Swallows Return

Today I saw my first two Swallows of the year! Welcome back Swallows!

It’s hard to imagine these incredible creatures have flown all the way from South Africa to be here for the Summer and will fly back again before Winter is upon us. With their tiny aerodynamic bodies and enormous stamina the Swallow is a master of the global skies, tracing invisible pathways of connection between the hemispheres.

Following a similar route (though by less agile means) a group of Active Citizens from South Africa will be joining our Garden Work Day on Sunday 8 May 2011, accompanied by their counterparts from Brighton & Hove. The trip is part of a week long exchange to Brighton and Hove which links South Africans, who are engaged in social action in their local community, with similar groups and activists in Brighton & Hove. The aim is to build trust and connections in order to share and learn from each other.

The Active Citizens programme is run by The British Council and Novas Scarman, a national social justice charity. Brighton and Hove is one of four UK cities to be linked to organisations in Africa. The programme offers training for people who are active in their communities, supporting and strengthening their work by developing new skills and connections. Participants become part of an international network promoting international and intercultural trust and understanding.

Back in March a group of 10 Brighton & Hove based Active Citizens visited the town of East London on the coast of South Africa. The South African group will be here in Brighton from 6 to 12 May, and plan to experience a wide range of local projects.