George gets MBE

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George Campbell-Johnson is awarded the MBE

   

 

 

 

Congratulations go to George Campbell-Johnson and all that have helped him in his work to support destitute farmers who have had their land taken away without compensation by Zuma PF, The Government of President Robert Mugabe. George set up the Zimbabwe Farmers Trust Fund in 1999 and continues to be the Chairman. This hard work has now been recognised and George has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire)

George has said 'In the last 24 hours we have received request for help.. any donations are gratefully received'

The text below has been taken from George's charity website which can be accessed by clicking Here

Mission

ZFTF was founded in 1999 and is the only charity dedicated to assisting displaced and often destitute Zimbabwe farmers and their families to resettle in the UK and other countries, and to help them rebuild their lives.

Many of these farmers and their families have suffered considerable mental and even physical trauma and the aim of the trust is to give provide support by welcoming farmers and their families to a new life in what, for many, is an alien environment, and to make sure that they have some funds on arrival as well as ongoing support to battle the bureaucracy, to find accommodation and jobs, or to establish their own business.

As Edmund Burke once said “All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing”. The Trust does not intend to do nothing.

How do we work?

The Trust has built a network of volunteer helpers (44 to date – April  2010) in the UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Zambia and Kenya. This wonderful group deliver practical support for displaced farmers and their families arriving in new countries – support which vastly enhances anything that modest funding can achieve.

Typical Helper work will include:

•    Provision of advice and guidance for new arrivals, and help with often daunting bureaucracy
•    Help to find accommodation and basic furnishing and household goods
•    Contact with recruitment agencies and related charities
•    Act as a sympathetic ear or sounding board so they can discuss worries and problems, and to keep in touch until they are established. Such worries and problems can lead to a very wide range of supportive activities (see “What do we do and how do we do it?”)
•    Finally often, where necessary, recommend to the Trust where financial support is needed. Many farmers arrive in a new country with almost nothing: initial help with rent, with a second –hand car to start a job, with basic needs for children’s schooling can make all the difference

farmersnewlift

What do we do and how do we do it?

Helping rebuild lives – A few examples serve to illustrate the vital work of the trust

In recent years the Trust has helped over 200 farm families, and has been able to disburse roughly £30 000 per annum. With your help we could do much more.

The following illustrate the wide range of Trust activities beyond the basic logistical and moral support outlined in “How do we work?”

  • A farmer, with his partner and her young son, were found accommodation with a retired UK farmer who helped with low rent and the provision of some furniture and a TV.

Shortly after settling in they received news that farmer’s ex-wife had virtually abandoned their two very young daughters who were about to be taken into care in Harare – a truly awful prospect.

A ZFTF helper and friends managed, in an extremely short time, to persuade the Foreign Office to issue visas for the girls to join their father, provided he could get to Harare and find a judge to sign over custody to him. This sounds simple but in reality was an extraordinary achievement: the British Consulate in Harare was effectively besieged by thousands of desperate people camping outside their doors and so normal access channels were not available; finding a judge meant finding a lawyer – who had to be paid, requiring the transfer of funds to Harare to buy Z$.

The helper then had to raise £3000 for airfares and to cover expenses while the father was away.

Three very traumatic weeks later, father and daughters were on a flight to the UK.

Three years later a happy, outgoing family is fully settled in the UK

  • Mr and Mrs A, both 75 and in poor health, had omitted to reapply for residence in the UK, and were due to be deported back to Zimbabwe.

With the help of their local MP and immigration lawyers, the Trust was able to have their residence permit renewed and so avoid the awful consequences of a forced return to Zimbabwe

  • ZFTF successfully obtained six scholarships for young Zimbabwe farmers to attend Cirencester Agricultural College
  • Zambia – Debt Relief.

Up to 200 Zimbabwe farmers are trying to start new lives farming in Zambia. They have been warmly welcomed. Most will have started with substantial bank loans at commercial rates. The high metal prices of recent years have caused the Zambian kwacha to strengthen and so exporting farmers are seeing a proportionate fall in income. For some this has meant debts rising to unmanageable levels.
The Trust contacted the heads of the banks in London as well as the Zambian First Lady and the Minister for Agriculture in Zambia and was successful in having the problem loans transferred to a new fund supported by the World Bank and the Bank of Zambia at significantly lower interest rates. This proved to be a lifeline for about 20 farmers.

  • The murder of Martin Olds has been well documented in all its horror. Happily his widow     and son and daughter were able to come to the UK, and ZFTF helped them rebuild their     lives. Both children now have University/College degrees.

 

The Zimbabwe Farmers Trust Fund is a registered Scottish Charity set up to help Zimbabwean farmers and their families who are in need because of displacement from their farming livelihoods in Zimbabwe.

Many have been forcibly evicted, and have lost almost everything. ZFTF can provide desperately needed help.

The Trust will help Zimbabwean farmers and their families, once they are in Britain or their new host country, to find accommodation while they look for work and a permanent home.

It will also provide short-term, limited financial assistance. For example, the Trust will:

  • Cover the time until the head of the family can sign on with the Department of Social Security and the Job Centre
  • Help with other emergency financing to meet initial basic needs
  • Help pay for trauma counselling

Registered Charity No. SC 030567
Company Limited by Guarantee


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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