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October, 2011

Newsletter #22

Ivan and Nuria.

Message from Roger Brown, Chairman

Over the last year the accent in Piura has been on change. Firstly, we purchased a new house, thanks to donations from you, our loyal supporters. After five years of moving around rented properties the home has its own base once again. And all agree that it is a huge improvement. There is more room, better facilities and the children, young people and staff are all much happier and more comfortable. More recently, staff changes. Carolina, the Director, has been replaced by Lorena Seminario Benites. Even the cook has changed, but fortunately it seems that everyone is very happy with the new meals! With a donation from our wonderful, stalwart and long standing supporter, Ed Brumby, the children are getting some live entertainment, including clowns!

They went on an expedition to an amusement park in Catacaos, and they are excitedly preparing banners and getting ready to take part in the parade through the town to mark International Disability Day in Peru on 16 October. And it is clear that the excellent local committee in Piura is not only managing the home in the best possible way, but is keeping the strictest eye on its funds, making economical use of them, and stretching them ever further. Regular readers will recall Casa Anita, the house rented three years ago for some of the young women so that they could learn to live independently and enter the adult world. Cindy now has a job as a cook in a hotel in Lima, Katy has finished her accountancy course and is currently working as an intern in an accounts office in Piura, and Maribel is living with and helping a family with a new baby while continuing her nursing course.

The house has now been given up but the project continues to support the studies of these and several more disabled or otherwise disadvantaged young women. Another project, which has been running over the last 3½ years, is Support A Child which has provided funds donated specifically for children with individual or particular needs. Although this Project has been of enormous benefit to the children with cerebral palsy and other chronic conditions who have received support from it, it has not proved easy for the committee in Piura (all volunteers with limited time) to administer, and we have therefore brought it to an end. There has also been a change here in the UK: two Trustees, Emma Raffo and Victor Riega, have moved on. We have been incredibly lucky to have had their support in recent years. Not only are they Peruvian, but Emma is an expert in social development projects while Victor, a lawyer, is actually from Piura itself. They have both been of the very greatest help in advising and guiding the Trust in so many matters and we are so grateful to them. Finally, our thanks must go to you, our readers, for everything you do to ensure that the Anita Goulden Home can continue to look after at least some of the most disabled and disadvantaged children of Peru. Please continue to help us if you can.

Ed Crowther Helps Out

Ed, in his gap year, spent three months in Piura volunteering in the Home. He spent the first few days with Anita Mollet, an old friend of Anita Goulden. He absolutely loved it and says: “Anita Mollet is a really warm and impressive character. She gets an enormous amount done for a woman of her age and I'm so grateful to her for housing me and introducing me to Piura. I think of her as a bit of a grandma and I love her cooking. Some people in the Home I have struggled to get to know. It could be they are just unsure of me because of the generation gap and the huge cultural differences between us. However, most are great people who I really enjoy spending time with: Violeta, Esther, Yovani, Fran, Nilda, Fiorella, Janet and Armando are lovely people. My main mission when I went out there was just to make the kids' lives more exciting and interesting and I think I've done that. Kevin is a really special kid and we talk for hours on end.

Because I started teaching English at a school nearby I managed to get the home known to plenty of Piurans, most of whom were just mildly interested but plenty came to visit. Jefferson fell wildly in love with a pretty 14 yr old who came round a few times. One of the school teachers knew a fella who had made a lot of money at the Lima stock exchange and was looking to give some money away to charity so I introduced her to Carolina and I think the man is now a benefactor. I organized a few cinema trips and took Jefferson to see a women's volleyball match. The coach of the Piura team is a mate because he teaches PE at the school and so he came over with the team and said hi. Jefferson got a peck on the cheek from the whole team and I don't think he stopped smiling for a week. I'm really attached to Piura, the home, the school and all the friends I've made. The school gave me a family to live with who I consider family we're so close. I hope to go back again.”

News of the Home and the Children

The new home is large and the children, happy in their more spacious house near to a pleasant square in a nice area of Piura, continue to be well cared for by the loyal staff. There are two new children who are brothers and one of them will have an operation in the near future. Jaime is really happy now with a room of his own and is so much improved in health that he can hold down a job. Paco, whom Anita rescued as a baby from a violent background, is now in need of support. We had hoped that one of our Trustees could have visited him in the remote village where he is now living, earlier this year but was thwarted by dangerous weather conditions. We hope to arrange for one of the staff from the Home to visit him as soon as possible. Katy has finished her accountancy course and is waiting for her diploma. Maribel is living with and helping Rosa in Piura and is continuing her nursing studies. Rossmary will soon be fully qualified to practice law in Peru but will need our support in the difficult task of finding a job.

Several of the young women who were supported by the Trust in the Casa Anita, are sharing accommodation in Lima and working or studying. Anita would be pleased, and so proud of them. Unfortunately, not all the news from the home can always be good. We are deeply sorry to say that Jonny Javier, a long-time resident of the home, died on 17 August aged 17. A serious lung condition meant that he had to use an oxygen cylinder and to be fed through a tube. He will be greatly missed by his family and all those who looked after him over many years.

Fund-Raising in the Shires

Sallie Morgan, one of our Trustees who lives in Hereford, writes that in her view the continuing and so far successful efforts of the Anita Goulden Trust to maintain Anita's work in Piura, attest to the true value of her lifelong battle to alleviate the suffering and the loneliness of sick children amongst the poorest people in Peru. This has been recognised in full measure by all our many generous supporters. Pat Jones has told us how the connection between Hallow, Worcestershire, and the Trust began in 1992 following a Lent Course entitled “Living the Good News”. One of the group brought in a very small cutting about Anita's work taken from a woman's magazine to provide an example of someone who was truly living the good news. The next step was to do something themselves and so began the Coffee Stop on Friday mornings - free coffee and cake in the church of St. Philip and St. James on a fairly busy main road. When some called in and insisted on making a donation, the Anita Goulden Trust became the recipient.

To date £4,650 has been received by the Trust. This year both the Raffle and Sales Tables had her grand-daughters assisting. Afternoon tea in the garden one summer was a pleasant change and quite successful. Tickets priced at only £2 were sold in advance and the modest price encouraged those unable to attend to make a donation. Some twelve years ago Holy Trinity (Hereford) agreed to adopt the Anita Goulden Trust as one of their regularly supported charities. The Morgans' accounts of visits to Anita and the children in Piura, Peru has made quite an impact. This year their Saturday morning coffee slot was sandwiched between the Church Fete and any number of other fund-raising events which pose an increasing worry as so many good causes are vying nowadays for their resources. Nonetheless, raffle prizes appeared and delicious cakes. Mrs. P. (aged 90) made her usual fruit cake and Mrs. G. gave up her cherished crystal collection, and the final result surpassed all expectations. Pat Barbrook in a nearby village supports the Trust with sales of her exquisite botanical cards. She continues to organise her Soup Lunches despite the sad loss of her husband who for years baked the bread to accompany her home-made soup.

She writes that their support of the Trust resulted from spotting an advertisement for a fund-raising Coffee Morning locally. There they saw slides of Anita and the children and were so moved that they resolved to begin the twice yearly Soup Lunches. “The dear folk from our village and several around us are still coming, in 2011, to join us and support the Trust. We are mostly in our 70s and 80s and have raised over £4,000! The fact that Anita was a business woman in Manchester, only 5 miles from where we used to live in Oldham, and made the wonderful commitment to stay for the rest of her life in Piura to do everything she could to help these desperately needy children, made us decide to do something to help too.”

Financial Report by David Thomas

A principal objective of the Trustees is to ensure the sustainability of the Anita Goulden Home over the long term. To this end, we keep the financial position of the Trust under constant review and we try to ensure that we always hold reserves sufficient to give the Home certainty of funding over a reasonable time horizon. We are greatly aided in meeting our objectives by the very low costs of the Trust itself, which relies entirely on unpaid volunteers for its administration, and by the transparency of the relationship with the charitable association in Piura that oversees the development and operation of the Home and whose members are also unpaid volunteers. They provide us with highly detailed monthly accounts of how our donations are spent, and take great care to ensure that costs are kept within the amount of our agreed monthly remittance. We took an important step toward ensuring sustainability when we funded the purchase, last year, of a permanent building for the Home. This has eliminated rental costs and relieved the Home of concern over security of tenure.

Nevertheless, the running costs of the Home still exceed our regular flow of donations and, on the basis of our best estimates of future donations and running costs, reserves may be exhausted in eight to nine years without additional sources of support. In that regard, we are privileged to have been the beneficiary of some legacies over the last year, which have helped toward restoring, in part, the reserves that were used for the purchase of the building. Over the longer term, we hope that the Association in Piura will also be able to obtain increasing amounts of support locally, if not in financial contributions then, as they are already successfully achieving, through donations in kind of supplies for the Home. Through these efforts of the local Association, and through the magnificent continued support of our donors in the UK, we are confident of sustaining the Anita Goulden Home in its uniquely valuable caring role with Peruvian children and young people with disabilities for a long time to come.

Help Wanted!

Are you able to give any of your time to the Anita Goulden Trust? There are two ways in which you might like to do this: We are looking for new Trustees. It is not necessary to know anything about Peru or to speak Spanish (though of course it would help) but if you feel that you would like to help us communicate with the home and the management committee in Piura, promote the Trust here in the UK, attend our meetings (perhaps three or four a year) and deal generally with the various matters which arise, we should love to hear from you. Alternatively, if you happen to live in London, why not assist our Administrator, Annabel Buchan, who has been doing the job unaided for more than twenty years. She keeps in close touch with donors and other supporters, receives and acknowledges donations, and performs many other tasks essential to the smooth running of a charity. If you are able to give one day a month to help, or indeed take over the Administration of the Trust from her (all you need is a small room with a computer, space for a filing cabinet or two, and a few spare hours a week), she would love to hear from you.