May 17, 2011

Dear fans,

I wasnít actually thinking I would write write. I have a very strange and bumpy relationship with my laptop. But to the point.

The other day, we had an OTSK board meeting in London and one of the things we discussed is a name change. If you visit the site you will read the reasons behind it which are many and deeply considered. The new name will be SA-YES South African Youth Education for Sustainability. Which is exactly what it is and, in part, what I wanted to talk about here.

One is that the OTSK program is doing extremely well and I am very very proud of what Michelle and the mentors and mentees have been up to on the ground in Capetown and I am very excited for the future of the program overall.

Statistically, the success rate is remarkable. There are youths in university, college, and in employment who would not be where they are, were it not for OTSK. Anyone out there who has contributed time or money to this charity should be very pleased with yourself and your direct positive influence on otherís lives.

The second thing is that this time now is crucial. There is a good chance that in a year or two, with potential sponsoring and funding coming in, the program will be self-sustainable. But in these early days it is really important that we keep our head above water and cover the running costs as well as - and just as importantly - grow. There are many many youths waiting in the wings to be a part of the program but it is just not financially feasible to take them on with the small income the charity is sustaining itself on now.

In the short term, I am going to auction another set of the Dave Wise photos which Dave himself had released online after the magazine ran. He gave me permission a while ago to print them up for auction.

In the upcoming months, I have hopes of convincing Universal to offer Johnny English 2 premiere tickets so that they can be auctioned off. I had previously promised the proceeds of the US tickets to go to ANSA but the London, Sydney and Hong Kong tickets should be auctionable for OTSK in the not too distant future. The film is very funny by the way. I have seen only a teeny bit but I think everyone will happily pee their pants.

I am also going to email my friends and ask that they consider making monthly donations of 10£ towards OTSK. I have not done this before but itís time. We only have funds in the charityís account to last until August so itís push time. If any of you have relatives you havenít bugged or employers who could spare some change, give them a little nudge to help us get over the hump into next year.

Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to our growth so far. It really really is making a difference.

Oh and donít forget to bid on the NF Doodle Day Doodles!! David did one and Simon Pegg drew Paul and thereís some GLEE action in there.

;) G