Over 70 delegates attended the 2015 CWUHA Annual General Meeting held in the Meyrick Suite in the Bournemouth International Centre. The event was sponsored by Simpson Millar Solicitors.
Honoured guests to our 20th Anniversary year AGM were Dennis McWilliams, co-founder and the first President of the CWUHA, Dave Ward the new CWU General Secretary and Victoria Dunford founder of Mad-Aid Charity.
The Chair opened the meeting by saying that the charity was formed in 1995 and over the last twenty years had delivered aid, hope and smiles and is a credit to all who provide funds, fundraise, teach at the school in Africa, take part in convoys and of course all the families and friends who support them.
The Chair went to say that recognition should also be given to CWUHA’s amazing corporate sponsors Royal Mail, BT, Anpost, Eircom, UIA, Simpson Millar, Walkers Union to name but a few and all the CWU branches and members in Ireland and the UK that have supported us for many years.
Ian Young the out-going Financial Officer who has looked after the charity’s accounts since becoming a registered charity 1998, said he was sad to be standing down but would be staying on as a trustee. Ian went on to say that CWUHA is a unique organisation, which he was very proud of with devoted and hardworking Trustees, without them the charity would not function.
The Project Managers gave detailed reports:
Convoys. Trish Vollans with input from Steve Rowlands & Eric Parker
Syrian Refugee Camps. Two vehicles went on the 1st visit to the Syrian refugee camp on the Bulgarian/Turkish border May 2014 – Harmanli Camp on the border of Bulgaria and Turkey in what was a disused Army barracks.
The Barracks closed in 2002 and had been empty until the first of the refugees turned up in early 2013.Delivering clothing, bedding, beds, cots, prams, toys, sanitary towels, cleaning materials and other items.
Once again, Nikki our friend from ‘One Life Bulgaria’ facilitated the delivery in-country. The need for aid is constant, many charities are in country helping and of course CWUHA will do all we can to alleviate the refugees plight.
Bulgaria In September 7 vehicles again went to the orphanages/institutions & hospitals in Romania & Bulgaria. Aid was distributed to the following:
- Down syndrome and Cerebral palsy association
- Diabetes association for young people
- Hospital Vidin, Saint Petka, which looks at treatment of acute mental disorders, with a view of increasing life standards. Previously visited 2009.
- Hospital for physiotherapy, a hospital in which kids and adults can attend for rehabilitation after accidents. Poiana Mare Psychiatric hospital is a refurbished military unit; it has the capacity of 500 beds for those with chronic psychiatric needs.
The charity also sent a 17ton vehicle to the Syrian camps with 10 tons of much needed aid before the winter set in.This was done again with the assistance of Nikki our friend in Bulgaria.
Lithuania: an assortment of aid was delivered directly to, the Avaikai Kaunas Children care institution in Vilnius, for children between ages 3 to 18 without parental care; they live in household based units that are as close as possible to a regular family environment. They are provided with a general education, a special needs school and a children‘s day centre. Providing them with a safe haven both physically & psychologically balanced. Lithuania, the vehicles arrived in Vilnius, everything was once again achieved with quality goods delivered to the point of need.
School in Tanzania. Alex Pearson
During 2014 CWUHA continued to support a school in Moshi Tanzania. The school is run by the Head Master, Mr. Masawee, at his family farm. Our sponsored school continues to flourish, with volunteers visiting the school to help the children with their basic English language skills. We continue to finance the education of children and pay for teachers’ salaries. It costs just £40 per year per child and this cost includes 2 uniforms and a hot meal each. 90 children walk 5-6 kms to school, some don’t want to go home at night. But as we all know – Learning is key! The Koala Project is also another organisation that the CWUHA are linking with.
Dave Ward said “I am proud to accept the role of CWUHA President and it’s without a shadow of a doubt 20 years is a great achievement of humanitarian aid and to carry on with the effort over such a length of time is a fantastic achievement”
Dennis McWilliams “I am proud to be associated with CWUHA, a distinct charity that crosses the boundaries in many aspects – employees, employers, brothers, sisters, comrades and of course the borders”
CWUHA Project the Phoenix Centre
The CWUHA has a long history and many convoys under its belt and networks have been built along the way with other organisations helping to make links into other countries. One of those links being Mad Aid, leading us back into Moldova in 2015 where we aim to send convoys in May and September.
Victoria Dunford founder of Mad-Aid said “I would like to thank all the trustees for agreeing to link with us, there has already been an amazing improvement to what is to be the ‘Phoenix Centre’ in Moldova with- Water, electric and the windows have been changed. Ready for the opening in September 2015”
Carl thanked Victoria and assed “ The ‘Phoenix’ Disabled Children’s Centre is our 20th Anniversary project, in memory of an amazing woman Mel Holmes who always wanted to travel on convoy but didn’t drive. So this will be Mel’s legacy, nothing more fitting than passing on her smile and laughter to children.
This project is our biggest undertaking in 15 years, focusing on assisting disabled children by renovating and transforming a rundown school in Moldova into an activity centre. The new centre will provide an early intervention unit for children with physical disabilities aged from 0-5, as well as facilities for disabled teenagers to learn how to become independent. With an on-site rehabilitation centre catering to a wide-range of needs and conditions, the facility will also act as a central point for wheelchair distribution in the region. In addition to providing crucial services to disabled children in the area, it is also hoped that the new centre will help the local community through job creation”.
The AGM was closed by Carl who thanked everyone for attending and their continued support of CWUHA.