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Annual Report - Caterham Overseas Aid Trust

Caterham Overseas Aid Trust is an ecumenical local charity with volunteers from St. Mary's, St John's, the URC and the Sacred Heart churches working together with members of the local community to raise money to support carefully selected projects in the developing world. We finance simple, down-to-earth aid projects which are aimed at improving quality of life and use the maximum community self-help. We aim for our projects to become locally sustainable and we work through recognised non-governmental organisations (NGOs). All the money raised goes directly to the projects and we have no administration expenses.

Another year has passed and, thanks to local generosity, we have completed our annual commitments!   We promise £3,000 a year to each of our four main charities – Water Aid, VSO, Practical Action and Self Help Africa, which means we are have to raise a minimum amount of £12,000 each year...  

We started two new projects this year: one with Practical Action working in post-earthquake Nepal where we want to fund the rebuilding, repair and reconnection of one of six micro-hydro power stations which will provide sustainable, reliable and affordable energy to over 3,000 families in the Gorkha region.   

The second is with Self Help Africa where they are training 3,000 young people in every aspect of farming, including business and financial management and marketing, to become the farmers of the future.

As an extra project, we have been paying the cost of providing food for a daily meal at a small Christian school in the slum area of Nairobi in Kenya, which two committee members have links with.   They will be visiting there again this year to monitor progress.

As always we are very grateful to the members of St. Mary’s for their continued support and encouragement, especially Fr. Duncan as one of our Patrons. This year's Christmas Appeal bought in a marvellous £638.75, which, along with the collection from the three other Caterham Churches gives us a good start for 2017.  

As always we are very grateful to St. Mary’s PCC for the £250 Formula Giving.  

One of our most successful fund raising evenings was a quiz at St. Mary’s, which raised £728.  Our thanks go to Michael Cooke, who was a superb question master, and also to his sons, Aaron and Lucas, who acted as scorer and answer collector.  And ... the winning team was from St. Mary’s!

If you get the opportunity to go to Queen's Park, do look at our plaque in the Rotary Crocus Walk "Caterham Overseas Aid Trust (COAT) - helping to eradicate poverty". This will bring us greater recognition in the local area, so we are very grateful to Rotary.

Looking ahead, we have the responsibility of wisely “spending” money from two unexpected legacies of £10,553 and £3,000, which we will be using for specific projects and we look forward to informing you about these in our 2018 PCC report.

Barbara Whiteford


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