The Vine Branch Charity (TVBC)

The Vine Branch Charity (TVBC) is a small international development charity guided by Christian principles and values. It was registered by the Charity Commission of England and Wales on 29th September, 2022 with registration number 1200516. Our vision is a world free of poverty and injustice in which people live a decent and fulfilling life. We currently work in the UK where most of the fundraising and administrative work is done and have field operations in Northern Uganda. We believe that individuals and communities understand best the challenges they face in life and the steps needed to achieve their desires and aspirations. We identify disadvantaged communities and individuals, observe and listen to their struggles and then work together with them to achieve their dreams, beginning with developing a clear vision and making sound plans. We aim for local solutions, supported, where relevant, by cross-regional learning and global approaches. In keeping with our Christian ethos, we are non-discriminative, open-minded, and compassionate, and our aim is to help all regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, disability, sex or sexual orientation, gender identity, relationship status or age.

The Vine Branch Charity (TVBC)

Our work and its importance to the communities we support

Global warming is a reality and here to stay. Many communities the world over, are experiencing the negative impacts of climate change that include severe heat waves and destruction of natural habitats and infrastructure by fire, rising sea levels, floods and droughts, etc. 

In Northern Uganda for example, recurrent droughts caused by climate change are presenting many challenges on the livelihoods of poor communities. According to a scoping study recently conducted by the Vine Branch Charity (TVBC), communities in Acholi and Lango subregions of Northern Uganda with poverty levels of 67% and 25% respectively face the following challenges: 

(a) Perennial water shortages for human and livestock consumption 

(b) Crop failure and food deficits due to exclusive dependence on rain-fed agriculture 

(c) Poor crop yields and output 

(d) In their weak state of poverty and lack of markets, middlemen know communities are desperate to sell the little excess from their harvest for income and that they do not have a voice, so middlemen offer low prices for the crops supplied by farmers. 

Typical situation faced by families

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Otile Cecilia (35) is a peasant farmer with six children. 

Speaking to TVBC field officer recently, she said, “There are so many problems in the community and too much poverty. The biggest challenge facing our community is lack of safe and clean water. It becomes worse during the dry seasons when most water wells run dry. People travel long distances to get water. Unfortunately, it’s not always clean water but what can we do when we don’t have that many choices? Moreover, there is competition for water between people and animals at water points”. 

Cecilia said this dry season has been worse and has destroyed most of their crops which is likely to lead to serious food shortages in the community. Water provision and income generating projects are a way out. 

All her six children have not reported back to school since the start of the school term in January due to lack of school fees.  

 

Our need

As we launch our flagship initiative to help 500 families (2,600 people) adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change we need to raise over £500,000 annually for the next three years, from scratch. 

This funding will be used to:

  • Drill boreholes for communities to access potable water throughout the year for human and livestock consumption
  • Establish Water Users Associations and train the smallholder farmers in maintenance of the boreholes
  • Organise smallholder farmers to establish community gardens 
  • Install drip irrigation kits in the community gardens 
  • Train farmers in climate smart agricultural practices -  zero/minimum tillage, soil mulching, use of manure and biological alternatives for pest and disease control, rain water harvesting, water conservation and management and crop production under drip irrigation.
  • Facilitate direct market linkages between vegetable producers and buyers in Lira and other towns in Acholi and Lango subregions, thereby pushing middlemen to offer more competitive prices.
  • Provide training to strengthen existing Smallholder Farmer Producer Organisations’ negotiation and bargaining skills and establish and train these where they are not available.

 

Our funding request

As a new organisation just established, with zero income and nobody aware of us, we are requesting a donation of £20,000 from well-wishers to help us launch the following fundraising strategy.

  • Our immediate priority is to build a website (£2,300) for much needed exposure and to raise public awareness of our vision, mission and values, etc. 
  • With the help of our field engineers and borehole drilling partners, WET Consulting Ltd based in Gulu Uganda, we need £17,700 to shoot a fundraising campaign video including broadcasting costs to reach 3 million UK TV viewers. This will help us to recruit thousands of supporters for this great cause we are so passionate about. 

Although this appeal will end as soon as we meet our target, our cause will carry on. If, for whatever reason we are unable to use the funds raised solely for this purpose, or there are surplus funds left over after reaching our initial target, we will use the funds as working capital to start our operations. As you can see, the task is huge and as our vital supporter, you can help further by spreading the word through social media and encouraging family members, friends, work colleagues, church or other organisations to make a donation. Remember, if your circle of contacts like what you post they can share it with their friends who can share it with their friends…. helping you reach lots more people! 

It’s all about numbers and every little donation helps! Only 1,000 people giving £20 each can help us meet our target. However, larger donations or many people giving smaller donations can help us achieve our goals faster. 

More interestingly, if the UK giving population of more than 24,900,000 people were to give a one off donation of £20 each, we would only need 25,000 people or a mere 0.1% of the population to meet our annual budget to provide clean drinking water and water for sustainable development in Acholi and Lango sub-regions of Northern Uganda!

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