It's a bit arrogant to assume the whole world knows about GOES!
So: GOES (Gambian Occasional Emergency Support) is a charity, registered for Gift Aid with Her Majesty's Revenue and Excise & Customs No. XT7385.
We aim to help people in need who live in The Gambia, West Africa. We help with school fees, health care, food, medical supplies. We have put roofs on storm damaged houses, brought fresh water to a village clinic, paid the wages of cleaners, helped students with school and college fees, given grants to seriously ill patients enabling them to travel abroad for treatment. We've been doing this for the last 12 years.
Why do we do it? Because we can and it needs doing.
What do we get out of doing it? A lot of headaches and a great feeling when something goes right!
We also have the pleasure and privilege of meeting wonderful people, and learning much about life from them, both here and there.
What don't we get out of it? Any form of financial reward. We pay all our own expenses - travel, accommodation, running costs and no, we do not gain any income from the charity! If you donate a pound or a penny you can be sure that 100% of that money goes asap to some one in need of it.
Next week we are taking medical instruments, donated by our local doctors and nurses, to the Victoria Teaching Hospital, in Banjul, and to Mandinari Village Clinic. The clinic has already received a donation, given by friends, to equip it with a wide range of anti-bacterial gels, gloves, wipes etc. There is no case of Ebola in The Gambia at the moment but it's as well to be prepared.
We're taking funds on behalf of another friend to equip a village school with educational materials - and pay the teachers.
We will, if past trips are anything to go by, come home exhausted and ready to sleep for a week.
Sorry - rant over!