Saturday, 28 June 2014

"Why do you do it?"

Not always the easiest question to answer. I was looking back through my jottings and came across this entry, about twelve years ago. It may give a clue about why we continue this work. Not happy reading.

"The darker side of life in The Gambia was brought home to me on my second trip. An elderly man who had been collecting fruit from a tall tree with the aim of selling the fruit to buy a cup of rice to feed his family, fell to his death a few feet from where I was standing. Our efforts to save him failed. He had been warned that the tree was unsafe, but he ignored the warning. The taxi I was using for the day was commandeered to take his body to the mortuary, and later that same day he was buried. Many people live a hand-to-mouth existence. Things we Westerners take for granted such as education, healthcare, clean water and support in time of hardship, are simply not available to many other people. At the time of this accident I was on my way to Mandinari village, where I was providing an English Language course for the school staff. I found on the first day that I was offered food and shelter for the duration of my stay. Setting up GOES to offer a little support was the least I could do."

Post this message I still feel the shock I felt that day, when a man, about my age, died simply from trying to feed his family.
Thanks for reading this,

Friday, 20 June 2014

GOES keeps going!

What have we been up to lately? Well, the Gift Aid arrived - thank you, UK Government! Quite a lot of it has been used already because we don't pile up money in the bank. If we have money it's our duty to send it to people and places in need.
We've helped a small school by paying the wages of a couple of members of staff.
We're paying for a young woman (her education had to pause while she had a couple of children) taking a crafts course at Brikama.
We sent support to a family when their mother died.
We paid the registration fees for a nurse who studies to become a midwife.
We have helped a couple of people develop their market gardens.
We have paid for the medical care of several people between the ages of 18 months and 80 years.
We have passed money on to a friend who is building a school.
We have paid school fees for young children to attend nursery schools.

We are running out of money again!
Please help - I noticed that 3 of you bought Malinding ebooks yesterday - or did one of you buy 3 books?
This is a good way to support GOES - and GOES supports people in need in The Gambia.
Thank you!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Another busy day

Well, busy if you include waiting as an activity! Waiting for a cheque from HMRC, that is.
Lots of interest in the latest book, 'Chasing Freedom Home' - please will some of you who now have a copy post a nice review on Amazon? If you do hopefully that will increase interest in other books in the 'Malinding' series and so make a welcome contribution to GOES funds!
 The next, and possible final, book in the series is now into its second chapter - about 3,500 words so far. We went to Gladstone's Library for the day - I took 4,000 words with me but I had read them aloud, in private, thank goodness, and I was far from happy with the result! So the scissors came out and there was a severe editing session this morning.
 After lunch, with cake, the muse was a bit kinder and I've re-written several passages - hope they'll sound better.
 Best wishes to you all, and thanks for your interest.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

We're trying! (Yes, Stuart, we know!)

As mentioned, the Gift Aid application has been completed. It's a bit early to start watching the post but we are (watching the post).
Another day's work on the next book; a follow-up to 'Chasing Freedom Home' (still on free Kindle offer till the 10th of June).
We're selling a bike carrier on Ebay; a high proportion of the sale price will find its way to The Gambia. There are a couple of fund-raising bikes to be sold when they've had a good clean-up.
We're looking for donations of reading glasses and mobile 'phones, please.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Fingers crossed!

Finally managed to complete the Gift Aid claim on line - with the help of a very helpful person at HMRC. It kept bouncing back at me complete with ERROR messages. Turned out that I had to leave one box blank, even though it demanded filling! Then a little tweaking of spaces in postcodes and it was done. Think I'm going to frame the completion sheet ...
 We need the money - the GOES bank account is very nearly empty. We keep receiving requests for help and we will - as soon as we can. We already tithe our income and can't spare anymore. Please, buy a 'Malinding' Kindle book and help us back into the black (not us, GOES!)
 Anyway, fingers crossed for a speedy cheque from HMRC ...

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Free offer - 'Chasing Freedom Home'

As I promised a few days ago I have put 'Chasing Freedom Home' on free offer for my African friends. I've used your country, some of your names and a lot of your good weather to feature in this Kindle book! Only fair to let you have a free read! You can download it on your PC, laptop or tablet - Amazon have a free app which enables you to do this.
 The story warns what might happen if people in England refuse to vote at a General Election and by default a rabid racist, fascist party comes to power. Africa offers refuge to people escaping death camps and slavery and the characters of the 'Malinding' series of books come to the rescue!
 The free offer starts on Saturday 7h of June and ends on Tuesday 10th of June. I don't object if you wish to buy the book (and the others in the series!) before or after those dates because all the revenue from sales goes into the bank account of GambiaGOES and from there to The Gambia to fund education and health care.
 Best wishes from a rainy Warrington to a sunny Africa!