I am delighted to present to you the first Annual Report of Opportunity Knox Charity. The idea for the Charity was sparked from Ursula and I being part of a group of Donors to World Vision Ireland who visited Eastern Uganda in November 2015. Ursula and I were two of the 22 people who took the trip.
We were gobsmacked with the extent of the poverty we saw there and most markedly by the plight of the rural dwellers who have very little in the way of houses, land, food, the very basics for survival. We resolved to do something about it, so when we returned to Ireland, we had the Company set up within a month, we were back out to Uganda in April 2016 and we delivered mattresses and blankets to 20 families before we returned home. We also made arrangements to pay the school fees for 68 children from the beginning of the next term which was at the beginning of June. We returned there in December 2016 for two weeks to monitor the success of the families and the children as well as to ensure that the money we had sent out to our Volunteer Wmima John Kennedy and his wife Hellen had been spent in line with our wishes and to check that proper paperwork for accounting purposes existed. We accepted another 20 families into the programme and in February of this year 114 children were having their school fees paid for them.
Meanwhile, at home, we were working on a constitution that would enable the Company to become a registered charity, This involved many changes to the structure of what was a simple Company with a three page constitution and two directors that we had set up in December 2015, to a company with four Directors/Trustees and a much longer and more detailed constitution that met with the approval of the Charities Regulator. We got this recognition in November 2016.nWe also managed to get our CHY No. from the Revenue Commissioners in February 2017. We had the formal Launch of the Charity in early April 2017 in the Community Centre in Kilmacow where we live.
During the year we have, with the voluntary help of Tomas Breen our webmaster, set up our website at opportunityknox.ie and we have a successful Facebook page of the same name, facebook.com/opportunityknox.ie. We thank our Auditor Ciaran O’Mullain for his guidance oh how to keep proper accounts and implement various systems that ensure clarity for anyone who reads them.
In the coming months we intend to introduce a system where donors are given photogrraphs and other details of the family and children their donations are helping.
We wish to thank all our neighbours, friends and all others who have helped us in any way to carry out this worthwhile project to help educate children that we are getting to know quite well in Tiira Village, Eastern Uganda.