Monday, 30 March 2009

Apologies - but we're still here!

Sorry for not posting for a while - blame mixed health, family fortunes and misfortunes and domestic difficulties such as not having a fully functional kitchen for three months ... but here we are again. We have been keeping busy with GOES business, funding students, giving grants for housing repairs, small improvements to schools and food for hard pressed families. The cost of rice continues to rise, the value of the pound continues to fall and donations are increasingly hard to come by. However, due to the continued loyalty of friends and family we manage to maintain progress. The end of the financial year is near and we expect our income (after finding all our Bayba* counterfoils to top the £5,000 mark for the first time. This will mean more paper work because we will then have to re-apply to the Charity Commissioners for full charity status (we,re registered for Gift Aid** with HMRC already and this of course will continue).
Once we've managed to buy adequate travel insurance (last year's health problems still haunt us and our 'best' quote so far is in excess of £1000!) we'll be out there again - at least the Rainy Season in The Gambia is warm as well as wet!
Back to work now any questions? Email us on and we'll try to help - if you're thinking of visiting The Gambia we're happy to provide advice - go and see what we're doing!
Best wishes,
Joyce & Tom Ireland.

*Bayba is the money transfer agency we use; Costs £5 to send up to £100 and generally the money arrives in The Gambia the same day so is excellent for sending urgent help. We, of course, pay the transfer fees ourselves.

** Gift Aid; a wonderful and easy way that a registered charity (GambiaGOES reg no. is XT7385 with HMRC) can claim back income tax paid by donors. The rate is 28% at the moment.)