Here we go again, another end of year reflection. The end of 2015 marked the end of our third year as a charity; it was a TOTALLY different year to the ones previous with so many new experiences and things to learn along the way. Before we get into details, let’s cover off the biggy – being registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales and what this now means for Born Positive.
On the 14th September 2015 we (Luke, Vicky, Rosie and I) got the email. The Born Positive Trust had been registered as a UK charity and given this wonderful number to prove it – 1163552. The application process had taken months and demanded a lot of our attention during 2015. But what does it all mean!? Well, quite simply the Charity Commission is the body that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales; they ensure that the public can support charities with confidence. For us it means a ton of extra paper work, reporting and financial procedures – but despite the extra workload, this is what we want. It is so important for Born Positive to be trusted and respected and for everything we do to be transparent. With the new status we have already created a profile on JustGiving, receive lower commission rates with PayPal donations, can claim gift aid and much more.
So, are we called Born Positive, or the The Born Positive Trust? Here’s a quick update on the new structure of the organisation:
The Born Positive Trust (or Born Positive UK)
The newly registered Born Positive Trust in the UK is governed by the four founding trustees, Amy, Luke, Vicky and Rosie. We are responsible for all funding and assets donated by you, our supporters. We hold all funding received in the Born Positive UK bank account and it is our responsibility to grant these funds to projects in Mozambique that meet our objectives and criteria – in short, we make sure that the money you donate reaches Mozambique and is spent responsibly and as requested by you. We have no overheads, pay no salaries and undertake the running of the trust voluntarily.
Associacao Born Positive
Associacao Born Positive is the project on the ground in Mozambique which you have all come to know so well. It is now governed by 10 founding members, all of whom are Mozambican and headed up by Herminio Generoso (AKA Gen) – the project director. Gen and his team run the grass root project on the ground in Mozambique and they work directly with the children, families and communities.
Every month the team in Mozambique send their operational budget over to The Born Positive Trust in the UK for the trustees to review. On agreement of the activity and amount requested we will transfer the funding over. This is then followed up with an update of all activity which has taken place each month and most things are documented on the facebook page.
Associacao Born Positive are in the process of registering as an NGO in Mozambique and are also starting to raise additional funding and material donations within Mozambique meaning they are not solely reliant on funding from the UK.
The facts and figures
In 2015 The Born Positive Trust in the UK raised a total of £6,993.95 and started the year with a balance carried over from 2014 of £1,200.99 – which gave us a grand total of £8,194.94 available throughout the year.
£3,805.49 was sent to Associacao Born Positive in Mozambique (an average of £317 per month, see the standard budget here)
£576.39 was spent in the UK on expenses and materials
£3,813.06 was the balance remaining in the account when we closed the year and has been carried over into 2016 (we received a donation of £2,000 in late November which made this balance more than expected).
In 2014 the re-sale of Alzira’s bracelets made us £335.38 compared to a massive £930.14 in 2015!
Achievements in 2015
- The Born Positive Trust registering with the Charity Commission in the UK
- Welcoming Generoso to the team as Director of Associacao Born Positive in Mozambique
- Recruiting new volunteers to the project in Mozambique
- Receiving repeat funding from the Lions Club Germany
- Receiving funding from NCS Oxfordshire
- Receiving funding from Oxted school
- Receiving a large donation of materials and food in Maputo from a local event
- The #BornPosBracelet project has made big progress with Alzira becoming more and more independent and the amount of bracelets bought and resold increased considerably
- We reached 1000 likes on Facebook
- Amazing improvements in all the families and massive development in all the children
- To date 12 orphan children have directly benefited or are continuing to benefit from our support, and an estimated 60+ children and adults have indirectly benefited from the project
Difficulties in 2015
- A member of the team in Mozambique was found to have stolen some money and was very difficult to manage
- Payment for rent of the office each month was sometimes challenging because of the short turnaround time with budget request and delays with the international money transfer
- None of the team members in Mozambique are paid salaries which puts a limit on the amount of hours we can ask them to volunteer, it is also harder to find skilled people to give up their time
- The UK trustees all have full time commitments which limits the time they can dedicate to fundraising
- Generoso lives permanently in the UK and although he travels to Mozambique, he coordinates most of the operations and team members on the ground remotely
- Although funding comes regularly we need a lot more to take the project in Mozambique to the next level
Focus for 2016
- Registration of the project in Mozambique
- New office – we will be actively seeking a new office in a location around Matola
- New vehicle – we will be searching for a new vehicle with more space for passengers and food deliveries
- Home visits – we plan to launch a new initiative where a short lesson will be delivered to all the families during the home visits each month. The lessons can be about 20 minutes long and cover any topic of interest to the welfare of the kids and families e.g. washing hands, brushing teeth, writing names etc.
- New families – it has been decided that we won’t actively seek new families until the registration process is moving forward and until we have found a new location for our permanent office
- Website update
All in all it was a successful year and progression was made, although more and more of our time is being taken up with admin and paperwork which is taking some adjustment. But despite all this and the new structure we are still all very much one big team and family who all share so much love for the children in Mozambique – we’ll continue to strive to do all we can to help them grow up in loving homes. As always, if you feel compelled to help please just let us know.
Thanks for reading, Amy Hulme
P.S. Here’s a very special thank you to the volunteers who gave so much of their time to the project in Mozambique during 2015; Galdeu, Arlirio and Greta.