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February, 2002

Newsletter #09

Message From the Chairman

2001 was in many ways a very good one for La Sendita, although at the very end it was shadowed, as is the start of this New Year, by Anita's illness and enforced stay in hospital. But she remains cheerful and, as everyone who knows her would expect, continues to think not of herself but only of the children of Piura. Your thoughts, prayers and good wishes are passed on to her, delighting her and giving her strength. The children, too, inevitably have their ups and downs. Josué, who has leukaemia, and whose illness was in remission when I visited in October, is now very poorly again, and cannot see. Everyone at La Sendita, and all La Sendita's friends, will hope for another improvement. But there is much good news. Two young people have recently gained entry to the local university, Rosemary to study graphic design (many will have seen her delightful paintings) while Elena will study nursing. Hugo continues to work for entry to the architecture faculty. Dilmar is at the music academy, and a number of children in the primary school have successfully moved up this year to secondary education. Progress has not just been academic. The dedicated physiotherapists of La Sendita have been gently and constantly at work, with the result that Ivan is starting to walk, which he could not manage before, while Jose Luis has begun to use the parallel bars for exercise. In the UK the Trust has had the immense good fortune to be able to count on the continued support of its devoted friends.

As you can read elsewhere in this newsletter, Tim and Wendy Franey competed in the Inca rally, and made an incredible 15,000 mile journey around Latin America, braving every imaginable sort of road, and frequently doing without roads altogether! This magnificent effort brought the Trust a cheque for £50,000. Wendy Sturgess, Sallie Morgan, and other friends of Anita nobly continued their work on her behalf, and this too you can read about here. Two Trustees, Mark O'Kelly and Patrick Disney, visited La Sendita last February, and I went there in October. Sallie and Richard Morgan are visiting now, and I shall go again in February. Mark O'Kelly also visited the Durrington Christian Fellowship near Salisbury, and spoke to them, with slides, about Anita's work. Drawing on some outside expertise the Trustees are hoping that they will shortly have available a new video about La Sendita, and that it will help to inspire and encourage both old friends and new tso support the work in Piura. The funds we send to Anita are needed to support a staff of around 15 at the children's home, and about 30 (25 teachers and 5 ancillary staff) at the school. It is your help which permits this, you who ensure that La Sendita can go on doing its wonderful work. Thank you for all your support and encouragement. Please continue to help in whatever way you can.

How to Have Fun and Raise Money!

By Wendy Sturgess: When I retired 8 years ago, my circumstances were comfortable enough to allow me to enjoy full-time leisure rather than seek to supplement my income. It therefore seemed a good idea to use any opportunities that came my way to raise cash for my 2 chosen charities, one of these being The Anita Goulden Trust. Not having any real talents, this decision needed some thinking about. My first idea was not originally a fund raise. I offered the loan of my house to friends and relatives when I was away from home. I live in the West Country so people were happy to come, to our mutual benefit - I wasn't leaving an empty house and friends could enjoy a free holiday in lovely surroundings. Upon departure they would leave generous gifts which, though kindly meant, I neither wanted not needed. I therefore suggested that, if they really wished to leave something, a donation to my charities box would give far more pleasure. As the box started to fill up, I began to wonder if there were other ways to speed up the process. How about giving talks? The trouble was I had no expertise. In 1998 I became riveted by a series of talks on the history of the calendar. I decided to read the subject up further and thus the first talk was born.

By now "The Calendar" has done its rounds…time to cast around for another subject. I collect automata and mechanical toys so it was just a question of getting some library books on the topic until I had compiled another talk. This is proving almost too popular as people are encouraged to operate the toys when I take them to various venues, including Retirement Association, Women's Institutes and Townswomen's Guilds. Resulting donations are normally a £15 or £20 cheque, per visit. Next, I considered all the items around the house which I never use and I then held a sale. For this, I also produced various découpaged goods (an enjoyable occupation while watching TV in the evenings), buying pots, bins, tins, vases, address books, photo albums and so on for decorating. I get these at give-away prices from car boot sales, charity shops etc. I also went to a collage workshop and began to make collage pictures, a few of which I have sold. As someone who cannot draw or paint, this creative outlet has given me much enjoyment and it has also resulted in my giving occasional demonstrations and tutoring 2 workshops. Finally, I have just sent a short article to a specialist art magazine and received a generous cheque from them. I get a lot of satisfaction from all the above activity, and the pleasure is greatly enhanced because I know the money will go where it is badly needed. Perhaps readers of this newsletter will be inspired to try similar exciting paths.

Sallie Morgan on Why She Raises Money

I met Anita in January, 1999, when I made a special detour to Piura in order to visit this extraordinary woman (I would call her the Mother Theresa of Peru) whose work featured in the moving Granada documentary of 1992 which made such an impression on all who saw it. My experiences at La Sendita talking to Anita and seeing the children with their varying handicaps made me determined to contribute as much as possible towards meeting their ongoing needs. Since then, many people in this corner of Herefordshire, and beyond, have responded generously to what I have been able to tell them of the plight of so many children in Piura, and Anita's dedicated relief work on their behalf. It is enormously encouraging to see how Anita's story has been spread by word of mouth to inspire fund-raising efforts in other places. Amongst such activities I include the enormous energy of my geese whose eggs sold this year to the tune of £56! As we go to press, Sallie is out in Peru visiting Anita and the children. She will report on her visit in the next newsletter.

Inca Trail Rally, 2001

On 6 October, 2001, around 100 classic cars and modern 4x4s set out from Rio de Janiero's Copacabana Fort to travel through Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Uruquay. Among those taking part were Tim Franey and his wife, Wendy. Tim has been a very loyal supporter of the Trust for some time and he decided to use this event as a fund raiser. After the event he sent us a cheque for £50,000. This is a fantastic amount of money and we are so grateful to him and to his sponsors. Tim writes: After leaving Rio de Janiero at the beginning of October we drove nearly 23,000 kms around the southern half of South America and arrived back in Rio on the 29th November. The route took us across southern Brazil to the border with Argentina and Paraguay, at the Iguazu Falls. Then we drove across the Grand Chaco of northern Argentina, along roads that were absolutely straight for hundreds of miles, to the foothills of the Andes. We arrived in a town called Jujuy, about 100 miles from the southern border of Bolivia. Unfortunately for us we were given the wrong instructions for the drive to Bolivia and headed off at 5.30am to the little used border town of Bermejo, whilst everyone else crossed into Bolivia through another crossing point about 100 miles to the west.

We were on our own, with no back up, in some of the most unforgiving terrain in the whole of South America. We entered Bolivia on a good tarmac road, which, after 10 miles suddenly became a dirt track, not much wider than the car, running through dense forest. There were no cars, trucks or people. The track continued for nearly 100 miles rising up in the Andes, with only the occasional village consisting of a few mud huts. The few Bolivians we saw looked at us with amazement, which didn't give us much confidence! We finally rose out of the forest to the beginning of the Bolivian Altaplano, the High Plain of the Andes, at over 12,000 ft. and drove through beautiful wild country with volcanoes, no trees, and only a few small villages. The road had become much worse with potholes, rocks and many rivers which we had to drive through as there were no bridges. The few bridges we encountered didn't look very safe and we crossed our fingers as we drove over them! As evening came we had our first puncture. In an effort to change the wheel quickly we made the mistake of taking the flat tyre off without putting a block under the car and the car fell off the jack onto the ground. Luckily there was very little damage done, but it took us an hour to jack the car up and change the wheel.

It was now 10 o'clock at night and we still had 200 miles to go through some of the wildest countryside in the Andes. Two hours later - another puncture! The temperature had dropped to freezing and the wind, which whistled down from the high Andean peaks, froze our hands as we changed the wheel. Adding to our problems were the trucks that drove past us as we changed it, blinding us with huge clouds of dust, Fortunately, this time we avoided any disasters and, with the new tyre safely fitted, we headed off north at around midnight. The altaplano at night is a very dark and bleak place. Most road, or should I say track, junctions had no signposts or any indication of which way we should go. We would look to see which track looked more used and head down that one. River crossings were especially difficult as we would drive down the bank into the river and not be able to see the other side nor know where the road exited the river. Somehow we overcame all these difficulties and finally arrived in Potosi (the highest city of its size anywhere in the world, at over 14,000 feet) at 3am - nearly 22 hours after leaving Argentina! The rally had well and truly started. We crossed Bolivia into Peru via Lake Titicaca. On to La Paz and then Cusco and Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. We arrived in Lima on the 22nd October, nearly 3 weeks after leaving Rio.

We were met by Roger Brown, the Chairman of the Trust who had flown down from Piura in northern Peru where Anita's home is located. With Roger were Pali and 3 of the children, Hugo, Dilma and Esther. None of the children had ever been outside Piura, let alone flown in an aeroplane, or visited the capital of Peru so it was very, very exciting for them. Roger Brown spoke very movingly about Anita's work and her achievements and I was delighted to hand him a cheque for £50,000 and asked him to pass on to everyone in Piura, especially Anita who was not well enough to travel, the best wishes of all who had helped to raise such a magnificent sum. We were delighted that Roger Hart, the British Ambassador, was able to be present and the ceremony was filmed for TV as well as being covered by local reporters. A whole crowd of Inca Trail participants attended and many made on the spot donations to The Trust. The occasion was a huge success. After leaving Lima we headed south through Peru and all the way down Chile to Tierra del Fuego. Two days in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, and then the long run back up through Patagonia to Buenos Aires. We crossed the River Plate, famous for the battle named after it in World War II, into Uruguay. The short run across Uruguay brought us back into Brazil for the final week up the beautiful Atlantic coast of southern Brazil, and the return to Rio after 56 days. The photograph shows Hugo, Dilma and Esther between Tim Franey and Roger Brown with the presentation cheque.

Flower Remedies

The Bach Centre has very kindly donated La Sendita a box of selected Flower Remedies. Anita has terrific faith in these and the Rescue Remedy is the most popular one. They give one a positive outlook on life and help to manage the emotional demands of everyday life. Anita and some of the children with emotional disorders have used them for years with great benefit. We are so grateful to The Bach Centre for helping in this way. And thank all of you as well for your huge support. As I have said many times before, it is impossible to thank each and every one of you who have sent donations (unless you tick the appropriate box) so this is my way of thanking you.

The Container

Another container will go out to Anita in the fairly near future, so if you have any blankets, sheets, clothes for babies, children and adults, send them to us here in London. They must be clean and in very good condition — Annabel A Buchan, Administrator.

Finance Report

Thanks to Tim Franey's donation we will not need to sell investments in the very near future. We send $20,000 a month out to La Sendita and sometimes we have to send extra for medicines, operations etc. However, unless the level of donations increases in 6 months' time it will be impossible to maintain this level without the Trust's funds running out within the space of a very few years.

Christmas Cards

Next year we are hoping to have our own range of Christmas cards drawn by some of the children. If you would like some to sell at your coffee mornings etc. do let me know.