Well, the flight is booked, the hotel knows we're coming - all we have to do is to pack our bags and jump on the plane! We have about three weeks left to search for mobile 'phones, watches, old spectacles, medical supplies, educational materials and anything else that would be treasured out there! Sadly, such things seem to be in short supply this year. People seem to be hanging onto their belongings now, hoping that times will get better. Fingers crossed, though, for something to turn up!
It's very hard even at the best of times. GOES is a very small charity and for everyone we can help there are ten, twenty, a hundred people we have to say, sadly, "No, very sorry, we can't help you." It was easier when I was associated with another charity which confined its activities to the very worthy cause of building and funding nursery schools. This was a very clearly defined remit. GOES's brief is much wider - education, welfare, health, food, building repairs - where there is need we try to help. This little girl plays happily with her friends in her home compound, unaware of the difficulties her family face. We can do our best to ensure she will be educated, medically cared for and that she won't go hungry. Sadly though, there are so many, so very many, children and adults who need our help - your help - we can only try, and learn not to give up even when we have to say - "Sorry, not this time."
Best wishes to all of you for a happy and secure year.