members prepare to drive buses to Liverpool for shipment to Cuba
Other unions donated items such as fire engines and safety equipment for Cuban organisations, and along with the Cuba Solidarity Campaign,
raised money enabling us to buy $100,000 worth of powdered milk,
$150,000 worth of food and to send other cargo including clothing,
medical equipment, medicines, cars, hospital beds. The International
Rescue Corps, better known for their courageous life saving work in
earthquakes advised on logistics. In August 1999, the Cuban ship Luric
arrived at Liverpool to collect the cargo valued by the Cubans at well
organisers of the project learned valuable lessons about aid working,
logistics and organisation, what works and what doesn’t and how to
develop an enthusiastic ‘can do’ culture among trade union
activists. We also learned what is useful to a country like Cuba and
what isn’t without access to spare parts. Our objective had been to
involve ordinary people and union members in this work, so they may
learn and benefit from what turned out to be a ‘worker to worker’
experience with many making new contacts and friends in Cuba. It was a
new form of solidarity.
TUC (CTC) suggested that we constitute ourselves as a Non Governmental
Organisation and, with legal advice from Thompson’s Solicitor’s the
Trust was established in 2001 with the objectives of providing trade
union aid in the fields of health, education, culture and sports to
organisations in developing countries. The Trustees are mainly the
activists from the original project.
We went on
to send a second ship in 2001 with a cargo of 51 ambulances and to
develop projects in Mozambique. You can read about our subsequent work
in the Cuban Doctors Report.
attracted the support of a wide range of individuals and trade union
organisations, and in 2003 the British TUC adopted Resolution 83 at the
TUC Annual Conference.
currently developing work with Cuban Medical Brigades in Haiti and