A.R.C (Aid Reaching Children) is a Guernsey registered charity and was founded by Director Linda Garnham in 1998. Linda started her charity work a number of years ago whilst serving in the British Army, organizing many fund raising events for under privileged children, also doing fund raising for the Gingerbread Group in Guildford Surrey. In 1997 Linda had a call from her friend who served in the army with her, asking if she wanted to join a convoy to take humanitarian aid to refugees fleeing across the Kosovo border to a place called Bajram-curri in Northern Albania.
This was a mission organized by a charity in Brighton. Once back from this mission, which turned out to be a bit of a chaotic and badly organized trip, Linda decided that it would be a good idea to start her own charity. The aim of the charity’s work initially was to take aid to war torn areas such as Kosovo and Albania. A.R.C has made several trips down to Kosovo and over 100 ton of aid has to this date been delivered to the people of Kosovo who have found themselves displaced with no where to live.
Since the year 2000 the charity diverted their efforts to helping two young local boys who were born with Goldenhaar’s Syndrome. The Ben and Craig appeal was launched so they could both undergo reconstruction surgery to have new ears made from their own ribs. To date Ben has now finished with his surgeries where as Craig, who had a more severe form of Goldenhaar’s is getting ready to undergo his fourth procedure. A lot of fund raising events were organised and over £30,000 was raised to help fund these operations with anonymous donors also pledging large amounts of money. Craig has very kindly allowed us to to tell his story.
In the year 2001 an earthquake hit the country of India. Again A.R.C sprung into action and put an appeal out for tents and blankets. These were collected and shipped away to the Shree Swaminariyan Temple in Wilsdon north London where they were then shipped out to the devastated area in India. A.R.C also raised over £13,000 which was given to the temple and this helped to fund food and essentials for the people of India.
On 26th December 2004 a natural disaster of great enormity hit SE Asia where many people lost their lives. Just sitting and watching the moving scenes on the tv wasn’t enough for A.R.C. They put an immediate appeal out for volunteers to help collect aid to send out to the devastated area.. Tents, blankets, baby milk, nappies and a shoe box appeal filled with toiletries, also many pairs of shoes. Over 22 tons of aid was collected. 88 people turned out to volunteer their services. Money came flooding in and to date over £60,000 was raised and donations are still being collected for ongoing projects. With a core group of volunteers now on board, and after doing a lot of research A.R.C made the decision to build an orphanage in Sri Lanka. A team from A.R.C made an assessment trip out to Sri Lanka.
Whilst there, A.R.C visited a number of various organizations and has made many acquaintances who have been offering a great deal of help. A.R.C’s team have now finished the Sri Sugatha Orphanage which has been built in Balapitiya and will house 50 Tsunami victims and abused children from across Sri Lanka. All the boys are aged from 5 to16 years. A.R.C have also been involved with a lot of other projects including rebuilding classrooms at a local school called Mahamaya in Hikkaduwa which was funded by ladies college. We have also erected a perimeter fence around another boys home called Baranisoriya, making the home safe and secure. Another home (Sambodhi) for disabled children and adults, was cleared of all rubble from the tsunami and a gate and fencing put up to keep the residents safe. 10 residents were never found after being caught up in the tsunami 38 were lost altogether.
The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, …. was fully locked and had recorded few earthquakes in the preceding 40 years. again ARC set out to fundraise and raised over £20,000 with this they built another orphanage housing 50 children. The Orphanage is called Grace Liberte and was dedicated in the memory of Julie Gavey who passed away in Sept 2012. She was Linda’s sister and had worked on many projects whilst volunteering for ARC. She will be greatly missed.
ARC have now started raising money for the people of the Philippines after another disaster, typhoon Haiyan hit the island in 2013 leaving many dead and millions homeless. ARC will be doing a joint project with BuildAid UK.