Today at the Mercure Hotel in Hull, inspired by David Murden of the And Albert Foundation, financed by the Rotary Club of Hull and East Yorkshire, Rotary International with close links to the Rotary Club of Tamale, Ghana and managed by Jacob’s Well, an ambulance boat built by Hull boat builders Seahorse Marine will set out for King’s Village Hospital in Ghana.
This is part of a wider initiative to draw attention to the potential and the skills that can make these villages sustainable. There have been workshops in schools across the Humber region and more are planned to offer students an insight into how links with Africa can work. Building from the original concept of local networks and the 3 T’s (Trees, Trade and Training), the transformational agenda explores the logistics and capacity building needed to make things happen.
Much has happened to build momentum. AAF has linked to the emerging Global Gateways Federation – a network of like minded regions seeking sustainability through mutually supportive direct trade links. Inspired by the work of Lord Prescott on his Northern Way and anticipating work on the Northern Powerhouse, this work is now led by Jay Myers, former President and CEO of the Canadian Manufacturers Federation and an expert on International trade negotiations and networking for SMEs and local communities. David Murden’s work on the Volta river sits well with this transformational agenda.
In the past few months, David’s vision for the Volta trade corridor and the connectivity this can facilitate for the 70 villages he has visited constantly over many years has been adopted by the Rotary Club and the launch today is part of a larger scale project for the construction of boats made in Hull destined for the area outlined in this short film.
The first boat, Wilberforce 1 has been built in Hull by Seahorse Marine and will be sent out to bolster the Medical capacity within the community along this extraordinary Volta river system. David’s insight has galvanised efforts to raise the money to fund the construction of Wilberforce 1 – named after the inspirational figure who was born in Hull just like David. There are plans to link with a parallel initiative for Sierra Leone.
In the coming months, more films will provide an update on the project.