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September, 2007

Newsletter #17

Vera, Chevele and Anita Rollet.

Vera, Chevele and Anita Rollet

There was no-one I knew except God, but the suffering and the poverty I saw here in Piura broke my heart. What could one human being do to help? (Quote from Anita Goulden.)

Message From the Chairman

Dear Supporters, this is a mid-term Newsletter for 2 reasons. Firstly, readers will know of the recent earthquake in Peru, and the deeply distressing loss of life, injury and destruction. Some have asked whether the home is safe, and we should like to assure everyone that it is. Piura lies several hundred miles to the north of the damaged area, and when we phoned them the day after the event the Chairman of the Committee was able to report that all was well. Secondly, the Christmas cards will be the same as last year, paving the way for a brand new supply of designs from some of the children in 2008. This year they will cost £3 per packet of 10. A form for ordering is enclosed. Three new children have entered the Anita Goulden Home, all with disabilities. At present we do not have details, but we will let you know more about them in our next Newsletter. More volunteers are going to Piura to help the home. A young man, Tom Dougherty, is there at present, and is making himself very useful. In October, after they have walked the Inca Trail, Danielle Welburn and her boyfriend Sean will spend some time in Piura.

Over recent months they have been raising money for the home by collecting in clubs and, brave souls, doing a sponsored parachute jump! If you know of anyone who would like to volunteer their skills to the Home, please do let us know. This week came news of Hugo, whom many who have followed events in the home will remember well. He is a young man who, after a road accident, was able - thanks to you our supporters - to have artificial legs fitted. And he is a wonderful artist, in both paint and sculpture. For some time now Hugo has been able to do just as we hope many of the children and young people in the home will eventually do: he is living independently, with his wife and baby, and earning a living from his art. He still receives regular support from the Trust, and in a message he thanks all those who have made his new life possible. Sallie Morgan, a Trustee, is working on a book of recollections, thoughts and sayings by and about Anita, and hopes to have it ready by the end of the year. Our Patron, the writer Nicholas Shakespeare, has agreed to write a foreword, and John Hatt, one of the original founders of the Trust, will also contribute (incidentally, Nicholas' latest novel, 'Secrets of the Sea', has just been published to great acclaim). If you have a memory of Anita that you would like to share, do please get in touch with our Trustee and Administrator, Annabel Buchan, at the Trust's address. Thank you to all who have an interest in the Anita Goulden Home. Please continue to help us if you can.

My Experience in the Anita Goulden Home

Vera.

Vera

Vera Udally helped in the Home for 6 months last year. Here is an account of her experiences: Hi, my name is Vera Udally. I'm 20 years old and I live in Germany. From August 2006 until March 2007 I lived in Piura, Peru in a Peruvian hostfamily as an exchange student. From Monday until Friday I worked in the Hogar Anita Goulden as a volunteer. The local volunteers of my exchange organisation (AFS) had organized this place for me to work. My experience in the Anita Goulden Home was wonderful! I learned so much and the people living and working there were very nice to me. In the beginning I pretty much had to look for some work to do, because nobody ever told me what to do, even when I asked. Therefore I started helping out in the kitchen and feeding the disabled children. Later I found ways to play and communicate with them. Unfortunately, most of them could move neither their arms nor their hands, which made it difficult to draw for example. But mostly they needed and wanted someone to give them love, time and a lot of patience. That is what I tried to give them.

I often sat down and read fairytales to the children and they all came with their wheelchairs, made a circle around me and were happy, although they didn't understand what I was saying, or did they? Sometimes, during everyday life I had the impression that they understood what I said or even meant to say. The disabled children do have a way of talking, even if it is not with their mouths. Although the Hogar Anita Goulden could do with some more therapists, I realized some changes. There was a boy for example, who never talked, but he was always talked to. We asked him how he was or what he was doing. One day I asked him: "Jaime, how are you?" and he answered: "Fine, and you?" I was so surprised and so happy! Another girl is making good progress in walking. There are also non-disabled children living in the Home. They come from poor families and often had been in contact with violence. Especially the 15 and 16 years old girls need a lot of love. They are very sad and afraid of the world outside the Home. I usually helped them a lot with their English homework (the children there really do need help with their homework), but often the lessons turned out to be a conversation about their fears and their unhappiness.

But since they were all Latin Americans, there was always a lot of room to laugh and I often played cards, football and table-tennis with the children. Everybody there has a huge respect for Anita Goulden. They even see her as their mother. All the people working there always treated everybody the same and gave very much love and patience to the children. During Christmas time they all painted, sewed, cooked and made things to sell. But still, the president and the director of the Home should do more publicity work to find local donors. They all know that they need money, but don't really know how to achieve it. The city of Piura will not help them, although they sometimes went to the town hall, with children and posters to remind the mayor of his promises. I told the volunteers of the exchange organisation that they should always put exchange students into the Anita Goulden Home, because I think, help is definitely needed. I know that the actual situation is difficult, but I hope that there will always be an Anita Goulden Home to give help to the children in need.

Fund-Raising Committee

Elena on wash day.

Elena on wash day

We are in the throes of setting up a Fund-Raising Committee and need several people with appropriate skills to serve on it. If any of you would be prepared to attend a meeting roughly every 2 months in London to help plan and organise fundraising events we would love to hear from you. This committee would also help to raise awareness of the charity. Please contact Annabel Buchan for details.

Support (Formerly Sponsor) a Child

After this scheme was announced in the last newsletter some of you expressed interest in our new scheme. Having given it a lot of thought, we have now decided to rename it "Support a Child". We see the scheme working as follows: Each child and young person has individual needs. Support a Child helps you to focus specifically on where you would like your money to go - perhaps you want to support a child with epilepsy or focus more on learning disabilities. Your donation will be used to support the child, including their food, clothing, medicine and accommodation. The prospective supporter would be sent a description and photograph of every child/young person in the Home. She/he would then chose a child/young person to support and would be asked to fill in a declaration form confirming the amount of money per month the donor would wish to pay (minimum £10). This sum would be paid by standing order. The agreement would remain in place for a minimum of 2 years after which the supporter would be asked whether he/she would be able to continue with this help. In return for this support he/she will receive a photograph, a description of the condition of the child/young person, a 6-monthly letter or drawing and a progress report. Do consider this scheme as they would benefit so much from your help. Please ask Annabel Buchan for the relevant forms and descriptions of the children.

DVDs

We have two DVDs for sale. Two of the films (both on the same DVD) were made from the television films shown in 1993/4. They are excellent and give a very good and moving description of the work of Anita Goulden. The second one was made by Leonora Borg who spent a lot of time in Piura with the children. This is also excellent. I asked one of our supporters what he thought of the film of Anita and he says: "Three generations of our family at the same time watched these films. The appeal and interest was right across the board - admiration for and fascination with Anita Goulden, her person and work - a definite learning experience about Peru - and my wife, who is a medical doctor, was wholly approving of Anita's and her team's basic medical and hygiene methods; and of course the oldest generation among the viewers were impressed with the benign disciplining of the occasionally errant young!" Each DVD costs £11 and includes postage. Please send a cheque made out to The Anita Goulden Trust.

Financial Report by David Thomas

Vicky with two members of staff.

Vicky with two members of staff

It is pleasing to report that, thanks to you, our loyal supporters, the Trust's income from legacies and donations has been coming quite close to covering the monthly funding needs of the Home in Peru. We have been helped in this because we send funds in US dollars, and every pound of donation is currently worth almost 2 dollars. We cannot expect that the exchange rate will always be so favourable to us, so there can be no relaxation of fund-raising efforts. We have been fortunate in recent months to receive contributions from a number of special fund-raising activities, notably including a sponsored sky-dive by volunteer Danielle Welburn and a group of her friends and supporters in Yorkshire. Well done to them, and thank you to all our other donors. The second move of the Home in less than 2 years has been a financial as well as an organisational and emotional strain, but the Committee in Piura has done a magnificent job of keeping the Home running without calling on the Trust for major additional financial support. This has meant that the Trust has kept its reserves at a level that will allow the Trustees to support the Piura Committee in their plans to move the Home out of rented accommodation and into a purpose-built property to give the Home the long term stability it needs. As and when the Trust provides funds for the construction, the Trustees will take steps to ensure that this important grant is permanently applied for the benefit of Anita's children. This project will make considerable inroads into the financial reserves that guarantee uninterrupted support for the Home. We shall then be more than ever dependent on the regular monthly flow of donations from our loyal supporters.

STOP PRESS - News From the Home

Maria Angelicaaged 3 has just arrived at the Home. She is a twin and has severe cerebral palsy. Her mother is 19 years old and their father was shot dead by the police. Ronni is 19 and has been in the Home for several years with extreme physical and mental disabilities. With help from the staff and the physiotherapist he can communicate through gestures, and with language therapy is developing speech. He is desperately in need of a new wheelchair which has to be specially adapted. This chair will cost in the region of one thousand dollars (about £500) and will have to come from Lima. It would be wonderful if one of you could donate this chair to Ronni and perhaps help him with his other physical needs through our Support a Child scheme. He loves music.