Message from the President and Founder of ADDHU, Laura Vasconcellos:

2013 was ADDHU’s seventh year of existence.

 As it was also the case for 2012, 2013 was a very difficult year: with the economic and financial crisis and the climate of uncertainty that settled in Portugal, we lost even more donors; we reduced human resources as well as administrative and structural costs and, once more, we had to rely on the collaboration of volunteers with our very small staff already accumulating several jobs.

The spirit of mission and sacrifice, that has always characterized ADDHU and other Organizations similar to ours, prevailed and we were able to maintain our projects in Kenya and Portugal. We were extremely sad to have to suspend our Nepal project, that is at a standstill for lack of necessary funds.

In Portugal, we maintained our Citizens of the World Program, although we noticed a decrease in the number of schools available to participate: we have expanded our partnerships with Universities and private schools; we promoted Theatre for Human Rights in one secondary school and we continued to monitor the work of the Human Rights Observatory in that same school. We were forced to reduce the number of conferences and Human Rights awareness sessions for lack of financial resources. Our exchange program between students of Portuguese secondary schools and our children in Kenya was maintained with great success and enthusiasm from children on both sides and through social networks where we witnessed an increase in the number of supporters, by providing them with information on serious human rights violations in the world and on the work we accomplish. We have also taken the first steps towards a program to help the elderly.

In Kenya, we undertook several refurbishment projects at the Wanalea Children’s Home and we welcomed 4 more children. We have strengthened our goal to build a family, since three of these children are actually siblings of a child that has been at the Centre for 5 years. It was always our goal, if and when it was possible, to reunite brothers and sisters under the same roof. We watch with joy the positive evolution of these children towards a future that looks more promising every day. In the slums, through many efforts and hard work, we were able to maintain ou School Feeding Program although we were forced to decrease the number of food distributions that we had been undertaking due to the financial difficulties we are encountering.

We solidified the sustainability of our Foster Parent Program, with a 30% increase in the number of Foster Parents, although the number of ADDHU members has decreased.

The Gifts of Hope Program has continued to fall, with a reduced number of donors.

In Kisii, we maintained our work to support the Kituti community: we undertook health workshops in collaboration with the local Health Department to fight the “jiggers” infection that causes a lot of suffering among this population, mainly children and the elderly.

It hasn’t been easy! The financial crisis has haunted our work but we want and we will continue, because it is our mission, because we have human beings depending on us to evolve, to grow, to live and have access to a dignified future.

We want to maintain what we have and to build more, even just a little bit more. Our determination and our love for others is our strength and never give up our motto!

Our work is and only will be possible thanks to the generosity of all that have supported us and continue to do so, and who trust us.

“It is worth it”, as the results show. To all an enormous thank you!

Laura Vasconcellos – President and Founder of ADDHU