a group of 43 children.

The visit, under the auspices of the Global Education Development Fund, is being partly funded through Unifor Locals 200 and 444.

Local 200 member Rob Jacques has been to the region in Tanzania before and was touched by what he saw.

He says the children have been told they can't stay in a municipally operated centre and he's worried what could happen to them.

"They kicked them out of the centre recently and put them on the streets.  We're really concerned that the same thing that happened in Boka in northern Africa where the terrorists came in and befriended them and then gave them guns.  So we're worried about the kids who are only 12 and 14 years old are on the street," says Jacques.

He says a Lutheran Church has given them space, which the group will upgrade.

"We're going to do whatever the municipality requires us to do so we can get the kids back ot the centre.  We are also going to a birth centre and we're going to try to improve the infant mortality rate there, by helping them with sterilization and different things," says Jacques.

He says Dr. Clinton Beckford from GEDF had set up a food bank a few months ago, but it was overwhelmed by the response.

"He expected about 200 people, and he had 1,500 people some of whom walked 29 kilometres and he couldn't feed them all.  So we're going to reduce the amount and try to get it to more people," says Jacques.

He says that while some areas of Africa are politically unstable, the area they're heading to is quite safe.