Thursday, 21 July 2011

Update on our activities

We have been busy, honestly. It's the time of year to concentrate on raising funds here and it's the rainy season over there! Rain isn't very good for the village houses and there are always repairs to be done, cement to be bought, corrugated roofs to be repaired.
Last night the ValeRoyal Writers' Group, together with the Dead Good Poets of Liverpool, held a wordfest at the Blue Cap Hotel in Sandiway. Invited poets performed and local poets made good use of the 'open mic' sessions to entertain their audience.
The raffle and the sale of books produced 3000 Gambian Dalasis (£65 in UK money!)
The VRWG book was the Summer 2010 mini-anthology of the group's stories and poems, (shortly to be followed by an Autumn Collection). Mark and Tim and Jenny and Liz worked long hours to publish and print the books ready for the show.
We're still waiting for the arrival of Gift Aid (it's the return of Income Tax on donations made by friends of the charity). To be honest, we're still waiting because I was late applying for it. In the end I had to take me by the scruff of my neck and force me to sit in front of the computer for three hours. Job done. Why was I making such a fuss about it?
Anyway, the Charity is back in funds. Because there is always a need for help by the time you read this most of the funds will have been sent to people in The Gamble. We don't let the money pile up in the bank when it could be working for people who need it.
We sold our little boat too, on Ebay, to raise some money for a particular urgent case. I must admit that we now have a habit of looking at things and wondering how much they would fetch at auction! Last year the scooter went and an out-door classroom arrived in a Gambian Village.
The tandem was sold and several children went to school .... one way of getting rid of the clutter!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Where has all the money gone?

Something of a problem - running out of money while, at the same time, the need for it increases.
GOES can keep promises already made but we're unable at the moment to take on new commitments. It's quite heart-breaking to have to say 'Sorry, we can't help you.' We never make promises we can't keep: it would be so easy to say 'We'll see if we can help next month' but at the moment it just would not be true. We can't be dishonest and deal out false hope.
We are aware of young people who would benefit from futher education; there are clinics urgently in need of funds to purchase antibiotics; schools which would make massive strides forward with just one extra, qualified, teacher; families which would be protected by the gift of a mosquito net - the list is endless.
GOES does not thrive on memories of what has been achieved (though, with the help of friends that achievement is considerable) but on thoughts of what is yet to be accomplished.
Please help if you can. These are desperate times.