Archbishop Desmond Tutu's Wales for Africa visit

Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu has met people in Wales trying to improve lives in Africa.

The anti-apartheid campaigner talked to Royal Glamorgan Hospital staff in Llantrisant on Ugandan emergency care.

He went to Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr in Cardiff, which has ties with Lesotho, and addressed delegates at the city's Temple of Peace.

He was a guest of First Minister Carwyn Jones to recognise the work of the Wales for Africa programme.

The scheme involves Welsh people and community groups in international development.

Angela Gorman, co-founder of Cardiff charity Life for African Mothers, said Wales "punched above its weight on the international scene" as part of the help project.

Mr Jones said Archbishop Tutu would be able to see for himself the "achievements and bonds" being created by Wales for people in countries in Sub Saharan Africa.

The Wales for Africa project was set up to help deliver the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to halve global poverty by 2015.

At Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr, head teacher John Hayes told the peace activist about the strong links with its partner school, Moshoeshoe II in Lesotho.


He said: "As a school we will continue to do our little bit of good in continuing to educate our students about global poverty and inequality and in a range of other practical ways to support countries such as Lesotho."

Image caption A motorbike ambulance in Mbale, Uganda, provided with help from NHS workers

The Welsh connection with Mbale started as a community link between Pontypridd in the south Wales Valleys, and the Ugandan town.

PONT - Partnerships Overseas Networking Trust - was set up in 2005 by linking health professionals and groups with their counterparts in Africa.

Projects include helping Mbale develop its own ambulance service, as well as raising about £1m and has led to around 700 trips from clinicians and NHS workers from Rhondda Cynon Taf.

The archbishop attended a special event at Valleys Kids in Rhondda Cynon Taff which has links with a township in Cape Town.

Earlier this year groups from both communities performed a specially composed musical, Torchbearers, at Cardiff's Wales Millennium Centre with a repeat performance to be held in Cape Town.

Archbishop Tutu also visited the Temple of Peace, Cardiff, where he addressed 180 delegates about ways of improving relations between people using Ubunutu, said to be a South African philosophy.

It was organised by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs, Life For African Mothers and the Tutu Foundation UK.

Mrs Gorman, who was instrumental in bringing Archbishop Tutu to Wales for his first visit since 2009, described the philosophy as "recognising the humanity of everybody else around you" in an effort to avoid conflict.

"This is what he is bringing from Africa as opposed to coming to ask for something," she said.

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