Where did the last year go?!
As I sit down to type up this report, I have glanced down at my calendar and noticed it’s already February. Which is definitely late for posting our end of year reflection for 2014, but better late than never – and 2014 was just so cram packed full of achievements that I CANNOT not share it with you all.
If you can, please allow yourself 20 seconds, to open THIS LINK and skim read last years end of year reflection – which highlighted the successes and challenges we faced in 2013, our first year as a charity. I insist you do this, because I just did the same and the growth we’ve achieved (that’s us at Born Positive and all of you) from our first year to our second year will make you raise your eyebrows.
2014 – the facts and figures
From the 1st January – 31st December 2014, our second year as a charity, we raised a total of £7,236.00. (Just in case you didn’t read last years report, that’s an increase of more than £5,000 on the year before). It is important for me to note, that the vast majority of all donations we received came from individuals, not only does this prove the truth in ‘every little helps’ but also that we have a really loyal and trusting following of supporters.
From the 1st January – 31st December 2014 we sent a total of £6,842.37 directly to our project on the ground in Mozambique. (Which is over £6,000 more than we sent the year before).
Achievements in 2014
- On the 6th February we started a pie in the sky fundraising campaign to buy ourselves a vehicle so that we could reach more orphan children living in vulnerable situations, after 6 months of hard work and dedication we managed to buy Pedro, our Mitsubishi Pajero, from one of our partner orphanages in Mozambique.
- We partnered with AACOSIDA Orphanage, and have worked together to identify more orphan children who are living in vulnerable situations.
- We increased our monthly home visits and support in the areas of food, health care, education and business creation from 1 family, caring for 2 orphan children – to 7 families who are caring for a total of 9 orphan children.
- Our funds have paid for 4 children,under the age of 5, to attend creche 5 days a week. Where they have all received nutritional food, pre-school education and a huge head start – we, and their adoptive families, have watched all of them grow and develop leaps and bounds.
- We have delivered food and hygiene essentials every month to 1 of our families, an elderly grandmother caring for an orphaned baby boy.
- We have transported the children to and from hospital when needed, including for HIV testing and other check-ups. As well as providing support and advice at anytime to the substitute families.
- We have donated a lot of second hand clothes and shoes from our supporters in the UK.
- We reached out our support to a 5 year old girl who had been abandoned, and have been overjoyed to watch her settle into her new home, find happiness again, attend creche and now start primary school.
- We established the #BornPosBracelet project with the first family we began working with, now Mamma Alzira is able to handcraft her bracelets and earn enough money from selling them to comfortably support her family (including her 5 biological children, plus her orphaned niece and nephew – Jacinto and Annabella). This is the first of many business creation ideas that is inspiring other projects with our newer families. We have already sold over 300 bracelets and have sent orders to the UK, Tokyo, France and Holland.
- We have appeared on 2 live TV interviews with TIM TV in Mozambique, where our project and missions have been communicated to a wide audience – particularly appealing to Mozambican youths to volunteer with us and be inspired to make a difference in their communities.
- We have moved into our very first office in Maputo, Mozambique’s capital city.
- We have recruited and trained our 10 founding members for Born Positive Mozambique, 9 of which are Mozambicans. They are now the governing authority of the project on the ground in Mozambique and the paperwork is being filed to register the organisation in Mozambique.
- Our secretary and one of the 10 founding members in Mozambique, Estefania, has taken over the day to day running of the project and oversees all of the monthly home visits to our families.
- We raised over £5,000 during the year, which means we are now eligible to register Born Positive UK with the Charity Commission of England and Wales.
- As well as our 4 founding members in the UK, we have received a lot of voluntary fundraising support from all over the United Kingdom.
Difficulties in 2014
- With the increase in our activity, we desperately needed a bigger team in Mozambique, this was a difficult recruitment process as we are not in a position to pay salaries at this stage.
- One of the biggest challenges we continue to face in Mozambique is corruption, which results in being overcharged for things and processes taking a very long time.
- Not yet being a registered organisation in Mozambique or the UK has a huge impact on our fundraising efforts, as for obvious reasons we are not always taken seriously.
- As our activity in Mozambique increases and the organisation is growing, we are facing new protocols and procedures that we perhaps have little experience with.
Focus for 2015
- Continuing our support to the families and children in Mozambique, with the hope of reaching further families later in the year (funding and man power depending).
- Appealing for larger sums of funding from grant or corporate giving opportunities as well as continuing to nurture our individual donations base – so that we can continue to extend our reach to more orphan children.
- Continuing the registration processes of Associacao Born Positive in Mozambique and of Born Positive Foundation in the UK.
- To continue to mentor and provide training, resources and support to our team on the ground in Mozambique, so they can continue to uphold and exceed the standards we have put in place.
- To be able to raise funds to pay at least small salaries to our Mozambican members of staff who work on the day to day running of the project.
- To update the Born Positive website.
2014 was definitely the most productive and rewarding year so far, and I have no doubt that next year I’ll write the same again about 2015. In many ways, it flew past – but it’s only when you sit and write about everything that happened that it seems a long 12 months – there were tears and laugher, challenge after challenge after challenge!! But nobody said starting a charity from scratch would be easy, in fact they said we were mad.
But now, here we are, already at the beginning of year 3. 9 children are sleeping peacefully in their homes this evening, they’ll wake up tomorrow wearing smiles, head off to creche or school and enjoy another day of being a normal Mozambican kid in a normal Mozambican family.
Please keep believing, because it’s working.
Amy Hulme – Co-Founder.