Dinah, the Chief Trustee, of Bhola's Children, is off on her travels again. She and Freda, fellow member of the Board are in Dhaka as I write, awaiting the evening launch to the island. As supporters will know, Ali, founder, and mainstay of the home for so many years, has been out of action recently. We've been working hard to find a replacement director who will maintain and develop Ali's - and our - dreams whilst leaving Ali himself in more of an advisory and consultancy role. Zakir is currently doing a wonderful job and we all hope he will stay long term.
Below, I'm publishing intact Dinah's letter to donors. Yes, it is unashamedly a begging letter! But more than that - we're well aware that finances are tight the world over - it's a request for ideas, for advice, for unique suggestions about new ways of fundraising. Whether you personally can offer to do anything, know someone who can or you simply come up with something we've not thought of, please comment here! I'm happy to go with the whole range of the sublime and the ridiculous...
|Zakir's youngest daughter, Nora, (with her big sister) celebrating her birthday |
with the children in Bhola
Freda and I are off to Bhola again, taking the overnight launch from Dhaka on Saturday. Ali feels well enough to come with us, which is excellent news and I know the children will be thrilled to see him again. He will be working in an advisory capacity, although I know he will want to resume such classes as the very noisy and extremely successful lip reading lessons.
The agenda for our committee meeting includes the item â€˜appointment of new directorâ€™, which is reassuring. We know Zakir is doing a very good job and we are very happy with the new procedures he has put into place. We expect to find a good relationship between him and the staff and the children, whom he obviously adores. I first met Zakir some five years ago and knew he would be an ideal successor to Ali â€“ who himself wanted him to take over â€“ but at the time he wasnâ€™t prepared to take on the role. It is wonderful that he feels the time is now right.
Zakir's permanent appointment, much as it is welcomed, does give us a financial problem. His salary is 50,000 taka a month â€“ which is what we had always expected to pay a good director so we anticipated this extra expense in due course. Unfortunately, though, the taka is now very strong so this equates to nearly Â£450 a month, as opposed to Â£400 when the taka stood at 125/Â£
In addition, of course, we continue to pay Ali and will need to rent accommodation for him outside the boundary.
As you can see if you have read this far, this is becoming a begging email. Our running costs have increased from Â£25,000 to over Â£30,000 a year. So if anyone can increase their standing order or put one into place, we would be extremely grateful. I know times are tough for us all, but every little helps and you can be assured that every penny you donate will go to the maintenance of our children.
And if anyone has any bright ideas for fundraising this year, weâ€™ d love to hear from you.
Meanwhile Ali, Zakir and all the staff thank you for your generosity towards our lovely children, as do we trustees.