Dear Friends of ATE,
At this magical time of the year, I reflect on our recent achievements with immense pride, renewed determination and joy. We have so much to celebrate. It has been another incredible year for ATE, a year of very hard work, of sweat, tears, and great success.
This year, for just under £139 thousand pounds, we have achieved so much.
Specifically, we have:
- Fed 856 children a nutritious lunch every school day
- Set up 14 new small businesses
- Provided 4 existing businesses with re-grants to further expand their business
- Provided training to 56 existing Small Business Owners
- Mentored 28 Small Business Owners on a monthly basis
- Supported 10 young women to begin their vocational training
- Expanded 4 dry season farms
- Cared for 150 families of children with disability
- Thoroughly evaluated two thirds of our work
This is an incredible amount of work for such a very small organisation, and, in my opinion, fantastic value for money!
In reality, these figures describe the helping hand that we, together, are giving to our friends in Lawra. Helping them to achieve independence, live with dignity and fulfill their potential.
We are, as ever it seems, in a time of change. It’s hard to believe that ATE is so young, only 4 years old and already making such a huge difference. We have achieved so much in this short time, but there still much to do. I am, as ever, passionate and focused on reaching as many people as we can, in the most sustainable and community lead way possible.
Working in the community of Gombele, where we will launch our third ‘hub’ in January, has been a stark reminder of why we doing this work. As we become more effective and work in increasingly rural communities, we meet people who are increasingly poor and living lives that I struggle to imagine.
Jonathan Hall, one of our wonderful volunteers, spent a week at Gombele Junior High School in November. There, he met a 13 year old girl called Jennifer, who hadn’t eaten for 2 days. She rides a bike 2.5 hours each way to school everyday, with no food, no water and just an elderly grandfather at home. Our research shows that families in Gombele eat, on average, just 4 times a week. Worst of all, this research was carried out just after harvest, at the richest time of the year.
Wide spread extreme poverty, and chronic food insecurity lead to drop out rates of over 50% between Class One and Class Two at this isolated school. It really will be wonderful to start feeding those children on 10th January 2017 – what a difference we will make for these children.
None of ATE’s incredible success would be possible with out the support of all of you….. Our dedicated, talented staff and trustees who work tireless to keep ATE running so beautifully, our incredible volunteers providing such vital support, donating time, skills, practical support, and, of course, the vital financial gifts make it possible for ATE to continue to change lives – more lives every year. Thank you for your love and your generosity. Thank you for believing in us
I look forward to 2017 with one or two of slight anxieties, but tremendous optimism, confidence, and complete faith that we, together, will continue to drive ATE forwards. We absolutely must keep striving for change, working towards a richer, fairer Lawra and, ultimately, a time when we are no longer needed.
To everyone who supports us, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and happy new year.