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Circular - September 2015
Brian Dorman writes:
We’re 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. It’s not just a question of the work load, it is something we’re committed to and feel privileged to be part of, but we don’t 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 we’re 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 I’m 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.
All donations 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: africare@acheru.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 I’ve 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.
Simbwa Christopher is a five year old boy with a cerebral palsy like condition. The father left after the child’s 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 can’t 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. It’s 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.

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NI Charity Registration No – NIC101141