Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings to all friends of G.O.E.S!

We've had good news - thanks to you:

The little boy who needs treatment for his eye has arrived, with his mum, in Dakar and will be examined tomorrow.

 The young woman who needs expert medical care is there already and has started a course of treatment.

Thanks to M.RP for her donation.

May we wish all our friends, of every race and creed, Good Health, Long Life, and Happiness.
Tom & Joyce

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Mrs Jobarteh at work

  1. 1)Mrs Jobartey smiles her thanks to Barclay's Bank for their gift of pens to the children of her school.
2) Tom delivers medical supplies to the clinic at Mandinari. Thanks to members of VRWG and the Forge Medical Centre at Stockton Heath.

3) Even a tin of paint to decorate a school can make people happy!

4) Joyce finds another baby to play with! (We did make sure she went back to her mum - the baby, that is!)

5) Tom's pleased - some of the pictures actually landed on the blog! They visited Facebook first though ...

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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Humanitarian Aid ?

A friend recently offered this heading as a fair description of what GOES does. Somehow, it's not as I see it. 'Humanitarian Aid' suggests to me the emergency evacuation of thousands of people from a place devastated by war or natural disaster. It's the territory of OXFAM or the Red Cross or any of a thousand huge organisations.
GOES is just a group of family and friends who raise what money they can to help a few families in urgent need in a tiny African country. The fact that we can't do more doesn't stop us doing what we can. We've been going for a few years and I think people trust us. Donate £X and that amount of money will go directly to a person who needs it. Nothing is deducted for 'expenses' - we pay those ourselves.
We also donate a proportion of our pensions to the charity. We don't know all the answers - we don't understand many of the questions, such as why the place where human life started should be one of the poorest places on our beautiful planet today? Having to say 'No, sorry we can't help' is the hardest part. We never promise what we can't deliver.
Our New Year resolution is to keep on trying.
PS - I'm still trying to load those pictures!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Back home and back to work!

Thanks to all our Gambian friends, old and new, for making this a very special visit. Thanks to our supporters, old and new, here in the UK, for making this possible. This report is going to be a bit of a list;
We replaced a leaking fresh water tap at a clinic;
We presented the medical gifts, donated by family, friends and our local GP surgery to 1) The Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital at Banjul and 2) the village clinic at Mandinari (which also helps hundreds of patients from surrounding villages.
We provided paint to decorate a village school.
We offered financial support so a young woman with breast cancer can travel to Dakar for treatment.
We have offered similar help to the family of a 13month old boy who has been diagnosed as having retinoblastoma (? Sp?)
We gave help to a gentleman in need of a replacement artificial leg.
Remember the girl you provided with a wheelchair earlier this year? She's scooting round the family compound happily. We'll provide her with a zimmer frame so she can move round inside her house more easily.
We gave money to provide transport to hospital for two people from the same family; a teen age girl with a very bad cut on her hand and her grandfather, suffering from prostate and chest pains. Both doing well.
Paid school fees for a couple of dozen students, ages ranging from 7 to 20+.
Provided mosquito nets.
Helped an out of work family with a little capital to set up a firewood stall in their local market.
Provided a grant to provide an irrigation system for the 'garden' of a large compound. (Vegetable garden!)
Taught Eng Lang by text message to a student with an exam to pass (Eng Lang was the only barrier between her and acceptance on an SRN course ...)
Provided basic educational needs to several schools (thanks to Stockton Heath branch of Barclay's Bank for 600 Biro pens!)
Pictures follow ASAP - I was using a new mobile 'phone/camera and made a mess of some of the shots.