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October, 2009

Newsletter #20

Hugo working on his Head of Christ with help from his son.

Hugo working on his Head of Christ
with help from his son

Message from Roger Brown, Chairman

It has been a long time since our last Newsletter, but I would like to assure readers that we have not been inactive. Between them, your Trustees have managed to make three visits to Piura over the past year, and have, we hope, begun to put in place changes at the Anita Goulden Home which will ensure better support for the children and better use of your donations. Maritza Pairazaman is from Piura and ran a children's charity. She has drawn up a report on the home for us, we have accepted her recommendations, and we are now doing our best to get them implemented. Each child has been individually assessed and has his or her individual programme of treatment and development which is excellent for them. Also, regular audits will ensure that management of the home and use of funds are as efficient as we can make them. There have been changes in the Trust in the UK, and in the management committee in Piura.

Here at home Leonora Borg is stepping down as a Trustee and will be replaced by Victor Riega, her husband. We shall greatly miss Leo's energy and commitment, and above all her wonderful relationship with the children, but we shall have full benefit of Victor's local knowledge (he is from Piura), expertise (he is a lawyer, with strong ties to the home) and, of course, his language skills! And we are very glad to know that Leonora will continue to support the Trust in every other way, just as before. In Piura Dr Amarilis Ramirez has stepped down as Chair, and been replaced by Engineer Jorge Castro. Alicia, the Director of the Home, has joined the committee, together with one or two other new members including Rosario Granda, a social worker (Rosario herself has a disability) and, very encouragingly, Hugo Chanta, whom regular readers will remember as a former resident of the Home (with prosthetic legs provided by your donations) and a very talented artist who for a number of years produced our Christmas cards. Speaking of which, may I urge readers to have a look at this years' cards and, if you possibly can, to order some - I feel sure you will agree that there is still plenty of artistic talent left in the Home!

There is wonderful news, too, of other young residents whom you may remember (see below). None of these life-enhancing developments would have been possible without you, our donors. Finally, as usual, a word about funding. Generally each month the home costs more to run that we receive in donations, and yet, despite Mr Micawber's prediction, the result is not (not yet) misery! And that is mainly for three reasons - as mentioned above, we try to ensure that our funds are well used; we have, in our Treasurer David Thomas, a highly skilled and experienced international banker who knows how best to look after them; and finally because you, without whom there would be no Anita Goulden Home, have not forgotten the children of Piura. Thank you for your help, and please continue to support us if possible so that we can continue to defy the operation of the Micawber Principle!

News of the Children and Adults

Miguel with Ana Alicia.

Miguel with Ana Alicia

Hugo Chanta - Readers will know that Hugo Chanta came into Anita's care as a traumatised child of 11 years, having lost his right leg and left foot in a horrible road accident. His subsequent experiences are described in 'When the Chilalo Bird Sings' and are written from both his and Anita's point of view. We have recently learned that Hugo has passed his final examinations at the Art College in Piura with flying colours and is on course to live an independent life as an art teacher with his wife and little son. His paintings are expressive and powerful but he wants to be a sculptor. Hugo's joy and gratitude first to Anita and then to all the supporters of the Trust in England have been clearly expressed in his emails to the Trust and in the many tributes he has composed to honour the memory of Anita. Here is an extract from another he wrote in February this year. "When I talk about Ann Goulden I recall an angel staring hard straight at me so that I might see that window into life which has been marked out by my own experience of living. All of us children who enjoyed our early years had her by our side. She possessed so much sensitivity that she could manage us very well. She knew exactly when to make you face up to the hardships in life because she was not just concerned with feeding and clothing you and putting a roof over your head.

Karina's fifteenth birthday.

Karina's fifteenth

Even more she prepared you for life and that was the huge task she undertook on our behalf with much love, strength and dedication. "We had great times with her as well as we grew up together - moments full of fun and stories." Eduar Miguel Jimenez Peña - Miguel came to the home when he was four, having been rescued from a violent environment where his mother feared his father would one day cause severe harm to their children. He is now 22. Currently, he is in the final year of administration at a university in Piura. He volunteers at the home and additionally works as administrative assistant. He hopes to contribute to the work the home does and see it grow, as Anita always wanted. Karina Montalban Franco - After an operation to her hips, this year, she has stopped using a wheelchair and now walks with the aid of crutches and other devices attached to her legs. She still has difficulty walking but we expect that in the near future she will be able to walk with the aid of crutches only. She has improved her reading and writing skills. Karina likes making fashion accessories. She has recently celebrated her fifteenth birthday which is an important landmark in Latin America.

Ana Alicia Morales Flores - On admission to the home, she was diagnosed with a clubfoot condition and malnutrition as well. She underwent an operation, however she still needs to use some devices to support the lower part of her legs. There is no definitive prognosis, as she has also been diagnosed with congenital polyneuropathy, which could affect her ability to walk and move generally if she is not given adequate physical therapy and alimentation. She has improved her intellectual skills and motor coordination ability. As a consequence of the polyneuropathy, she still has difficulty with movement of her fingers. Rosmery Hildago Gonzales - Rosmery has now graduated in Law. She too has had surgery and no longer needs a wheelchair. She hopes to find a job with a law firm, and a room where she can live independently.

Dedicated Fundraisers for the Trust

Pat B. from Bodenham and Pat J. from Hallow have organised coffee mornings, teas and soup lunches in their respective homes for a combined period of more than 30 years. Pat B. with her husband, both now octogenarians, have given the proceeds of their Wednesday soup lunches throughout a greatly extended Advent to the Trust. A corner of their fascinating 300 year old cottage is devoted to pictures and paintings from Piura. As a fine botanical artist Pat has also frequently donated the proceeds from the sale of her beautiful botanical cards. She offered advice and encouragement to Hugo when he was looking for ways to qualify as an artist. One of his pictures hangs alongside photos of his friends from Anita's home. Pat J. has regularly arranged magnificent coffee mornings in her home near Worcester, inspiring further fundraising events among friends in the village. With tables groaning beneath the weight of many delicious cakes donated by supporters and an extensive selection of tempting goods for purchase it was no surprise to learn that over £600.00 was raised on the last occasion. Pat too has an informative display about Anita and her work enabling newcomers to learn more about the aims of the Trust. We are deeply grateful to these wonderful ladies and their supporters who have contributed so much over so many years towards meeting the needs of the children living in what we now call the Hogar Anita Goulden in Piura. There are of course many more of you who do so much to help us. You know who you are and we are so grateful to you.

Trustees - An Appreciation, and Would You Like to be One?

No charitable organisation can do its work properly - or even survive - without a group of people (it may be small or large, the members may be called trustees, directors, committee members, many different things) who try to keep its origins and aims in mind, and do their best to carry out its objectives. The Anita Goulden Trust has been helping children with disabilities in Peru for more than twenty years, and has been a charity since 1991. To keep going it depends principally on three things: the inspiration of the life and work of Anita Goulden, the help of those who support and donate, and its trustees. These newsletters often speak about Anita, and express our gratitude to you, our readers and supporters. This time I think a word of thanks and appreciation to my fellow trustees is in order, firstly because I believe that, for a small charity, or even for a larger one, we have the best committee it is possible to have, and secondly because we are going through a time of change. Mark O'Kelly, one of our earliest members, who originally worked as a volunteer at the home in Piura in the 1980's while Anita was alive, and has been a staunch supporter ever since, has regretfully stood down as a trustee so that he can better deal with the increasing demands of work (full time with another charity, Childhood First) and a family

Kristina's Run.

Kristina's Run

I well remember how Mark took me on my first visit to Piura in 1998, and later suggested that I should join the Trust. We shall miss him greatly, we wish him and his delightful family all good things in the future, and we shall certainly continue to keep in touch. So now there is a vacancy: would you like to fill it? Of course it would be an enormous help if you happen to have some experience of working with children and young people with disabilities, and an even greater contribution if this were combined with some knowledge of Spanish, but the key requirement goes back to what I said at the beginning - to feel the importance of continuing the work Anita began, and that, I know, is something which many of our readers believe. Do please let us know if you would like to help, or if you know someone else who might.

Kristina's Run

Like many, I had a long list of New Years' Resolutions at the start of 2009, and, predictably, one of these was to keep fit. However, with a busy schedule at University, consisting of a part-time job, various positions in societies and also trying to do well in my studies, I was finding it hard to achieve my goal. I decided that I needed something to aim for. I had always enjoyed running, and knew that there were lots of big events that I could sign up to which would provide me with the incentive that I was looking for. When I signed up to the Asics British 10k, back in March, it was far enough away in the future for me not to have to get too worried about it, but enough time for me to build up my fitness so that I could do well. The British 10k seemed to be the perfect run, long enough to be a challenge, and through London, so I would be running through famous streets and past historic landmarks. When signing up, one of the questions was, "Which charity would you like to run for?" I knew, without a doubt, I would be running for the Anita Goulden Trust. This would be a huge motivation for me, as I could just imagine all of the children at the home, and how they would all benefit from any sponsorship money that I managed to raise.

With that decided, I spent the next three months building up my fitness and trying to get my head round my decision to run a distance that I had never even contemplated before, and wasn't entirely sure I would be able to do! The morning of the run dawned, and I think the true scale of what I was about to do only hit me on the journey up to London. The Tube from Richmond was full of runners, all travelling up to race, and everybody was wearing the official race T-shirt. The atmosphere was one of excitement and anticipation, and you could feel that everybody was looking forward to proudly supporting their charity down the 10K course. It was only then that I began to realise what 30,000 people looked like when all grouped together, and I have to admit that at this stage the experience seemed a little daunting. Unlike the majority of the participants, I was running on my own, so I didn't find it too hard to get myself into a good position close to the front as we crossed the start line. There was a really good feeling among all the entrants, with everybody cheering on the elite runners who were started off before us, and fellow participants who were running for the same charity. The course began at Hyde Park Corner and from there proceeded down Pall Mall to Trafalgar Square, along the Embankment to the City, passing St Paul's and Tower Bridge, and then via the London Eye to Whitehall.

Christmas Carols at Waterloo Station.

Christmas Carols at Waterloo Station

The entire course was lined with supporters, amongst them my parents and Annabel Buchan who all did a great job in cheering me on. We were played motivational music at points along the course, and all of the spectators were supportive, even towards the runners who they didn't know personally. I got into a good stride early on, and managed to maintain it throughout, which was undoubtedly how I was able to complete the race in 56 minutes, without walking once, a huge personal achievement for me as this was the first 10k that I have ever run! I found the whole experience rather emotional, and extremely rewarding. The amount of people running, each for their own cause, which are all just as important to them as the Anita Goulden Trust is to me, brought more than a few tears to my eyes. Thinking about how much money people had sponsored me to complete the run was an enormous incentive. I felt I owed it not only to those generous people, but also to the children in Pirua, to do this run to the best of my ability. I would like to thank everyone who sponsored me. I managed to raise an incredible £797.69 for the Anita Goulden Trust, which was more than I could ever have hoped for, so I am incredibly grateful to everybody who donated. My Justgiving page is still accepting donations, so it you would still like to sponsor me, please visit: Thank you all once again.

Christmas Carols at Waterloo Station

We had very good fun singing carols last December on Waterloo Station during the rush hour. We raised £400 in an hour and a half. This year we will do something different and we will let you know what that will be nearer the time.

Financial Report

Difficult economic times pose a challenge for all charities. Because the Trust's donations come principally from the UK, whilst costs are in Peru, we are exposed to the rapid changes that have occurred in the value of the pound. Additionally, for us as for all charities, falling interest rates have reduced what we can earn on any deposits. I am pleased to be able to report that we have partially protected ourselves from these developments by constant and careful management of our funds. Knowing that these are difficult times for many of our supporters, we are more than ever grateful for your generosity in having kept up the value of your donations. This is vitally important to maintaining the funding which provides the Home with the assurance that it will be able to continue to operate and make plans for the future.