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May, 2008

Newsletter #18

The Staff.

The Staff

The hardness and cruelty and indifference towards the sufferings of others by many people here make me realise my aloneness in this country. Then my mind swiftly flies to God and everything else melts away. (Quote from Anita Goulden.)

Message From the Chairman

Dear Supporters, it is a great privilege for me to be connected to The Anita Goulden Trust, and among the main reasons for this are the enormous pleasure and gratitude I feel as a result of the efforts of all those involved. For instance, who can fail to read Leo Borg's account of her most recent visit to Piura (in this Newsletter) and not be full of admiration for the devoted staff of the home, who with their care, patience and skill, have brought about such tremendous improvements in the condition of many of the children and young people. And then there are you, the readers of this newsletter, who support us so loyally. This edition brings news of two wonderful examples: Ed Brumby has gone to Piura to see for himself the home which he has long supported, and while he is there to do what he can to help; while Tony Spall has taken on the challenge of climbing the three highest mountains in England in a single day next July, so as to raise funds for the home. Now there's a brave venture which deserves support! And your support is certainly needed.

As you will read in the report from David Thomas, our Treasurer, costs in Piura are increasing, and prices are going up, while the need for what the home does remains as great as ever. It is a worrying situation. But, while of course not everyone can demonstrate their wish to help in quite such committed or spectacular ways as Ed and Tony, many readers have supported us by other means over a long time, and in doing so have made possible the only thing that matters: a better life and greater opportunities for children and young people who face the gravest difficulties. So please do continue to help us if you can. I must mention too, my colleagues the Trustees, because I never fail to feel grateful for their commitment and expertise, whether financial, linguistic, a knowledge and understanding of Peru, devotion to the children, or, in the case of Annabel Buchan our Administrator, untiring dedication and effort over a long time to ensuring the continuation of Anita Goulden's life's work. Thank you, everyone.

Leo Borg's 4th Visit To Piura (March 2008)

Karla walking.

Karla walking

One of my favourite things is knocking on the door of Hogar Anita Goulden. This year, I was welcomed by many friends and also three new faces - Marie Angela, Dalgair & Analcia. Marie Angela is an enchanting five year old who loves music; Dalgair is a very thin and serious young man who is very gentle. Both have cerebral palsy. Analicia is a temporary resident in the Hogar. Aged three, she arrived last year unable to walk, but thanks to the Hogar, she was operated on and is now in convalescence. Everyone is doing well and the development of some of the children and young people is astounding. Joni Javier has grown enormously. Karla has stopped self-harming and started walking with a frame. Chavela can now lift her right hand on her own. Roni can pass a hoop from one hand to the other. Jaime answers the telephone. Karina walks with leg braces and crutches. Vicki feeds herself. Every day the staff work tirelessly to help the children and young people take one step further and results are really showing.

All the disabled children started school again in March 2008. During the summer months (December to March) they took trips to the park, and did a little art and studying. I took everyone to the cinema, which was huge fun. We went to see The Water Horse and everyone was mesmerised for two hours. It is especially good entertainment for those with sight and hearing problems as the screen is huge and the volume loud. Afterwards, we went for chicken and chips with some of the children. The older girls Brenda, Cindy, Maribel and Esther have all moved out of the Hogar into rented accommodation as all are over eighteen years old. The Hogar continues to support them both financially (with their studies and food) and emotionally (mentoring). The young people constantly visit the Hogar. Brenda and Cindy are working and studying; Maribel and Esther are hoping to commence their studies at university in September 2008. Miguel is living in the Hogar and studying Administration; Rosemarie also lives in the Hogar and has nearly completed her law degree. Cezar is living and working in Lima and sent a Christmas present to the children in 2007.

Hugo continues with his art degree. He is selling paintings and making a good name for himself as a local artist! He also teaches art in the Hogar. One of my highlights was during a meeting I had with the staff. I asked the staff what they feel their biggest strength is and they all replied, ‘we work so well as a team to help the children'. Staff are developing their skills through external training courses and also imparting their knowledge to each other through in-house workshops. The committee now comprises seven members, who meet on a weekly basis. Their biggest new project is considering building a new Hogar for the children, which is especially suited to the needs of disabled children and young people. One of my main focuses was discussing this exciting prospect with the committee, who we hope will have positive developments to report on in the coming months, including a possible land donation. Committee, staff and children are all enthusiastic!

Fund-Raising

At Christmas.

At Christmas

The Young fund-raisers - Last term, St. Philip's School in London raised over £800 for the Trust. This is a Roman Catholic school and emphasis is very much put on charity. So each term a special charity is chosen and last term they chose The Anita Goulden Trust. The boys (and their mothers I suspect!) baked cakes and sold them at one of their regular events. Later in the term some of the boys put on a Talent Show and charged an entrance and participation fee; and a recipe book was compiled by two of the boys and a sister of one of them which raised £335. The boys are aged between 7 and 13 and I think it is amazing that so much was raised in such a short time. Several church groups, Scrabble Groups and coffee mornings have raised several hundred pounds and all this money goes towards the maintenance and upkeep of the home, as well as supporting the children and young adults. We had a very good response to our appeal for a wheelchair for Ronni. He is very happy now and thanks you all so much.

A Sponsored Climb

THE EVENT: Tony Spall, a long time supporter of The Anita Goulden Trust, is putting his support into practice by demonstrating just what can be done through energy and determination. He will climb the three highest mountains in England in ONE day during the first week of July 2008. The mountains are Scafell Pike (3,210 ft), Helvellyn (3,118 ft) and Skiddaw (3,053 ft). We need sponsorship: Your support will help the Anita Goulden Trust to continue its vital work to provide funds for Hogar Anita Goulden in Piura, northern Peru. If you feel you can collect sponsorship from your neighbours and friends, please ask Annabel Buchan for a sponsorship form. Otherwise please send cheques made out to The Anita Goulden Trust and send to 144 Bronsart Road, London SW6 6AB. Please indicate on the envelope or inside it that this is for sponsoring Tony Spall. We need to encourage him as much as possible and so the more money we can raise for him, the better. PLEASE HELP.

Financial Report by David Thomas

Brenda, Katty and Karina.

Brenda, Katty and Karina

Over the past several years, with the invaluable help of your donations, the Trust has been able to meet the financial needs of the Home in Piura without running down the financial reserves that are needed to guarantee continuity of funding. There are now signs that this happy position may come under strain. Paradoxically, this is at least in part because of the recent success of the Peruvian economy. Cost of inflation in Peru has recently forced the local committee to ask for an increase in the monthly funding that we provide, and we are also now sending money to cover a further year of rent on the existing Home, and the purchase of a minibus that is badly needed for transporting the children and servicing the Home. On top of these calls on our resources, the strengthening in the exchange rate of the Peruvian currency against the pound means that our income from donations, legacies and investments, which are mostly in Sterling, does not go as far as it did.

As a consequence, we need to step up fund raising if we are not to face an eventual reduction in the vital support that we give to the Home and its children. Elsewhere in this newsletter you can read about new fundraising initiatives that are already being planned and how you can support them. With a view to helping the local committee better plan the future of the Home, we have proposed to give them, for the first time, a written commitment of funding into the medium term, subject to their meeting certain basic governance standards and operational requirements. This commitment could also extend to the funding of a new, purpose built Home as and when the local committee is ready to proceed with such an investment. All of the above depends entirely on the continued support of our donors, for which the Trustees are enormously grateful. As you will read in the report from David Thomas, our Treasurer, costs in Piura are increasing, and prices are going up, while the need for what the home does remains as great as ever. It is a worrying situation. But, while of course not everyone can demonstrate their wish to help in quite such committed or spectacular ways as Ed and Tony, many readers have supported us by other means over a long time, and in doing so have made possible the only thing that matters: a better life and greater opportunities for children and young people who face the gravest difficulties.

So please do continue to help us if you can. I must mention too, my colleagues the Trustees, because I never fail to feel grateful for their commitment and expertise, whether financial, linguistic, a knowledge and understanding of Peru, devotion to the children, or, in the case of Annabel Buchan our Administrator, untiring dedication and effort over a long time to ensuring the continuation of Anita Goulden's life's work. Thank you, everyone.