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Circular - September 2012
This letter has gone out a little earlier than usual, to remind you of our big event at Belfast City Hall on the evening of Saturday 15th September. It’s called ‘A Song and a Supper’ with New Irish Arts, and has been organised for us as a fund raiser. Tickets are still available at £30 each, which gets you a three course dinner, as well as an evening of music and song. We’ve been given free use of the City Hall; others involved have given their time voluntarily and we intend using all the proceeds to develop the work of Acheru in northern Uganda.
And news of another concert, organised by Wilf and Isobel Crowe in Rosemary Presbyterian Church Halls on Saturday 6th October in aid of the work of Acheru. Phone the Crowes on 02890761124 for tickets at £10 each. It will be a programme mostly of Scottish and Irish music, songs and poems by Percy French, together with more modern items. There will be refreshments during the interval. We are delighted that people are taking the trouble to organise fund raising events, and hope as many of you as possible will attend.
We have been having further talks about work in the north, what we might do ourselves, what we might do with other partner organisations. We know from our work there so far that the need remains great, so we certainly intend to continue there. We now want to move to the next stage and find ways of treating many more, and we hope soon to make significant progress. You may have seen the recent ‘Panorama’ programme on the hunt for Kony, and this will have given you some idea of the background to the problems in the north, and the huge numbers who suffered there.
Work continues at the Acheru site. The staff house is almost completed, then we want to put in another big underground water tank. There will still be many details to deal with, but essentially the building of Acheru will be finished. We won’t rest there however; we have a very good site, and there is still the potential for further work with suitable partners.
Increased numbers of patients have meant an increased budget, but thanks to the help of all those donors who have remained faithful to this work, we have been able to meet the increased costs. There is only so much that the staff can deal with, and there are limits to the numbers we can accommodate, but it’s my hope that we will never have to turn a child away because we can’t afford to treat them.
We face some further expenses this year, after which we want to concentrate on providing the budget needed to develop in the north. Our vehicles are old. Our ambulance, used for clinic runs and ferrying children to and from the CoRSU hospital, is giving good service, but we want to replace it before it becomes troublesome as we depend on it so much. We also have a pick up truck for general use – building materials, supplies, sometimes water. It gets a lot of use and is now completely worn out. It’s unrealistic to think of buying new, but we can buy used Japanese imports which are still in good condition.
In the first six months of this year, around 100 Acheru patients were referred for surgery – with many very serious cases. We can’t imagine how they suffered before our intervention. Now, with the new hostel opened at Acheru with another 12 inpatient beds, the numbers will increase. Having seen the condition of many of the children when we found them, we are driven by the desire to treat many more, which is why we want to develop in the north. We see osteomyelitis cases with limbs lying open exposing rotten bone. Our treatment transforms their lives. I am amazed by some of the cases where any normal logic would dictate amputation, yet they have been successfully treated, making a good recovery. We see so many justifications for this work, and have so many testimonials from children and their parents.
Brian Dorman MBE

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