Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Success! Well done, Amieo!

I was delighted to receive a copy of a Diploma (with credit) certificate from a bright young lady we've been helping during the course of the last few years. We are so pleased to have been able to help (with considerable input from our friend Joan) in the education of this hard-working girl. She also seems to be on the brink of an exciting modelling career. Any firm which employs her will know they have a dedicated, talented and educated person on their staff. Go, girl, go!
(And thanks again, Joan!)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Coffee & Clay!

We stopped for a coffee at a small, friendly cafe in Stockton Heath. We often stop for a rest while we're out cycling! The charming couple who run the place had time for a chat and we talked about bikes and tents and caravans and children for a while. Then, as our conversations tend to do, we talked about The Gambia. We were offered a bag of children's clothes which had been on its way to a charity shop. We'll have to have a trip to The Gambia now! People are so very kind. You may be wondering about the title to this post - as well as selling a very good cup of coffee this place offers an unusual gift service - bring your baby and you can have a cast made of his or her hands and feet! The clay is fired and glazed and you have a very tangible reminder of how small your child was before she/he grew to full size!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Back to The Gambia?

Been away too long - but how to stretch the money for the fare? Every penny GOES receives in donations goes to help people in The Gambia - nothing is deducted for 'expenses'. We're having a furious counting of personal money to try to raise enough for at least one of us to travel. We would like to see the tap installed in the clinic, the open-air classroom in the school completed. We're searching the internet and local travel agents for the cheapest deal. Thomas Cook have been very helpful in the past ...
There is always this dilemma: - which is better for The Gambia - us going there to see first hand exactly what needs doing or sending the money we would have spent on travel to a clinic or school? Maybe the British government will double my pension! Ah, well. Back to Google!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Looking back?

Hindsight can be quite comforting!
Been feeling a bit down in the dumps recently. Cash hasn't been flowing in and requests for help are increasing. Saying 'no' is horribly hard to do and at times I must admit I've been thinking that perhaps the best thing to do is to close the charity down. Goodbye to GOES? Then I think back to when we started work in The Gambia. One of the first things we did was to provide a boy, a young student, with a bicycle so he could travel more easily to college. His journey prior to this had been long and difficult. The bike in question was not some hi-tech creation, in fact it reminded me of the bike I had fifty years before and on which I rode to school. So, the boy got his bike. He worked hard at school and progressed well. So well that he was accepted by a university in Euirope; the bike was passed onto another student. I'll bet that bike is still, to this day, in good hands and providing much needed transport to some deserving person. Thanks to GOES all sorts of good things are happening. We work in very small ways - we are, after all, a micro-charity! We know the people we help (and those same people help us, with a meal, a glass of Atayah, a bed for the night). A child has school fees paid. Years later that same child proudly shows us their college diploma. We help a youngster who needs medical attention - and the next time we visit that village the same youngster runs up to greet us with a smile. We pass on a pair of reading glasses, and later the recipient is noticed with her head down in a book, absorbed in the world of words. Tiny occurancies, small parts of the tapestry of life, but so important to those individuals. Your good deeds roll on, just like the bicycle we started off this post with. How can we not go on with GOES, at least for a little while longer?
Thanks to all our helpers, past, present - and future.