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April, 2001

Newsletter #08

It is nearly 10 years since the Trust was granted charitable status by the Charity Commission and 12 years since the lives of the few children living with Anita in a single room were changed. Anita's work has multiplied several times over and the children in her care at La Sendita and the pupils coming in from the shanty towns to the school have benefited enormously, thanks to your generosity. Our appeal last year did not quite meet our target so we must make an extra effort this year. Our Chairman, Patrick Disney, and Mark O'Kelly went out to see Anita this year at the home.

P.D. Writes

The last time that I had been in Piura was in 1986 when Nicholas Shakespeare and I had first seen Anita in her single room caring for 5 disabled children. It was marvellous to see for myself the house that had been bought through the donations to the Trust. Not only is it in a good area, and near to the school, but it is spacious with a pretty little garden (tended by Cesar) in the front and a large yard at the back. The ground floor is used by the disabled children who are looked after by the eight nurses who come every day; upstairs there are rooms for the abandoned children who have been rescued by Anita. The house is well kept, friendly and dominated, in the best sense, by Anita who keeps a close eye on everything although at the moment she is recovering from an illness and is not very mobile. The 2 days that Mark and I were in Piura were mostly spent talking to Anita and the children, visiting the school and being beaten at football! The important thing, which can only be realised through a visit, is how successful the home is in providing a secure, caring and disciplined environment where disabled and abandoned children live and sleep. The school, which was on holiday, provides education, and most importantly, food and books, free to everyone.

In spite of the holiday, Mark and I saw some of the classes at work and there were touching tributes to the donors who had given so much to the Trust by many of the children. Hugo, who is getting on extremely well with his new legs, played the guitar and led the assembly in song. Mark, who can speak Spanish, gave our thanks. One of the reasons for our visit was to explain the financial situation of the Trust to Anita. The responsibility of the Trust is to raise money and to send it to Anita for her charitable work. The tremendous generosity of so many people in the UK has meant that for some years we have been able to send $20,000 a month. However, with the purchase of the land next door on which Anita is hoping to build a rehabilitation centre, and the reduction in the level of donations over the last few years it will only be possible to maintain this level for another 14 months - it would have been less than this if we had not had the response from the recent appeal. In 14 months' time the reserves will be expended and the level will go down to approximately $12,000 a month. Anita hopefully will come to the UK later in the year to help with some fundraising. We were able, during our visit, to see the pictures painted by the children, the indomitable spirit of Carlos Paul, who is now 25, the cheerful nature of everyone involved in the project and above all the hope that Anita has given to the children who previously had none.

They brought a picture back with them which has been painted by Rosemary. She is paralysed from the waist down and, due to problems with bed sores, is confined to lying on her stomach all day long and is unable to use a wheelchair. She has been at La Sendita for 12 years, attends the school and is an accomplished artist. Her paintings, in oil, are lovely, bright and full of movement and if anyone would like to buy this painting please write to Annabel Buchan and suggest a price. She has a colour photograph of it which you might like to see first. It measures approximately 20 ins. x 24 ins. and the colours are orangy-brown and green. It is unframed. Mark found a big improvement in the children he last saw 2 years ago. Pedro Pablo fell off a donkey several years ago and broke his leg very severely. Sadly his leg was left untreated which resulted in an infection of the bone, part of which had to be removed. This has left one leg 6 inches shorter than the other. He needs an operation which can only be performed in the United States. Trinidad came to La Sendita several years ago with multiple disabilities. She lay in a coma for 2 years until one day, as Anita was passing by, she opened her eyes. She is now 16 years old and very much more aware of her surroundings. Ivan also has multiple disabilities and at 8 years old is just learning to walk. Jose Luis has been at La Sendita for 2 years. He was left alone, lying on the floor at home while his mother went out to work in the market. As a result of this poor positioning, his head is malformed.

Anita's love and attention has improved his condition and he now laughs and joins in the games with the other children. Dilma has completed her secondary education in spite of having poor sight in one eye and no sight in the other. She is studying music in order to achieve her ambition of teaching music. She has been at La Sendita for about 12 years. Paty is a little girl who was thrown away when a baby and found in the rubbish. She is mentally disabled, blind, epileptic and has several other problems. Nobody wanted her but somebody in Chiclayo mentioned Anita's name and Paty arrived at La Sendita without a name, without an age and completely abandoned She was just skin and bones when she was brought in and is now putting on weight and enjoying life. Paco, whose father is in prison, was brought to Anita because several members of his family wanted to kill him and refused to give him anything to eat or drink. His aunt managed to escape with him and on arrival at the police post explained that she was taking him to Anita. The police let her pass saying "Take him to the gringa. Let her save him." They arrived at La Sendita, the child wrapped in a sheet and weighing just a few pounds. Anita immediately alerted the doctor and a team of specialists arrived. They saved the child who is very lively and a happy little boy.

Fundraising

We are so grateful for all the donations you have sent during the past year but sadly we did not reach our goal of the extra £60,000 a year we need to keep going. However, several of you raised the amounts you donate by standing order and this has made a terrific difference. The fund-raising events have been varied and interesting - Scrabble Clubs, fashion shows, boxes in surgeries, and one husband went so far as to have part of his anatomy pierced in aid of Anita Goulden. But 2 stories stand out: Nick Morgan of Llandrindod Wells, aged 16, has special needs. He is passionately concerned with the welfare of children and over the past 5 years has raised £3,500 for charity. Early last year he decided to learn the piano and had been playing for only 3 months when he raised over £340 for the Trust as the result of a sponsored piano playing effort! He had been inspired by a video he had seen of Anita's work. He is a very special boy and we are so grateful to him.

Walking From John O'Groats to Lands End

Janet Watson walked with her husband from John O'Groats to Lands End. This is her story: "We Watsons are great walkers. We love being out on the hills and we love wild camping. For some years we had talked about doing an End-to-End walk and the year 2000 seemed a good time to do it. Night after night during the winter months we pored over maps planning the route. We were not limited to time but we thought the journey would probably take us about 3 months. By Easter our schedule was complete. We posted maps and food parcels off to friends and Youth Hostels for collection en route and decided to start walking from John O'Groats on May 1st. Friends and family wished us luck but thought we were mad. "Didn't anyone tell you there was a bus?" someone said! As we left home at 6:15 am on April 27th to journey to Scotland we heard the cuckoo for the first time - what a good omen. My old Granny always said "Whatever you are doing when you first hear the cuckoo, you will be doing for the rest of the summer"! By starting on May 1st we hoped to be through Scotland before the midges arrived. We would camp most of the time but use Youth Hostels too and I was hoping for the odd B & B from time to time!

Our route took us across the North Coast from John O'Groats to Tongue where we climbed Ben Loyal (2,504ft) before setting out down the centre of Scotland to Inverness - through the Cairngorms and on to Edinburgh. At Edinburgh we stayed with friends - had a rest day - bliss - a bit of culture - wonderful - we visited the Scottish Portrait Gallery. On we went across the Southern Upland Way to Moffat and over to Carlisle. Friends from Hereford joined us as we crossed the border, which was half-way across a disused viaduct over the River Esk. The sun shone, Rob produced a wee dram and there was much merriment. It had taken us a month to walk through Scotland. The weather had been good and we had heard the call of the curlew all the way down. It had been magic. From Carlisle we went through the Lakes which were wet, and busy too, as it was Spring Bank Holiday Week, and down through Lancashire where 2 friends joined us for 10 days. Wild camping had not been a problem in Scotland but it was different in Lancashire and we sometimes found ourselves camping on a canal towpath which actually was very pleasant.

Shropshire was beautiful, and then we were on Offa's Dyke - home territory. We camped in a friend's garden at Kington only 20 miles from home. Many friends from our village of Stoke Lacy came out to spend a very merry evening with us. We went across the Black Mountains, down the Usk Valley, into Somerset, then Devon. We crossed Dartmoor with 3 friends on my 64th birthday finishing the day with a wonderful birthday supper and bed with friends at Tavistock. Finally came Cornwall, walking along the South Coastal Path. On our last day we flew along and camped in a little cove just before Land's End on our last night. We were up early arriving at Land's End at exactly 9 am on July 14th. I expected to be feeling excited and jumping for joy but it wasn't like that at all. We both had a sense of anti-climax, wishing our journey did not have to end and really feeling quite sad. We had walked nearly 900 miles keeping mainly off roads - no blisters and I still had my same pair of boots. Mike, however, was on his third pair! We didn't set out to walk for a charity but a friend said "You can't walk all that way for nothing - think of a charity"! Other friends took up the cry and before I knew what was happening I was - Walking for Anita."

Juan Jose Chuguisengo

At the beginning of August last year the Iberian and Latin American Music Society (ILAMS) invited a young Peruvian pianist to play in London during the Summer Festival with all proceeds going towards the Anita Goulden Trust. Juan José Chuquisengo, who asked for no fee, played absolutely brilliantly and we are so grateful to him for sharing his skills with us. Although we did not raise a vast amount of money, it introduced Anita to several people to whom she was unknown. We hope that Juan José will go far and expand his horizons.

The Container

Our thanks to all of you who took the trouble to send items of clothing, books, blankets etc. to be sent on to Anita. Due to unforeseen circumstances, it was difficult to send a container last year. However, the problem has now been resolved and everything is now on its way to Anita. I know she will be so grateful to you all. As this is a new system perhaps we can wait to see how well it works before asking you for more clothing).

Taking the Inca Trail

Timothy Franey, a keen support of the Trust, is taking part in one of the world's great motoring adventures; the Inca Trail. Timothy and his crew will leave Rio de Janiero on 6th October 2001 driving a Toyota Land Cruiser in this 15,000 mile challenge. If all goes well he will arrive in Lima on 22nd October for a rest day on the 23rd and because all monies raised for him from sponsorship will go towards the Trust it is hoped that Anita or her representatives will be there to meet him! If you would like to know more about this adventure, details can be found on the website: http://www.hero.org.uk and when there click on Inca Trail, or ring Annabel Buchan at the Trust.