The Ubuntu Centre Board of Directors met recently and I was pleased to be able to attend. The reports and discussions dealt with the year-to-date financial report, staff matters, distribution of donated toys and the like. Their sense of commitment and responsibility was evident, and once again I felt so fortunate to have these dedicated people volunteering on our behalf to enable this project.
Vicky presented the year-end report which noted the positive impact of the weekly visits of the physiotherapists and dietician. She has observed improvement in their sewing skills, and the beneficial effects of their sports activities on their physical well being. The combined effect of these activities over time has resulted in a tremendous boost to the gogos’ self-esteem.
We were pleased to learn that the medical suppliers of the very expensive blood sugar testing strips have recently begun to donate a few boxes of these with each monthly visit.
There are challenges, too. The biggest is the loss of a major donor in Britain who has contributed 50% of the Ubuntu Centre budget over the past four years. The other 50% is from Grannies à Gogo. With this revenue shortfall some cost-cutting measures are in the works.
Other challenges include communication problems between English speaking volunteers and the gogos, and some undercurrents with a few gogos with self-centred expectations.
Ever positive, Vicky and Myriam plan to update the Vulnerable Families database with the help of the Home Based Care ladies, which has not been done in two years. When this information is in hand, they will look at restructuring in the new year, possibly to form smaller pods within Sitabogogo, each with it’s own leader. It’s great to see the Board providing new ideas and leadership opportunities amongst the gogos.