making changes to the administration of Africare in an attempt
to maintain a high level of support for Acheru, a work which has
grown beyond what we had ever envisaged. We do get help from
several people, but Africare has continued to be very dependent
on Hazel and me. Its not just a question of the work load,
it is something were committed to and feel privileged to
be part of, but we dont want it to be vulnerable. We do it
all voluntarily to ensure maximum support for Acheru, and our
son Philip has now offered to take on some of the
responsibilities. He lives nearby so were able to work
closely together and this is ideal in starting to reduce the
dependency on Hazel and myself.
|At times our
work has been wide ranging but is now focussed entirely on
Acheru. Changes in the way we deal with finance and transfer of
funds in Uganda mean unfortunately it will no longer be
practical for us to send funds for other work or to direct help
to individuals. We have always tried to facilitate others by
doing this, but Im afraid it will no longer be possible.
|Philip will now
be dealing with finance receiving donations and making
the transfers to Acheru. We will in future be using his home as
the registered address for Africare, and this will help greatly
as Hazel and I hope to spend more time in South Africa.
and correspondence can now be sent to Philip at: 17
Brackenridge, Carrickfergus, BT38 8FW, although of course Hazel
and I will continue to be fully involved. There is also a new
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The old one will also be operational at least for the next few
months, but we would encourage you to start using the new
contact details. There is no change to the bank account.
|I hope in
future to be able to tell you more about how we are dealing with
Acheru budgets and planning for the future. Several visitors
have recently come back enthusiastic about what they had seen
and this again impressed on us the need to do all we possibly
can to prepare for the future and give everyone at Acheru the
support and encouragement they need. Acheru must operate within
the constraints of what the staff can do and what we can afford
to pay for, but Ive been reading more case histories which
make me very conscious of the human impact of the work and how
people depend on it.
|We are seeing
life-changing results for those we refer for surgery, but I hope
the following story illustrates the need for our community work.
|This is the
reality of poverty.
Christopher is a five year old boy with a cerebral palsy
like condition. The father left after the childs birth.
His mother re-married, had another child, then became pregnant
again before that husband also abandoned them. She has no money
to go to hospital for the next birth. The house is
in a very poor state and the mother digs to try to earn some
money but the gardens are far from home, she walks there
barefoot carrying the youngest child, she is pregnant, and she
earns so little that two weeks work (if they even pay her) makes
enough to keep the family for a week.
|When his mother
is working, Christopher is locked in the house all day, crying
and hungry till his mother gets back.
|This is just
one of many difficult cases Harriet encounters in her community
work. What can we do to help? Acheru can do a lot to help
children with cerebral palsy, but it depends on the child being
brought in, and on parents taking an active role in an exercise
regime, which simply cant be done in this case. Community
visits do something to help, and we may be able to give some
limited practical help to improve their circumstances, but there
are so many others too. Its part of the Acheru work where
there is scope to do much more; we have the dedicated staff, and
want to give them all the support and encouragement they need,
but we face so many demands.