Chairman's Report 2011

Possibilities Chairmans Report

Annual General Meeting - 27th October 2011


General

The very nature of Possibilities means that we share our resources as fairly as possible and meet the need where we see appropriate. As custodians of other people's hard earned cash we recognise our duty to get value for money and to ensure that those we help will benefit either immediately as an emergency measure, or more importantly, as we make an investment in their young lives. We see our role in Uganda as being a catalyst for change. We want to make a lasting difference by affecting individuals on a permanent basis. We don't see our role as scattering anonymous emergency funds, but more importantly placing money and resources strategically where they are needed and can have the most impact; where they will be long lasting, and as an investment in the future generation.


Website – LCN have donated their hosting package to the charity for 5 years. This makes a considerable saving and will renew automatically each year. They are also paying for our domain name which is again a saving and another thing less for us to think about.

The possibilities website will be revised next year. As we make progress and as the charity develops, the website needs to also. We will be making a more structured and methodical approach to child sponsorship in the coming year and the website will need to be developed to keep in line with the increased demand. This is not to push things in a certain direction but to respond to what seems to be happening and trying to project onto those developments that may be thrust upon us and to pre-empt that movement. We need to make sure that we keep relevant and strive for increased efficiency as well as providing a more professional and transparent service.


Visits

We visited Uganda twice in the past year. A business type trip in February where I was involved in seeing many people and dealing with relational issues and checking on the children's education. I needed to check out the schools and visit the head teachers as well as help with the craft business at Kiwi. I spent some time with SPAU fixing their computers and enabling their office to function more efficiently. I also began the search for appropriate land for us to buy to begin the farm.

I also visited in July / August – more on that later.


Groups that sponsor Possibilities

We have enjoyed continued support from the Parish church in Stowmarket. I visited their morning services on Sunday 2nd October for the Harvest festivals. I spoke for 10-15 minutes in a conversational discussion type way with the vicar. They were very generous and we received a sizeable contribution afterwards. I sold African paper beads and drinking straw bags between the services. The church kept the beads and bags to sell the next Sunday – again they sold really well. The church rep. has just re-submitted her request to the PCC that we be adopted for a further 3 years support.


Stowupland High School continues to support Possibilities and has sent several cheques over the past year.


Holbrook High School – After I addressed the students at two assemblies in October a committee of students was set up to devise ways for the school to raise money for Possibilities. They are looking into ways to raise over £1000 during the next 12 month period. I will be returning to the school in the next few weeks to do some deeper work with the committee and to advise them on what they can do, of the intricacies of African life, in particular Uganda, and exactly what Possibilities does.

On the 8th October we went to a music day for students. It was hosted by Holbrook High School and organised and put on by a community group on the Shotley peninsular – Impact. We were the chosen charity for the day and received a donation to our work as well as being given the opportunity to sell Ugandan paper beads, drinking straw bags and other African crafts. A further spin off from the Holbrook High School connection has been the churches in Chelmondiston holding a harvest supper and taking a collection on Sunday 9th October for Possibilities. This may well progress as a connection as one of the IMPACT team is very keen on us and would like to help wherever she can.


Fundraising Events

Over the weekend 9-11 April, we organised a sports event that managed to have between 30 and 40 local people of all ages rowing the equivalent of 621 Miles - One Million Metres on an indoor rowing machine, in a marquee, on a carpark. We shared the proceeds with The Prostate Cancer Charity. We raised £5600 and had a very hard , tiring, but very inspiring time as well.

On June 25th Wetheringsett village held their first Summer Dance. It was powered by Bev Adams and she successfully managed to galvanise the women and some men from the village to pull together to organise and present a fantastic evening and also to successfully raise a considerable amount of money for Possibilities and also for the Breast Cancer department at Ipswich hospital – Thanks Bev and all your helpers

October 1st we held a Bollywood Charity Night at a local school. There was a mix up over entertainments licenses and so we had to cancel this as a public event and run it as a private party. The attendees were extremely generous and we raised £1126 from donations on the night.


Possibilities for Children

We currently pay for 22 Children in education

17 children at KiWoI (formerly Kiwi) all resident with Benedicta at the orphanage at Kinawataka, We are also paying for:-

1 ex Kiwi

2 extras who live near to the orphanage at KiWoI

2 at the goat village

This is ongoing and we will continue to support these children until they are of an age when they can attend university. We have discussed and agreed that our responsibility will cease for the children at age 18 or at the end of their mainstream education. University will stretch our resources too far. We currently have several individual sponsors (always more needed) the rest is made up from general funds.

We are giving up the website for Kiniwataka Women Initiatives (www.kwiuganda.org) during November – The children will become our only responsibility at KiWoI. There will be a new link through the new site to the Possibilities site where people will be able to sponsor children. I have been working on this for the past 2 months. All child sponsorship will come through us. We will handle only this aspect of the running of KiWoI all other business aspects will be covered by The Advocacy Project. They have set up a new website which will be hosted in USA and have trained a couple of workers at KiWoI in basic skills and how to update the new site.


Farming with Possibilities

After several months deliberation and consultation We bought a 3 acre plot 26 Miles north of Kampala in a place called Malangata near Namayumba. After many wasted hours on the trip in July we eventually were left with no option but to entrust SPAU (Paul Lwanga) with the purchase of the land on our behalf. On my Feb 2012 visit I will be attempting to set up an NGO in Uganda (Possibilities Uganda) and we will purchase the land for a nominal fee from SPAU.

Now titles being drawn up.

This plot of land has been bought to farm and therefore produce food for emergency rations for the orphanages rather than always coming to us for financial aid. Our funds will go much further by planting and farming and it will give a degree of self sufficiency to the children's homes that we are working with. We anticipate using the the farm to train and equip the children for the future. We fully expect to eventually move the children from BULA Children's home to the land when we have managed to develop the plot with accommodation. This will be an exhaustive project and much bigger than anything we have progressed before. We will be costing such a development in the near future and will begin fundraising in earnest in the new year.


Volunteering with Possibilities

Bula Children's home have designated me the UK and European Co-ordinator for Volunteers. It is their title and has no authority or position but it is a responsibility that I will take seriously as it is a very real need and a simple solution to the shortage of man-power and lack of funds that they face each and every day.

This past year we have sent two volunteers to Uganda. This is nowhere near enough and we would love to have supplied more - an area that we can improve on.

In April Kristian went to Bula for 3 weeks.

In August Phoebe went to Another Hope Children's Ministry for a month's stay

I currently have a tentative enquiry outstanding which may develop into a 12 month placement???


Possibilities with Goats

The goat project is a little concerning. The goats didn't appear that healthy on our visit in August. Since then we have sent a vet to check on their health.

We have had a compound built to enable them to be more free range and also to be able to vary their diet

We started the project last May/June when we bought 6 kids. The original Billy goat was too immature and so we had the she (nanny) goats impregnated by a local billy goat. This was a temporary measure and so we started a facebook campaign in April this year to buy a new billy (he) for Possibilities. In June we purchased a new billy with money donated from 10 donors on FB.

4 kids were born in September two sets of twins. Unfortunately they all died and we have instructed a local vet to train the villagers and also to check out the general health of the remaining 10 goats.


Travel with Possibilities

We ran our first organised trip to Uganda this summer. It was a mix of volunteering, culture awareness and luxury safariing. This first trip was highly successful and we were anticipating 2 trips in 2012. After beginning to take bookings one of my family members became seriously ill with a long and protracted treatment process just begun. We felt it important to cancel the first trip as I didn't want to be out of the country for the whole of the summer next year. We successfully managed to persuade the first week volunteers to sign up for the second week. Unfortunately due to the current regulations in force and the hike in air fares due to the London Olympics in 2012 we have had to delay the trip again until the easter of 2013. We currently have 15 interested parties, including 6 firm travellers. The mix will be adjusted slightly for Easter 2013 with a better mix of volunteering and holiday type pursuits. We will increase tourism and extend the safari by a day. This, we hope, will improve on what is already a great holiday experience and will break up the volunteering and give a more rounded and more complete trip.


Possibilities with Beads

We were fortunate that with the BA win I also managed to get extra baggage which meant that we could take extras bags with clothes and sports equipment this time and also bring back extra beads and bags for sale.

Beads and cards have been sent out for others to sell as well.


Other NEWS and Information

Great Britons is now well known and well documented but it has been a great benefit to the charity and has brought exposure and funds and enabled us to do much more than would have been possible otherwise.

Craft With the extra beads and the drinking straw bags that we now have, we have increased the outlets that we have and have been seeking to get stalls at local craft fairs etc.

We had a stall at Needham Market Raft Race in June and will do so again next year.

Last Sunday we had a stall at a large craft sale at Needham Market Community Centre. We raised £118

I have been offered a stall at the Institute at NM and it is down to the organisers to now contact me with more details. We are expecting to have a stall and Christmas Tree at the Christmas Tree Festival at Stowmarket Parish Church during December

N.M. Raft Race We are planning to enter a raft at the raft race in June 2012 we will be looking for a designer and some willing volunteers to row and paddle around Needham Lake. It is a great fun event and as well as having a stall selling beads, cards and bags, we would gain some more exposure and have some fun as well.

SPAU In the past year we have paid for some HIV testing to be carried out in Gobero which is an area near to the land that we have purchased. In April 2010 Denise and myself visited the work that SPAU had been doing in that place and offered to supplement the work by paying for the much needed testing

The targeted group was 100 people but instead the actual number that benefited was 210 people (including 30 children) 

“We wish to extend to you, on behalf of the community in Gobero, our thanks and appreciation for sponsoring this activity. For those who have been tested HIV positive, we have now had them referred to the government regional hospital where they shall start to receive free ARV drugs. With proper nutrition, ARV drugs help people living with HIV to live a longer and better life.” Paul Lwanga - Director SPAU


This was a very successful project. The results of the HIV / AIDS Testing.

Total number of people offered HIV/ AIDS pre-test counselling: 210 (males: 59; females: 151)

Total number of people tested for HIV: 186 (males: 59; females: 127)

Age groups of people tested: (below 14: 38; 15 - 24 years: 33; 25 - 34 years: 50; above 35 years: 65)

Total number of people tested HIV positive: 14

Total number of people tested HIV negative: 172


Laptops In November 2010 we sent 5 Laptops and a digital camera to Spau to enable them to start a computer training project.

Radio Suffolk During the past year I was interviewed on the Radio twice.

Chickens For Easter 2011 We arranged for 10 chickens to be delivered to Bula children's home. Major celebrations are an important time in any childs life. So we wanted to make at least a special meal for the children. To eat meat at all is a special occasion to eat at Easter when the whole world is celebrating was a real treat for them.


.......This morning Mr. Paul Lwanga delivered the ten (10) chicken and everyone here is all smiles. You have made us proud; thank you for this party. If all goes well as planned, we are to feed on chicken both on Easter Sunday and on Easter monday. David Ward and Kristian are organising an outing in Jinja for everybody at the Home to have fun......”


Floor We also sent some more money to complete the floor at the Hillside Education Centre. Sadly this wasn't done and the head-teacher wasn't able to be contacted. This is our first problem with sending money or with trusting people in Uganda. We will learn from the experience and hopefully continue to minimise the vulnerability.

Travel This summer the team that travelled with Possibilities were active in labouring for a local builder at Bombo where an addition to the school was being built. They decorated 3 Bedrooms for the girls and for Kenneth and cleaned out the water tank at KiWoI. We also paid for some wardrobes to be built for the girls to enable them to keep their uniforms and general clothing tidy and more easily cared for. The team also gave Bula Children's home a deep clean – an option that was considerable cheaper and more appropriate than decorating the whole of the house.


A great year and very productive. The next year will be a time of fundraising and making plans for the land at Malangata.



Rob Pattison

27th October 2011 

      Copyright Possibilities 2012                                        Registered Charity No 1128925                                     Design IT-Techie