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1st Jan, 1970

JCI Manchester Racks up some ACE hours by volunteering their time to help The VINE Project run their Didsbury Bowls Competition

Posted: May 13, 2017 17:20 by Simon Anderson

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On Sunday 7th May, 3 of the JCI Manchester Board – Simon Anderson, Daniel Thomas and Cheryl Hill – volunteered their time to help out at a bowls competition in Didsbury Park in aid of the Vine Project.

The VINE Project is a unique venture aimed to create a fund to support vulnerable children in a township in KwaZulu Natal who have lost their parents through AIDS. This is now the leading cause of death in South Africa

1. To support the formal education of the children and provide opportunities for vocational guidance and training.

2. To provide an income for the grandmothers and primary care givers by encouraging participation in income-generating activities, especially the traditional skill of bead work.

3. To encourage and guide supportive peer activities.

4. To raise international awareness of the social and economic needs of these children by encouraging supportive and informed global links. 

The project's focus is now on education and training.  Our objective is to enable the children we support to acheive their full potential through primary, secondary and potentially higher education.  We provide food vouchers, the necessary school uniform and all equipment needed to access education, as well as making their homes safe and comfortable to live in. 

Using the principles of fair trade the project buys traditional Zulu jewellery and needlework made by the grandmothers, who are caring for their own orphaned grandchildren, providing them with an immediate income.  Funds are raised in the UK by talks to interested groups, fund raising events and generous donations.

Every penny raised by the Project goes back to the children. We do not have any paid workers. The whole project is run by volunteers who spend a total of three months a year in the township with the children.

The event was a resounding success and Sonia McCann, one of the directors of the charity, had this to say:


Simon, I would like to thank you and the 2 other JCI volunteers for all your hard work helping to make last Sunday's bowling event such a great success. Having never run an event like this it was very much a step into the unknown but without Cheryl who took on the role as refreshment organiser and Dan who spent the whole afternoon running up and down the lawns helping to explain the rules it would never have worked. Not to mention yourself multitasking in a number of areas. The Vine Project, based in a township in South Africa, is a charity helping young people to access education and therefore to be able to move forward into a more positive future. It is so refreshing to find young people like yourselves involved with JCI who are willing to give their time and effort to help us raise funds to help this to happen. This year we have our 13th youngster at University doing a degree course where a few years ago they were not even able to get to school. On the day we raised over £700, had 40 people playing bowls and provided coffee and cakes for more than 60 people.  It was a great team effort and hopefully one that we can repeat in the future. Many thanks to you all, Sonia

Volunteering is a big part of JCI life, so if you're keen to volunteer your time for good causes then reach out as we could help you. Similarly if you have any projects that you yourself run and need volunteers for, get in touch and if we can help we will!

Posted: May 13, 2017 17:20 by Simon Anderson with .

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