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Page history last edited by Mark Hinton 3 years, 9 months ago

foleshillfields vision project logo

FolesHillfields Vision Project closed in 2013

The foleshillfields vision project worked to build friendship and solidarity between communities in Hillfields and Foleshill, and communities in the developing world - and to strengthen and bring closer together our own local communities in the process.


We aimed to break down barriers between people, particularly ones created by racism. We developed effective approaches to intercultural community work, which won national recognition.


We were a community organisation based in the Hillfields and Foleshill areas of Coventry, from 2005 to 2013.


Below are records of some of our activities from late 2006 to January 2008 - more recent records can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/foleshillfields/


January 2008:

A meeting about Kenya


A diverse group gathered to discuss current events in Kenya When terrible things happen somewhere, we may feel powerless, helpless, angry, heart-broken. The stories and images keep coming – and we often end up feeling overwhelmed, feeling like we're too small to do anything about the situation, or not being able to bear the heart-break and frustration – so we turn away.


It happens often enough – at first “More Violence in Kenya” is a headline that puts your heart in your mouth – but after a while we begin to filter it out, to stop thinking about it, so that “Violence in Kenya” becomes, in our minds, 'nothing out of the ordinary'. We have seen it before with many other places at at many other times.


So, the aim of our meeting last Friday night was simply to encourage each other not to turn away – to keep thinking and questioning; to keep learning from each other; not to accept the violence as inevitable or “ordinary”, to remember that our relationships and our actions matter.


Cecilia speaks, while Mehru listensWe began with each person saying their name, and something they loved about Kenya – we were also showing slides on a laptop of positive images of ordinary Kenyan people and places taken last summer. This set a hopeful tone, in the face of all the bad news we have been hearing.


For twenty minutes or so, Cyprian spoke about his recent visit to see his displaced (from Kisumu) family in Kisi; to see his looted home in Kisumu; and to visit our link partners in Gambogi and Kitagwa (Vihiga district). He also showed photos he had taken of rioters in Kibera.


Each Kenyan then had a chance to say something about the situation for their family and/or the general situation. Among us, there were African Kenyans of at least three tribes, Christian and Muslim; and Asian Kenyans from Muslim, Sikh and Zoroastrian backgrounds. (There were also local Caribbean, Asian and white people who are involved in linking with Kitagwa school and Emuhaya group of the disabled, and other local people).


By the time all of the Kenyans had spoken, all at the meeting had learned new things, or heard perspectives we had not yet heard.


As the focus on the meeting was on remaining engaged and thinking, we then broke up into small, mixed groups, so that each person could have the opportunity for their thinking to be listened to – whether they had an articulate, well-developed analysis, or whether they were simply trying to think about the situation for themselves for the first time.


A small group discuss what they have heard We suggested that people could talk about the questions they had now, what they wanted to learn next – and/or about what thoughts they had about what a group of allies to Kenya, such as we were, could do to be useful at this time. The small group discussions were lively!


After a while we came back together, and each person had up to 30 seconds in which to say one thing they had learned, or a question they now had, or a suggestion they had thought of.

Cyprian then spoke a little more, and we closed.


We'll keep you posted - there is more about our links with Western Kenya on our blogs from the 2007 trip, and Aman's 2006 visit, and Lani has been writing about her (now postponed) trip this year on her myspace.


Meanwhile, one interesting overall perspective seems to be given here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7204987.stm

- and here are Global Voice's latest headlines from blogs from and about Kenya:



We've moved!

Heather, Fatima, Mino and PeaceJammers in the newly carpeted office! (c) Andy McGeechan
With the very much appreciated help of a painting crew from Warwick University Volunteers, many other volunteers, and a whole number of Whitefriars staff, we've redecorated and recarpeted the old Tenants Resource Centre at 6 Paul Stacey House, Bath Street, Hillfields  CV1 5GU - now our new home.
We're still getting up and running - but pop in any time (probably worth calling us on 024 76 525 885 first, to check we're in!) ...
I know the website's hardly been touched since July - we had a good break and have then all been very busy writing funding bids; preparing our exciting Autumn Programme (details here soon!); organising the office move; and lots of other fine things.  More news soon!
- Mark :o)   6th October 2007



This is what we wrote in July

We have just completed an extremely hectic and successful period and we couldn't have done it without everyone who attended events, volunteered their time and help, participated in things that we did, donated money, gifts and good wishes to take to Kenya, read our blog and cheered us on. Thank you!
Over the last six weeks we have:-
  1. Been to Kenya with two young volunteers
  2. Been involved in Global Citizenship in John Gulson and Southfields primary schools
  3. Linked John Gulson and Kitagwa Primary schools
  4. Visited the Emuhaya Group of Disabled
  5. Put on a Father's Day picnic
  6. Put on a talk by Palestinian Peace workers
  7. Put on a Family Linking lunch
  8. Put on an Intercultural football tournament
  9. Ran a Peacejam youth group  - and helped them to run a session at Southfields
  10. Had a stall at Hillfields gala day
  11. Provided the compere for a positive multicultural musical evening
  12. Met with the JRCT Trustees and fellow Visionaries
  13. Attended various other Positive Images and Refugee Week events
  14. Seen one child through GCSEs, another through moving house, celebrated birthdays and a wedding anniversary, and continued to feed and clothe our families!
  15. Had a fantastic and exciting time and thoroughly worn ourselves out and neglected our children!!!!


Mark and Heather are off on a two week holiday and Fatima is going to collapse, so more detailed reports will have to wait until the end of July. Meanwhile:


Summer Programme 2007Summer 2007

Following another successful Links Lunch, and with help from the Heart of England Community Foundation, we've been running a great series of public events over the last few weeks – reports and photos will be appearing over the next few weeks (as we get round to it!) - for now take a look at the programme for links to some photos.



Back to Africa
Coventry Evening Telegraph articleYour generous donations helped Heather take two local volunteers to Kenya in June, to very succesfully begin a link between Kitagwa School there and John Gulson school here. News and photos on their blog!
Global Citizenship
Globe in classroomThis year, we’re expanding the work we’ve done for many years in John Gulson school to Southfields School – with WorldWise helping us out lots again, and taking a lead at John Gulson. Learn more here.
I.F.F. '08
Next year's international Festival of Friendship in Hillfields and Foleshill is  already beginning – much energy and enthusiasm was unleashed in our most recent meeting and we will start some working groups going in September – more info here.
Since February, we’ve been working with a small group of committed volunteer students from Sidney Stringer school, devising a programme of peace and social justice activities as a “PeaceJam” club. Some of the young people met Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams in Bradford in March – a larger group attended a Peer Mediation training in April. The group has great plans – more info here.
Father's Day
Our first event in the Positive Images programme was our Father’s Day Picnic in the new Webster’s Park on the 17th June. Dads, brought their children - and children brought their dads!  Details here.
Behind the scenes
where did your granny grow up?Meanwhile, we have launched a not-for-profit company, FolesHillfields Vision Ltd., and applied successfully for funds for web site redesign and our events programme. Bigger funding applications are in the pipeline, and we have begun looking around for larger premises for the future. Watch this space!
Help Wanted
We are always happy to hear from new potential volunteers – as well as from the many of you who’ve already helped out. We can’t do this without you – there’ll be more about volunteering opportunities here soon.



We had a good first year. Over the last three months of 2006, with the able help of our new Fundraising Committee and other helpers and supporters, we forced ourselves to step back and do detailed action planning - we now have a new draft Summary of our Vision , five draft StrategicObjectives to achieve in the next four years, and have just completed our Summer Programme for 2007.



The foleshillfields vision project works to build friendship and solidarity between communities in Hillfields and Foleshill, and communities in the developing world - and to strengthen and bring closer together our own local communities in the process.


The foleshillfields vision has been developed by Stoney Stanton Road residents HeatherParker and MarkHinton, as "Visionaries for a Just and Peaceful World" sponsored by the JosephRowntreeCharitableTrust. Many other individuals and organisations have contributed to the vision, and are still contributing - thanks to all of you!


Keeping in Touch

If you want to keep in touch, and for us to keep in touch with you, please let us know!



foleshillfields vision project logo


Comments (1)

Mark Hinton said

at 4:41 pm on Dec 16, 2006

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