Spring 2023 Letter
Spring 2023 Letter to Bóthar Supporters from CEO
I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying the spring. Before anything else, I want to express my sincere gratitude for your unwavering support for our charity. Your contributions have made a significant impact on the lives of those we serve, and we could not be more grateful.
I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with an update on the progress we've made so far, thanks to your generosity. But first, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the beauty of the season and the hope it brings. Just as spring is a time of renewal, our organisation has experienced positive changes that we are excited to share with you.
In March I had the opportunity to visit our projects and partners in Kosovo and to see the impact of 25 years of collaboration first hand. One of the youngest countries in the world, Kosovo recently celebrated their 17th anniversary of independence. A nation brimming with hope, despite the stark reality of their war-torn past, as Kosovo recently celebrated their 17th anniversary of independence and the 25th anniversary of the start of their conflict. The stories of resilience and hope that I heard from the people there were truly inspiring. It was heart-warming to see offspring of Irish dairy cows in communities that received the original animals 20 years ago and to observe and hear about the difference our mission has made to many lives across the country. Seeing Bóthar cows that arrived last December producing 20 litres of milk in a first lactation underlines the immediate and noteworthy impact an Irish animal can have. We even had the opportunity to taste Bóthar cheese, a delicious reminder of the positive change we are making as we moved from village to village.
It is through your support and that of many Irish families, that this has been possible, for which we as an organisation are deeply grateful. As Kosovo marks 25 years since the start of the war, it is our intention to gift 60 in-calf heifers to Kosovan families this Autumn. This gift will make a real difference in the lives of the people there, and we are thrilled to be able to continue our work with your support.
Bóthar Corporate Governance
As a charity, we understand the importance of trust and transparency in our operations. That's why we've made a promise to our supporters to build a fully transparent organisation, with robust governance and financial controls. We are proud to report that we are fulfilling that promise, with the establishment of a new Bóthar Board and the implementation of rigorous financial controls and accountability measures throughout our charity. Our recently published accounts, which can be viewed on our website, demonstrate our commitment to transparency and ethical behaviour. We are currently undergoing our next audit to ensure that we are adhering to the highest standards.
In our efforts to cut costs, we have decided to sell our Limerick office, which is now too large for our needs. This decision was not taken lightly, but we are confident that it will enable us to better focus on our mission and deliver more impactful programmes. We are currently searching for a new operational base and look forward to continuing our work with renewed vigour and purpose.
At Bóthar, we have a unique approach to combatting hunger and poverty worldwide. We believe in empowering families and communities to become self-sufficient by providing them with practical assistance in the form of food-and-income producing animals. Our specialised focus on improved livestock production and support-related training sets us apart from other NGOs operating in the field. We are not just providing a one-time handout, but rather equipping impoverished families with the tools to create lasting change. By partnering with Bóthar, you are not just making a charitable donation, you are making an investment in the future of these communities, enabling them to break the cycle of poverty and build a brighter future for themselves and their families. We are committed to making the best use of our donors funds which are entrusted to us. We strive to make Bóthar the best possible version of itself and to continue to assist as many families as possible in the developing world. As we work towards compliance with the Charities Governance Code, we will continue to update you via our website. We are looking forward to the Autumn when we will send in-calf heifers to Kosovo and attend the Ploughing Championships, where we hope to meet many of you face to face.
After the fraud perpetrated against the charity was discovered the previous board made the decision to halt active fundraising until the issue was resolved and the organisation was in a position to effectively monitor and manage income. As mentioned above we have made substantial changes to our procedures and our governance and the new board believe we are in a position to recommence active fundraising. We will be reaching out to all our supporters over the coming months with more details on the specific projects we are working on and ways to support the work. While Covid and recent inflation have had an impact here in Ireland, that impact has in many ways been much more pronounced in developing countries and our work is as important as ever in helping the communities where we work.
As a valued Bóthar supporter, your feedback and suggestions are crucial in helping us to continue to improve and grow as an organisation and we encourage you to reach out if you have any comments, suggestions or questions on the charity and its work. Your continued generosity and support enable us to make a meaningful and enduring contribution to communities worldwide. We urge you to continue supporting our mission by donating and spreading the word about our work. Together, we can make a real difference in the lives of families and communities in need.
Thank you for your ongoing support and dedication to our cause.