Accomplish Children’s Trust: the first 10 years
In the beginning ...... was £10 in the bank and a BIG dream..... to reach Africa‘s disabled children.
The beginning was November 2008.
Six of us grouped around a dining room table in York wondered if this dream could possibly come true. Could such a tiny, insignificant acorn possibly grow into an oak tree?
There was no doubt about the need. The stories about babies being abandoned and young children being ignored because they had a disability were heart-breaking – and still are. Because we live in a country where children are usually well cared for and valued, it was difficult to come to terms with a different cultural attitude. We certainly didn't want to foist western values onto an African culture; a culture which has so many lessons to teach us in our materialistic society. So we prayed, after all God is Almighty and we needed a miracle. Several in fact.
A decade later, with financial and prayer support from so many people, the insignificant acorn is a healthy sapling. Yes, there‘s so much more that could be done but in the last 10 years hundreds of disabled children have had their lives transformed. God has provided lots and lots of miracles.
For instance, Accomplish Children’s Trust now provides treatment for nearly 600 children with epilepsy and there is demand for more clinics. The newest clinic is at our primary school for deaf or blind children (which now has 200 pupils – and a waiting list). The therapy clinic Accomplish supports treated 450 children during 2017! A new therapy clinic (again supported by Accomplish) has opened near our primary school, a very exciting development. The dream to have a secondary school is making slow progress – but it now has 100 pupils even though the school is by no means finished. The two vocational training centres continue to expand, each with about 20 boarding disabled students receiving a year‘s training. Agricultural outreach projects in remote villages help families whose children have disabilities to earn an income, giving them the financial means with which to support their families and meet their children’s needs.
Accomplish has just started to support a school for deaf children in the Democratic Republic of Congo – a notoriously difficult country in which to work. Our fledgling project in Malawi is addressing some of the enormous needs faced by children with severe disabilities in that extremely poor country.
Without the support of all the folk at St Edward‘s Church in Dringhouses, York, Accomplish would not have got off the ground. I hope you are hugely encouraged by what God, through you all, has enabled to happen in the last 10 years. Thank you so much.
This article first appeared in St Edward’s Church’s Parish magazine, Porch, in October 2018.