1 October 2018

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – 2018

TRUSTEES REPORT

for the Financial Year ended 31 December 2017

INTRODUCTION

Three caring Goans founded the Goan Welfare Society (GWS) in March 1983, to provide limited assistance to the community living in the UK. In time, two of the original Trustees passed away and the responsibility for the Charity was handed over to the Goan Association (UK) in October 2004 by the then existing Trustee. The constitution was updated and approved by the Charity Commission with four new Trustees appointed by the then Board of Directors. However, as required by the Charity Commission, the Charity must operate as an autonomous body with its own membership and raising its own funds. The present Trustees are: Paul De Mendonça, Norma Menezes-Rahim, Alfred Rebello, Rosy De Souza and Flavio Gracias (Chair).

The Trustees were confirmed at the last Annual General Meeting and Flavio Gracias has continued as Chair of the Trustees, having been appointed to this position in 2013.

FUND-RAISING

This annual report covers the Financial Year 2017, which runs from January to December, the period under review. Our fund-raising activities continued unhindered and we are grateful to the De Mendonça family for their tremendous help in this area.

The Trustees decided to hold a fund-raising event for the first time by holding a function on New Year’s Eve, It was a major success in terms of publicity and, more importantly we raised £5,040.76. We are repeating this fund-raising event in 2018.

The Planned-Giving Scheme has remained static in 2017 and the current annual income from this source was £805.80. We really would like to encourage more of our members to join the scheme. A further instalment of £25,000 of the generous legacy left to GWS by Antoinette De Souza in 2017 has allowed the Charity to increase their scope in assisting needy Goans and we would like to request members of the Goan Community to consider nominating the GWS in their Wills.

REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES

It was an extremely busy year with repatriations of deceased Goans to their families in Goa and this activity continues to be an important part of our work. We have two firms of Funeral Directors that provide this service to the Charity at a fixed cost of £2,100.00. On average, we arrange the airlift of three to four bodies every year and it is worthwhile to point out that burials in the UK cost over twice this figure at £4,600.

We are most grateful to the Goan Chaplains in London & Swindon and also to Fr Gerard, the Parish Priest at St Anselm’s R C Church in Southall for their tremendous help in this area of our work.

Members will recall that in December 2015, GWS was asked to assist with the airlift to Goa of Kenneth de Souza, a young Goan boy who suffered brain damage as a result of a cardiac arrest following an asthma attack. We raised over £11,000.00 for the airlift and Kenneth De Souza reached Goa safely on 15 December 2015. Paul de Mendonca, one of our Trustees, visited the family in Goa recently and we report with great sadness that Kenneth is still bed-bound but continues to receive tender loving care from his family.

We are grateful to the Goan Community Association (Ealing), together with Cortalim Union and Navelim Union for their considerable support during 2017, particularly for raising funds towards repatriations and other aspects of our work.  Other activities during the year included:

i.       Assisting Goans suffering with mental health issues to return to Goa for treatment.

ii.      Continuing to help families with financial needs where they are experiencing hardship.

iii.    Giving advice and support on employment issues.

FUTURE PLANS

1.   Membership & Planned Giving

Our membership at the end of 2017 was 145 and our objective is to increase this number by at least 20% per year. Concurrently, our aim is to double the number of donors in our Planned-Giving scheme so that our annual income from this source exceeds £1,000 / year.

2.   Raising awareness

It is important to increase awareness of the Charity and we will continue publicizing our new website for this purpose.

3.   Building Relationships

We plan to foster better relationships with the Indian High Commission, the Portuguese Consulate and Goan Organisations in order that we can better serve members of Community as we approach BREXIT.

Finally, our thanks to Rohan Renard for his help in keeping our website updated free-of-charge and to Esau Rahim, our out-going Financial Accountant for his services over many years. The Trustees have appointed Carringtons, based in Hounslow, as our new Accountants.

FLAVIO GRACIAS
Chair of Trustees

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – 2017

for the Financial Year ended 31 December 2016

INTRODUCTION

Three caring Goans founded the Goan Welfare Society (GWS) in March 1983, to provide limited assistance to the community living in the UK. In time, two of the original Trustees passed away and the responsibility for the Charity was handed over to the Goan Association (UK) in October 2004 by the then existing Trustee. The constitution was updated and approved by the Charity Commission with four new Trustees appointed by the then Board of Directors. However, as required by the Charity Commission, the Charity must operate as an autonomous body with its own membership and raising its own funds. The present Trustees are: Paul De Mendonça, Norma Menezes-Rahim, Alfred Rebello, Rosy De Souza and Flavio Gracias (Chair)

The Trustees were confirmed at the last Annual General Meeting and Flavio Gracias has continued as Chair of the Trustees, having been appointed to this position in 2013.

FUND-RAISING

This report covers the Financial Year 2016, the period under review. Our fund-raising activities continued unhindered and we are grateful to the De Mendonça family for their tremendous help in this area. Members will recall that in December 2015, GWS was asked to assist with the airlift to Goa of Kenneth de Souza, a young Goan boy who suffered brain damage as a result of a cardiac arrest following an asthma attack. We raised over £11,000.00 for the airlift and Kenneth De Souza reached Goa safely on 15 December 2015. Our fund-raising continued in early 2016 and we successfully achieved the target in March 2016. Flavio Gracias visited the family in Goa in December 2016 and we have to report with great sadness that Kenneth is still bed-bound but receiving tender loving care from his family.

Our Planned-Giving Scheme has not increased substantially in 2016 and the current annual income from this source was £870.00. We would like to encourage more of our members and others in Community to join the scheme. However, as the era of austerity within the economy persists, we need find a way to persuade donors gently to give regular amounts to the Charity.

General donations have climbed to £3,162.77 and we believe that increased donations can only be achieved through greater publicity. To this end, we participated in the annual Goan Festival 2016. We are grateful to the Goan Association (UK) for waiving the stall fee at this mammoth event and to Air India for a return air ticket to India.

I would like to highlight the generous legacy left to GWS by Antoinette De Souza and this source of income has brought us a total of £212,500.00 in 2016.

REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES

 

Repatriation of the deceased remains of Goans who passed away in the UK continued to form a major part of our activities and we work with the Goan Chaplains, the Goan Community Association (Ealing) and with village organisations to raise funds for this purpose. I would like to single out Cortalim Union for their considerable assistance for this aspect of our work. Other activities during the year included:

i. Monitoring members of our community in Nursing Homes and providing support to families when required.

ii. Helping cases with financial needs where the family is experiencing hardship.

iii. Giving advice and support on employment issues.

In many of our cases, we work closely with the Pilar Fathers, a Missionary Society, based at St Peter’s & St Paul’s Church in Mitcham and we are grateful to Fr Patrick D’Souza, the Goan Chaplain, for his assistance in blessing the bodies before repatriation.

FUTURE PLANS

1. Membership

Our membership at the end of 2016 was around 100 and our objective is to increase this number by at least 20% per year. The Charity will concentrate its efforts to create a core of members that can and are willing to give us active support when needed.

2. Planned Giving

Our aim is to double the number donors in our Planned-Giving scheme so that our annual income from this source exceeds £1,000 and we will strive to achieve this target in 2017, when our new website is in place.

3. Raising awareness

It is important to increase awareness of the Charity and, to this end, we will continue our participation at the Goan Festival. We also plan to hold a major fund-raising event in 2017. God bless and hope that you had a pleasant summer.

FLAVIO GRACIAS Chair of Trustees

Cover photo: Ajar at the English language Wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0]

PIO Card

Extension of last date for conversion of PIO into OCI till 31st December 2017

Person of Indian Origin

The Government of India has announced vide Gazette Notification No.26011/01/2014IC.I dated 09 January 2015, that all PIO cards issued till 09 January 2015 are deemed to be OCI card. As such the PIO Card scheme has been withdrawn and henceforth, applicants may apply for OCI card ONLY, as PIO card scheme is no longer in existence.

The date for application for conversion of valid PIO card to OCI card has been extended till 31 December 2017. The valid PIO card holders are advised to submit the applications by 30 June 2017. One can apply for OCI card in lieu of valid PIO card free of any charges. However the applicant will have to pay the service charges for the outsourcing agency as well as postal charges.

The applicants may submit the applications for OCI card in lieu of PIO card to the Indian Mission/FRRO concerned within the jurisdiction of his/her place of residence. This is in modification of the earlier instructions that they should apply only at the location where the PIO card was issued.

In the event of change of passport of PIO card holder, he/she can travel to India on the basis of new passport with the valid PIO card and the old passport on which PIO card number is endorsed.

From 02 March 2015, application forms for OCI services in lieu of PIO Cards are accepted at the VFS centres only and no OCI services are being rendered at the High Commission of India, London.

For detailed information please visit VFS Website : http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk . E-mail : info.inuk@vfshelpline.com

Note:  This article originally appeared on the Indian High Commission website.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – 2016

TRUSTEES REPORT 2017

INTRODUCTION

The Goan Welfare Society (GWS) was founded by three caring members of the Goan Community in March 1983, to provide limited assistance to Goans living in the UK. In time, two of the Trustees passed away and the responsibility for the Charity was handed over to the Goan Association (UK) in October 2004. It was re-constituted with Trustees appointed by the Board of Directors. However, as required by the Charity Commission, the Charity operates as an autonomous body with its own membership, raising its own funds and holding it own Annual General Meeting. The present Trustees are: Paul De Mendonça, Norma Menezes-Rahim, Alfred Rebello, Bosco Saldanha and Flavio Gracias (Chair).

There have been no changes to the Trustees since the last AGM and Flavio Gracias has continued as Chair of the Trustees, having been appointed to this position in 2013.

FUND-RAISING

During 2015, the year under review, our fund-raising initiatives continued unabated and we are grateful to the Mendonça family for their support in this area, given with great enthusiasm. Towards the end of the year, we were asked to assist with the airlift to Goa of Kenneth de Souza, a young Goan boy who suffered brain damage as a result of a cardiac arrest following a severe asthma attack. The GWS was requested by the family to spearhead the organizational arrangements for this project and we set about a major fund-raising drive. The cost of the airlift by stretcher, arranged through Air India, required an outlay of nearly £11,000.00, which included the cost of a Nurse to accompany the patient all the way to Goa and the respective visa fees.

We were delighted with the response from the Community to our fund-raising appeal, which included a loan of £7,000.00, thus allowing GWS to effect the airlift on 14 December 2015. We are most appreciative of the tremendous help we received from the Medical Team at Charing Cross Hospital and the Air India Management not only at head office but also at Heathrow airport, which ensured that all went smoothly with the airlift. We are also grateful to Neena Naik, the Nurse who accompanied Kenneth all the way to Goa and ensured that Kenneth arrived safely to his family in Goa.

Regretfully, since his arrival in Goa and subsequent hospitalization, Kenneth’s improvement has been very slow but we pray for his eventual recovery in the loving arms of his family.

REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES

Apart from the involvement of GWS with the airlift of Kenneth De Souza towards the end of 2015, we assisted with the repatriation of Sucorro Braganza’s body to Goa earlier in the year. Our other major activity was the processing of the probate of two elderly sisters who were both single and passed away in 2014 and 2015 respectively.  As the Executor named in their Wills, Flavio Gracias, with the help of a solicitor was responsible for the disposal of their assets.  Other activities during the year included:

i. Providing support where intervention by the Social Services was required, in particular with a member of the Community who was single and suffered dementia. He was placed in a Care Home and we are providing support to the family as necessary.

ii. Helping cases with their medical and financial needs where the family is experiencing hardship. We were successful with the stabilization of a family with marital problems and we are providing on-going financial assistance to another family where illness has forced the parents to give up work.

iii. Continuing to keep in touch with a member of the Community, with no family in the UK, and who is in a home in Hounslow after having recovered from TB in the brain.

In many of our cases, we work closely with the Pilar Fathers, a Missionary Society, based at St Peter’s & St Paul’s Church in Mitcham.

Our financial position is fairly strong with a bank balance as at 31 December 2015 of £19,158.22, which includes a loan of £7,000.00 to be repaid in 2016.

FUTURE PLANS

1. Membership

Our membership at the end of 2015 reached 103 and our objective is to increase it by at least 20% per year so that we have a core of members that will continue to give us active support when needed.

2. Planned Giving

Our goal to double the number of donors in our planned giving scheme was not achieved but our efforts to increase the annual income from this source to £1,000 will continue.

3. Raising awareness

It is important that we endeavour to make strenuous efforts to increase awareness of the Charity as widely as possible. It is our intention to develop a website for this purpose so that we become the charity that will respond to the needs of the Community and will also be the main choice for donations at milestone events like birthdays, anniversaries and funerals.

 

Cover photo: Ajar at the English language Wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0]