Recently we noticed a monthly charge of £6 going out of the Street Kids account, and were puzzled; so next time we were in the bank we asked them what it was for. It turned out that if you have a business account (which is what this charity or community account is classed as) with the facility to send money abroad, there is a £6 a month charge. We had had no idea of this; we only have sent money out to Uganda two or three times a year at the most, which anyway has substantial charges; a further £72 a year going out was a blow! The bank clerk said that if we cancelled it, whenever we wanted to send money out we could transfer it to an ordinary account first, and then do it from there. So we cancelled the "overseas transfer" facility straight away.
But we were upset that - purely by our own inefficiency - all this money, generously given by so many people, had been going out of the account. I mentioned this to an acquaintance, who was asking about progress with the SKILL Hostel; and he suggested asking HSBC for a donation from their Charities Fund to replace the money which has gone out in charges! A bit cheeky, I thought - but why not try?
Later that day, a cheque for £72 from that friend was posted through our door, "which will retrospectively cover 12 months bank charges." This was so kind and encouraging!
But - just in case - I phoned HSBC, and after the usual palaver of being passed from department to department, and a LONG wait, I explained the situation to a lady. She asked me to hang on, and went away; another LONG wait, and then she came back, and said the money paid out for that charge would be reimbursed in full! I was absolutely delighted and very grateful and told her so.
But I felt I must return the kind cheque to the generous neighbour - but they flatly refused to take it back! "It all goes to a good cause!" they said.
So two bits of good news to encourage us that day!
News from Kasese
We are sorry that there have been no posts on this Blog for a long time - we have been awaiting news from Kasese.
Several things have happened in recent months:
- Rev. Nelson Isebagheen, a Church of Uganda clergyman whom we have met each time we went to Kasese, is a member of the SKILL Board, and has taken over all financial responsibilities. (He is a man whom we like and respect enormously.) This will release Enos Kibibi, the Director of SKILL, to do what he is gifted at - working directly with the street children - rather than administrative tasks.
- Accommodation for the electical tools: an earlier post mentioned that the Thuthu Woodworking Company would accommodate a lot of the electrical tools which TWAM (Tools With A Mission- http://www.twam.co.uk/) are holding for us in Kampala. A further development now is that the Mothers' Union Women's Learning Centre, where Mary did needlework and craft seminars on our first two visits to Uganda, will likewise accommodate sewing machines and knitting machines, and let girls from the Street Children's hostel have instruction there.
- This means that we are now in a position to arrange for all the TWAM tools to be sent from the Kampala TWAM warehouse to Kasese; TWAM have been asked to make arrangements for this transport, and to send the bill to us.
- TWAM also told us that the tax duty levied by the Uganda government for all this equipment would be almost £1,000; and we have said we will cover that too.