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November, 2012

Newsletter #24

Chavela painting.

Chavela Painting

We have to walk in darkness to value the light beyond. If you have never failed in anything it is a certainty that you have never tried anything. You must rise above failures. The best men and women are moulded by failure. (Quote from Anita Goulden.)

Message from Roger Brown, Chairman

In this newsletter you will find two up to date reports from the home. One is from Anita - not Goulden, but Mollet, who lives in Piura and who befriended Anita Goulden from the moment she arrived there more than fifty years ago. She is still one of the home's staunchest and most active supporters. The other is from Bridget and John Collins, friends of our Treasurer, David Thomas. Recently retired, they told David, who has experience of many charities, that they would like to do some voluntary work for a while, and David suggested the home in Piura. Bridget and John will spend five weeks there, and as they have many relevant skills they are already proving to be a tremendous help, providing practical assistance as well as useful ideas and suggestions. I can do no better than to ask you to read these two reports, where you will see from those on the ground that a great deal has been happening. Many improvements have been made to the building, and great progress made with the children and young people it is there to serve. One of the most encouraging developments is that after treatment at the home some residents have been able to return to live with their families, and some are going to school, or working - Jaime has obviously become a key figure in the local park! - or looking for work, and in some cases now living independently, such as Rosmery, one of the home's greatest successes, who has qualified as a lawyer. Two more great steps forward are the surge in local support, and the way in which the home now has an outreach programme, helping children in need in the local community. None of this could happen, nothing would be possible, without the help and support of you, our donors. Just like Anita Mollet (and, I somehow feel sure, like the other Anita too) I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Committee of Volunteers by Anita Mollet

Anita Mollet.

Anita Mollet

I became involved with the Anita Goulden Home as a result of knowing Anita Goulden for many years and being fully aware and supportive of the aims and the goals that she had for the home. Following Anita's death I wanted to ensure that those goals continued to be the focus of the work that the home carried out. After some difficult times and a complete change of management, I helped set up a new committee, made up entirely of volunteers, whose sole focus is the well being of the children in the home. Great progress has been made over the last two years with the key achievements being: We managed, finally, to have a new corrugated roof installed for the home by the local council, which will protect the residents from the extreme rain storms in the summer months. Additionally it provides a great space in which to hang and dry washing which is protected. In April the layout of the first floor was redistributed, which helped to improve the accommodation for the residents and make best use of the open spaces available for activities as well as a dedicated space for physiotherapy. The security of the front door has been strengthened to help protect the building from any possible attack.

Pedro Painting.

Pedro Painting

There have been positive results with the re-integration of three of the residents back into their local community: Carla and Jefferson have gone back to live with their families, although they still attend the home during the day for physiotherapy and rehabilitation sessions during the afternoon. Rosemary, who has now qualified as a lawyer, is now living independently. Another great achievement was that we managed to re-house Lecxon in a specialist home in Lima. Lecxon had severe autism and schizophrenia and was beginning to become a danger to some of the other residents in the home. It was very difficult to both find a new and more appropriate home for him, and also ensure the relevant approvals could be obtained from the various authorities but he was successfully moved last week and we're delighted with the updates we have received from his new home. We know he will be well cared for there. We have also managed to secure greater support locally from businesses and organisations to provide donations and support for the home. As no government grants or support exists all the donations we receive, regardless of size, are very precious to us. The support we are now receiving varies from receiving a donation of fresh eggs, bread rolls, vegetable oil, rice, evaporated milk, sugar each week. The home is also receiving regular small donations of both food and clothing from a variety of individuals locally. We also now have the support of employees from the local Department store, Ripley, who have been making weekly visits to the home and taking the residents out for walks. They even arranged a trip to the beach in March, the first time that many of the residents have ever been to the beach - it was a truly wonderful day. They have also been running cake sales on a regular basis to help to raise funds for the home.

Rony Painting.

Rony Painting

Jaime Painting.

Jaime Painting

We have recently secured the services of a speech therapist, who has completed an evaluation of all the residents to assess the issues surrounding not just speech but also chewing, swallowing and breathing.The objective of the work being carried out now with each of the residents is to maximise the abilities of each resident to be able to achieve the maximum independence possible, so that they can undertake normal day-to-day activities and integrate better in society. Jefferson and Karina are both continuing to study at school. Additionally there are seven other children who are attending a special education programme at a local college, which they are thoroughly enjoying. Jaime is helping out as a gardener's assistant in the local parks and has set up a great little recycling project in which he is actively recycling tins and plastics and is selling these on. In addition to the residents in the home, we are now providing external patients with physiotherapy on a regular basis and supporting more children with disabilities who are from families living in extreme poverty. Due to the success of the homes programme of trying to get children re- housed with their home families as soon as practicable, the home is now looking to take in some new residents and are assessing the candidacy of several children at present. There is still much to do, but we are making good progress and I thank everyone who is supporting the Home from the bottom of my heart.

An Experience by John and Bridget Collins

In the weeks leading up to our trip to Piura, we often asked each other the question "What do we expect to find when we first enter the Anita Goulden home?" Neither of us had been to Peru before, and despite Bridget's previous experience of life in South America, we weren't sure of what Peru would hold for us. A twenty-four hour stop-over in Lima made us aware of the fact that Peru is a poor country and suddenly the realisation dawned on us that if Lima was this poor, then Piura was going to be poorer. However a day relaxing in the seemingly unending hospitality of Anita Mollet after arriving in Piura, left us well informed of what the home was all about and what we might expect. No sooner had we entered the home on our first Monday morning, than the unofficial welcoming party of Vicky and Chavela were in attendance - (anyone who has ever visited the home will be well aware of their spirit, enthusiasm and personality). As we made the rounds, being introduced to staff and residents alike, we were swept away in a tsunami of Spanish names, none of which stuck.

However, within three days we were up to speed with everyone as we began to understand the rhythm of the home; getting everyone up, getting the younger kids off to school, arranging breakfast, showering, physio sessions, lunch, siesta, more physio and activity, dinner and then the quiet time before bedtime. Each day is different, but each day is also exactly the same as the one before. Caught up in the middle of this cyclone of activity are the amazing staff at the home, people whom you only need to observe in action once in order to have the utmost respect for them as people and the work they do. Watching them in action day after day leaves one lost for words. We've been here a week so far and have been helping out wherever we can. Last Tuesday there was a painting competition for the residents, which Hugo Chanta Guevara, (an ex-resident, who now teaches Art at a local college) ran and was fantastic fun for all involved and we've attached a few photos. We've four more weeks to go, hopefully we can continue to be as helpful to the staff and residents as the staff and residents are inspiring to us. If you'd like to follow our experiences in the Anita Goulden Home in Piura, you can also check out the daily blog we are writing on johnfitzcollins.blogspot.com

The Peruvian Hairless Dog

The Peruvian Hairless Dog (sculpture).

The Peruvian Hairless Dog

The Peruvian Hairless Dog - Sculpture by Hugo Chanta (Hugo was brought to Anita, severely traumatised after losing his legs in an accident at the age of 13. He studied art in Piura and is now a successful artist and sculptor). This ancient, and now rare, breed has a lineage reaching back as far as 3000 years. It was much favoured by the pre- Columbian peoples of Peru who used the dogs in hunting and as pets. It possesses several special characteristics making it an ideal companion, especially for sick children which is the reason why Anita Goulden kept one in her home. The dog is clean and free from parasites. As its hairless skin is warm to the touch, the dog has been used as a bed warmer and is thought to relieve chronic joint pain, asthma and allergy problems. It is a sociable, friendly animal and very safe amongst children. The breed neared extinction following the Spanish Conquest but its genetic features remained pure and it continued to be highly valued by local peoples in remote areas. It is now recognised as the native breed to Peru.

Financial Report by David Thomas

The steady income we receive from our regular donors is the lifeblood of the Trust and, because we provide almost their entire financial support, also of the Home and its residents. Without the comfort of knowing that we can count on those donations, month in month out, it would be impossible for the Home to plan for the future and confidently to accept new residents and expand its "out-patient" activity, as you will have read elsewhere in this newsletter. We have also been fortunate to receive, over recent years, a good number of legacies. It is the extra injection of funds represented by these legacies that, to a great degree, has made it possible for the Trust to sponsor some important, larger projects, most notably the purchase of the new building in 2010, which transformed the outlook for the Home. If you are thinking of including a charitable element in your will, we hope you will consider a bequest to the Anita Goulden Trust. With your kindness, the Trust and the Home will be able to continue and expand their work with these severely disadvantaged young people for whom no other source of support exists.

Gift Aid Changes

Christmas card design by Hugo.

Christmas card design by Hugo

The Gift Aid Declaration form has changed slightly and this form should be used in the future when sending a donation. You can download this from our website very easily. You can also send a donation via the website through our new system called Charity Checkout. Do please use this method of sending donations as it is so easy. Again, I must remind you that I am still getting used to the new database which should have weeded out those of you who receive this newsletter by e-mail and those of you who receive it by post. I am sure there will be some duplicates so please do let me know. Just drop a line or e-mail Annabel Buchan (annabuchan@aol.com).

Christmas Greetings

This year, with ever increasing costs in postage and production, we have decided not to produce Christmas cards. However, we will review the situation next year to see hopefully if things improve. Nevertheless, we wish all our supporters and friends a Happy Christmas with best wishes for 2013 with yet another lovely Christmas design created by Hugo.