Thursday, 27 January 2011

Not a pretty picture ...

It's pleasant to see lots of pictures of happy children but this time I feel I can't get away with that. Face facts, life in The Gambia can, at times, be tough. This little boy was not a happy chappy. Both his arms and his legs were covered in this horrible, irritating, rash. His parents had taken him to the clinic and to the pharmacy and enlisted the help of family and friends. There was no lack of concern, no lack of love. Perhaps it's become too easy for us, with a free at point of need health care system. But our National Health Scheme costs millions, billions, of pounds. Money that The Gambia just does not have. Thanks to your generosity and kindness, GOES was able to help. Just a matter of buying the right cream. Result, happy little boy and greatly relieved parents. Little acts of kindness work miracles.
Help is always needed. A talented teenager needs a new sponsor. An injured little girl needs an operation. A young woman wants to complete her diploma in IT. A family man, newly unemployed, needs assistance rebuilding his damaged home. A fatherless family needs a bag of rice ...We cannot help everyone who needs a helping hand, but we can and do help many desperate people.

Please help us.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Time to remind ourselves what GOES means?

A friend was kind enough to point out that there may be quite a few people who don't know what GOES is all about. Fair point! So," Gambian Occasional Emergency Support" may give a bit of a clue.
We are a micro-charity which can offer small sums of money, in The Gambia (West Africa) for:
  • Medical fees, examinations & drugs
  • School fees and extra tuition
  • Cost of school uniforms, shoes & bags
  • Help with house repairs
  • Dental fees
  • Emergency transport costs (hospital visits, for instance)
  • Supplies of mosquito nets, mobile 'phones, books to schools and equipment to clinics
Having said this, tomorrow there may well be a request for some other need!

Who are we? We're Joyce and Tom Ireland, retired, together with family and friends, local shop-keepers, neighbours - and, from time to time, total strangers. There are many good people in the world, and they far outnumber the baddies!

Joyce and Tom are the registered trustees of the charity, which is recognised by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs for Gift Aid (XT 7385). This enables us to claim back any Income Tax which has been paid on donations. It in creases GOES' income by 25%, and is of vital importance to the work we can do.

Where does the money come from? Gifts & donations, in cash and in kind*, from the people mentioned above. We tithe our income to the charity.

*We accept gifts of medical supplies, text books, reading glasses, mobile 'phones, lap-tops, tin-openers, sewing needles - anything we can carry! Thomas Cook have been more than generous, allowing us an extra 40kg of luggage on our last trip!

We promise that everything, money and goods, that we are given goes to needy people in The Gambia. We pay our own expenses, at home and abroad, ourselves.

Why do we do it? Not for any religious or political reason. If we have ever needed help we have been fortunate enough to receive it. We can't do everything, but we do what we can. I'm a firm believer in the old saying 'If you have a kindness shown, pass it on.'
It has brought us some lovely friends, and that's reward enough.

Thanks for reading this far!

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