27 February 2003

Keeping the flag flying

Keeping the Dove and Dolphin flag flying

- Plea for woollens as campaign continues.
- Donations to the Dove and Dolphin fund continue to arrive. The total is now approaching £26,000.
- The D & D web site is still being updated as offers of help and congratulations continue to arrive. By keeping the information flowing David and Sue hope to “continue to make a difference.”
- New pictures are being posted to the site this week.
- Plans are afoot to establish school links between Devon and Gaza.

The Dove and Dolphin mission is still very much in action although the team is now back home.
Organisers David and Sue Halpin are now aiming to fill a container with educational materials, woollen blankets and woollen clothes to ship out to Gaza.
David Halpin explained today:
“We have had so many offers of help and our task now is to sort through all the letters, emails and calls we have had so that we can call on people with particular skills and resources.
“One thing we want to do is to ask people with surplus materials in their homes for woollen garments and blankets in particular.
“They will be very welcome.
“In the Gaza, winters are shortish and very cold. There is no heating in houses because of increasing poverty.
“So having good blankets is very important.”

Web site
This was set up in the same breathless manner as the voyage! In spite of this the feedback has been very complimentary and it helps of course that the central facts have captured peoples imagination.
Some re-jigging is now necessary. We have received helpful analyses from John and Cheryl Maughan amongst others and then discussed it all with Paul White (who managed the site and who worked very hard for us with the media) and Simon Milton, our near neighbour, who initially set it up in short order.
The changed web site should be on the screen next Monday.
It is our intention that by establishing good links and by encouraging those with good ideas and information to contact the site, The Dove and The Dolphin will continue to make a difference for all the Palestinian folk.
At no time has there been a greater need for others to speak up on their behalf and to support them in as many ways as possible.
We will keep everyone abreast of our latest and proposed projects and we will point the way to other charities and NGOs* which are helping them.
Sue and I will manage the web site from here in order to cut cost to the bone and because we are 70 yards from help!

Donations & school links
Current total paid into the fund is approximately £25,800. Another £500 awaits but is dependent on the D and D achieving charitable staus.
First call on Monday was from Mel Easter, Head of Brixham C of E Infants and Nursery School.
She had worked as a teacher in Nigeria for nine years under VSO auspices. She had enjoyed it greatly and she values children here getting to know their brothers and sisters abroad.
She is certainly interested in twinning with a Gaza school and also in getting some basic materials together to send in that container we are speaking about.
As secretary of the Torbay Association of Primary Schools she will be able to 'spread the gospel'. Thank you Mel.
BBC Radio Devon are playing excerpts from the audio diary they asked me to keep at 8.35am on Good Morning Devon through this week.
We missed the one on Monday but those of yesterday and today were good fun. This morning included John M's painful injury to his lower sacrum or coccyx! It will have brought tears to many eyes!
We all send our best wishes to John.
Some new photos that were taken by Phil in Gaza should be in the gallery in the next day or so.


*NGOs – Non-governmental organisations