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Circular - June 2014
We have made some significant changes to the structure of Africare, to better enable us to meet the needs of the work, and to prepare for the introduction of the new Charities Act. Some board members resigned after many years of service to prepare the way for new appointments who can take on specific responsibilities. Steven Gregg, who has been with Africare from the outset, has been appointed chairman and is now responsible for all matters relating to land, property and equipment. I will continue to serve as secretary, and am responsible for promotion and strategy. Laura Lubwama now deals with record keeping, reports, case histories, and will use information from Acheru to prepare the monthly website update. Solomon Lubwama will deal with liaison, and represent the Acheru staff in our meetings. Other officers have been appointed, and I will be happy to send full details to anyone requesting more information on Africare.
News from Uganda is encouraging. At Acheru, work on the new kitchen has been completed and the new stoves are much more efficient. The old building has been converted for a number of purposes including a physiotherapy room, a classroom, and a small room where tailoring instruction is provided for the children’s carers in the hope this will give them a useful skill. Making full use of this building has released more space for patients, and numbers are increasing. The aim is to keep Acheru full to capacity, but we have also agreed that rather than turn away patients needing treatment, we will cover costs of all necessary care and rehabilitation at CoRSU if there is no room in Acheru. We had received a proposal to replicate Acheru in the north, but we would still need to refer children to CoRSU for surgery, and at present it seems more cost effective to pay the costs at CoRSU (which are heavily subsidised) rather than build in the north. However we do see a need to develop outpatient and community work in the north and are looking at a number of options, and having discussions with potential partners. More rural clinics are being run and we can provide an effective service for those children who are brought to us – but we still face the problem of so many disabled children being hidden away, so we have to be more pro active in finding them. Even after children have been seen and assessed, we have a problem with so many not being brought back for treatment – fear of strangers, worries about costs, influence of witch doctors or older relatives. This can only be dealt with by effective community work.
Thanks to the generous support of donors we have been able to give assurances that no child will be refused treatment because of costs, or because Acheru is full. We like families to contribute to expenses, but if they are poor, we will deal with all costs – travel, subsistence, CoRSU and Acheru costs. We are now seeing a rise in numbers from the north and hope this will continue, as it’s been a disappointment that we weren’t seeing the numbers of children from the north that we had expected.
Brian Dorman

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  Africare is a registered charity, HMRC Charity No – XN 76448
NI Charity Registration No – NIC101141