By Emma Vaughan, Trustee
2021 proved to be another challenging year for almost everyone on the planet. We are still struggling with Covid, conflict and humanitarian crises in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Myanmar to name but a few countries, in addition to the threats we, and the planet are facing from environmental damage. It can be overwhelming to consider the position that we are in so it is good to reflect on the great things that 2021 brought too!
For us at World Medicine despite the disappointment of not being able to run our annual clinic in Chaparda, 2021 proved to be a very positive year. Our main achievement was the August launch of the Refugee Friends Clinic in Wapping, London. 5 months on and this project is on a very firm footing with a steady flow of both participants and volunteers. We are very much hoping that the model we have used to run the project may be replicated in other parts of the UK in the coming years.
Another achievement we have been very proud of is our Herculean fundraising efforts. So many people have engaged with us this year to help raise money. Earlier in the year we completed a virtual Kiltwalk and raised significant funds which we were able to use to support the Jay Ambe hospital in Chaparda when they were in dire need of an oxygen generator in May. The generosity of our friends and families are fundamental to the success of World Medicine and for this we are extremely thankful.
Although so many have contributed so much, it feels right to specifically mention 3 fundraisers who have particularly supported World Medicine this year. Firstly, Rafe Robinson, our youngest fundraiser who astonished us with his commitment to the Kiltwalk and rallying friends and family to support him. Rafe raised hundreds of pounds and amazingly we believe that he might be limbering up for another walk in 2022! What an absolute star!
Secondly, Stephanie Robinson who skated, yes skated, 26 miles to raise funds for us. We have so much respect for this phenomenal achievement. Also, Stephanie asked work colleagues to donate money to our charity as a leaving present when she finished working recently before taking on a new job. It was such a generous gesture that really touched us.
Finally, Judith Blair, raised a huge amount of money through running an auricular acupuncture course and donating the fees to us. This was particularly poignant as we know Jude had a tough year one way and another.
Alison, our chairperson has also had a tough 2021 but we are delighted that she is going into 2022 feeling stronger.
Ups and downs has definitely been a feature of 2021. We lost friends that were important to us at World Medicine, we experienced various illnesses, accidents and mishaps. We also gained 3 new graduates Teresa, Chloe, and Amy who impressed us with their enthusiasm and experience.. we are really excited to have them on board. Sadly, again, we had to make the decision to defer our January 2022 trip to Chaparda until January 2023 and so we hope they will wait patiently until then, when, surely, we will return once more!!
The Chaparda Challenge has kept many of us busy this year… read all about it on the dedicated page on our website. Chris Boles, our amazing IT friend and supporter has diligently diarised our efforts for us by writing a weekly blog. We have learnt so much about so many different parts of the world and for many of us, reading the diary has been the highlight of the whole virtual journey. Thank you Chris! Thousands of miles have now been walked in World Medicine’s name and thousands of pounds raised. We are not quite yet there but the end of the road is in sight… well almost!
Finally, we said goodbye to our fantastic fellow trustee Phil Montgomery and then said hello to our fabulous new trustee Gary Carvill. Never a dull moment!!
We look forward in 2022 to continue developing our commitment to providing acupuncture treatments in areas where it is most needed. With this in mind, we may canvas opinion regarding the naming of our charity to see if people believe that our name reflects the service we aim to provide. We are very committed to the work that we do and are very proud of all our volunteers, including acupuncturists, translators, fundraisers and administrative helpers and would like you all to have a say regarding our name! World Medicine’s tagline is “Acupuncture in Action”, and we have been wondering if this better reflects our work..
Meanwhile we wish you all a happy, healthy 2022 and would like to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your amazing support.
Emma on behalf of Trustees
Emma is a trustee, intrepid trekker, and a magnificent fund raiser for World Medicine. In September she tackled and conquered the 3 Lock Ultra – a 49 mile cross country endurance trek, raising a huge amount in the process. She continues to be a galvanising force and inspiration to others. Thank you, Emma!