Shoring up support

In 2008 we developed our fundraising methods; we were able to concentrate on establishing recurring donations rather than being so heavily reliant on one-off fundraising events.

Projects at the forefront of our efforts included the campaign to raise sufficient funds and establish connections with the experts required, to enable us to dig a bore-hole to provide safe, clean drinking water for the Bathorë community in Albania. This had been a long-standing ambition since our first contact with that community, and required a solid base of funding so that the project could go ahead without any risk of delay mid-way through. Equally important was preparation of the community, who would be responsible for maintaining the security of the pump once in place.

This took place against a background of improvement in the Albanian political situation, with a government finally establishing itself; but at the same time, many of the larger charities were moving on to other acutely needy locations. Our ethos was to stick with the community and help to maintain its development.

Developing relationships

2007, like the previous year, was characterised by working to support the efforts of local organisations in our target countries, rather than taking substantial convoys overland. Rather than being a philosophical shift, this was rather in response to the particular needs we were aware of and requests we received.

We worked with the Our Generation youth group in Ukraine in particular, for example by providing hosting for websites for several of their “departments” — specialist clubs for things like making music, and touring with their HIV-awareness theatre.

Their theatre has travelled from their home city in Ukraine, to several other cities and even to Poland, with support from European Union funding.

We also continued working on “twinning” projects between youth groups and theatre companies in Britain (plus also the Americas!), and our destination countries, particularly Ukraine.