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Yoko Ono, sports and farming: International briefs 4 July

Through a Salvation Army project, Joseph has been successful as a farmer, a profession he only recently took on.

Hope for improved food security in Kenya

A Salvation Army community development project in Kenya East Territory is equipping farmers like Joseph (above) to improve their livelihoods and feed their families.

The Salvation Army in the East of Kenya implements a number of community development projects on resilience,

The Mseto Resilience WASH and Food Security Project supports communities in Kenya in improving access to food and water, financial literacy, public health and child rights. It is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

Previously, Joseph had worked in different kinds of jobs but had struggled to find a life path. Through the project, Joseph undertook training in sustainable agriculture and decided to farm the land he already had.

Over the last two seasons, he has grown maize, beans and sweet potatoes, feeding his family and selling the surplus to neighbours. He has also assisted the project in digging holes for latrines in a local primary school and providing materials.

He says he is now able to make better health decisions since receiving training.

To find out more about The Salvation Army’s work in Africa, see here.


The Kropivnitsky Corps rejoiced in the recent enrolment of two new senior soldiers.

Joys and challenges in Ukraine The Kropivnitsky Corps enrolled two senior soldiers recently.


“Glory be to our Father in heaven,” said Divisional Commander Major Konstantin Shvab. “Two soldiers joined God’s family today – Vladimir and David. We bless you in the name of Jesus Christ to the path of serving God. God bless and protect our brothers. God haste all their good works. Holy Spirit instruct, teach and lead them in the path of truth.”

Young people and their leaders from corps across Ukraine have just returned from their first national Scouts Summer Camp. Despite the ever-present dangers of living in a country at war, the camp was a time of friendship, worship, new friends made, new skills learned and fun times enjoying God’s creation.

The national Scouts camp was a time of physical, spiritual and emotional refreshment for the young people.

The corps leaders in Dnipro had planned an outdoor ‘after party’ for the scouts, but the city is being bombed. One of the rockets exploded just one kilometre from the corps. Please continue to pray for the safety of these precious children and their leaders.


The Keighley Corps is taking advantage of the (northern) summer of sport to connect with the community.

Connecting through sport As Euro 2024, Wimbledon and the Paris Olympics take place over the next few weeks, the Keighley Corps, UK, has kicked off its ‘Summer of Sport’ program with opportunities for locals to watch matches and participate in activities at the church and community centre.

“There will be plenty of events for people looking to score some fun with sporting quizzes, a sports-themed Sunday service and film night,” Corps Leader Major Imogen Stewart said. “Part of our mission at Keighley Salvation Army is to enjoy community life with each other, so we are really excited about this program of events which will bring us all together to enjoy a brilliant summer of sports.


A range of community members loved playing games and indoor sporting activities.

“We kickstarted it earlier this month with a treasure hunt, barbecue and indoor Olympic- themed activities for kids. It was a blessing to see so many people there with us enjoying themselves.

 “As well as bringing people together, these events will be a chance to show what Keighley Salvation Army has on offer for the community – including cookery classes, after-school clubs, toddler groups, food support, meals for the homeless and vulnerable, refugee support and Sunday worship.”

The Euro quiz was challenging with many questions like this one.

Imogen explained that The Salvation Army is passionate about sports and its benefits for physical and mental health. “As well as enjoying the outdoors, it can also be an opening for spiritual conversation and new relationships within our communities,” she said. 

This year The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom with the Republic of Ireland has launched a Goals for Good campaign encouraging people to help end homelessness through football. 

Strawberry Field's Major Kathy Versfeld with participants from the Steps to Work program at the record's unveiling.

Rare piece of music history unveiled Also in the UK, the Salvation Army’s Strawberry Field in Liverpool has unveiled a rare, limited edition 12” vinyl acetate of John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band’s seminal hit record, ‘Give Peace a Chance’ and ‘Remember Love’, with the record’s 55th anniversary on the 4 July.

Originally released in 1969, the double-sided 12” acetates were hand-cut on the lathe at the iconic Abbey Road Studios, synonymous with the legendary work of The Beatles. Produced and executive produced by Sean Ono Lennon and Yoko Ono, each rare record is stickered, uniquely numbered, and features a machine-printed signature from Yoko herself, making them highly collectable. 

The limited-edition record now on display at Strawberry Field in Liverpool.

The record, one of only 50 in the world, joins many other symbols of peace at the centre, including the Strawberry Field Bandstand with its ‘Imagine’ mosaic floor, a Ukrainian Peace Monument and the piano on which John Lennon wrote ‘Imagine’.

Yoko Ono and Sean gifted the vinyl acetates to 50 charities across the world, including The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Each organisation was given the record to use to raise funds ‘for peace and love’. Proceeds from ticket sales to the visitor exhibition will help support Steps at Strawberry Field, a series of individually tailored programs aimed at helping people with learning difficulties or other barriers to employment. Providing employment skills, work experience and volunteer placements, the scheme has helped hundreds of young people find fulfilling employment opportunities thanks to the personalised support provided.

The limited-edition acetate will then be sold at a future date to raise further funds to support The Salvation Army’s work at Strawberry Field.

Major Kathy Versfeld with the record, gifted by Yoko Ono and Sean Ono Lennon.

Mission Director at Strawberry Field, Major Kathy Versfeld, said it was an honour to receive and display the gift from Yoko and Sean.

“This recognition of The Salvation Army’s transformative work in communities across the country is truly humbling,” she said. “Given Strawberry Field’s symbolic and historical connection with John Lennon and its ongoing significance as an international landmark of peace and love, it seems the perfect place for this unique piece of history to be - a place which meant so much to John Lennon.”


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