ESPERANTO-ASOCIO DE BRITIO (Registered Charity no: 272676)
This was a year full of innovation and promise for Esperanto in Britain. After two years of development on the education front - improving postal and residential courses, publishing new dictionaries and books, modernising support materials such as CDs, CDROMs and the first DVD, and maintaining a special Esperanto Education website - the trustees felt the time was ripe to embark on a new project - Springboard to Languages - to introduce the international language to Primary Schools in Britain.
New government guidelines, which must be implemented by 2010, require primary school children to be taught a second language. Esperanto can bridge this gap by promoting 'Language Awareness', so that in Secondary Schools the students will be ready for their introduction to any other national language.
There is a dearth of national language teachers at Primary School level. EAB's education team prepared teachers' packs to show how the learning of Esperanto would fit into the curriculum and meet the language teaching requirement.
EAB is seeking ways of influencing decision makers. To that end the Association has joined other professional bodies connected with language development in schools.
The objects of the Esperanto Association are: to advance the education of the public in the international language Esperanto in the furtherance of international communication without discrimination, and of the natural right of all people and peoples, their languages and cultures to be treated equally.
Publicity is essential to the Association's work. The publicity team organised an excellent stand at the Language Show in London in the first week of November, 2005 where the Springboard project was the focus. Although that falls into the next EAB-financial year, all the preparatory work was done in 2004/5, and it can be disclosed that the project launch was met with enthusiasm by teachers.
Members of the education team helped to man the stand and ran a seminar. Co-operation between teams helps to ensure that the charity meets its objectives.
EAB hosted five coach loads of European Esperantists when they visited Folkestone and Dover in March, to celebrate the centenary of the first World Esperanto Congress in Boulogne-sur-mer. Interviews and articles about Esperanto appeared in radio and journals.
The trustees are the members of the Management Committee of the Esperanto-Asocio de Britio, elected by the Annual General Meeting to serve until the end of the next AGM. Trustees who served during the year were:
John Wells (president), Edmund Grimley Evans (vice-president), Geoffrey Sutton (hon. secretary), Joyce Bunting (hon. treasurer), David Bisset (library), Helen Fantom (publicity), Derek Tatton (liaison & Language Watch), David Kelso (from 7th May 2005)(education), Ian Fantom (from 7th May 2005)(membership research).
New trustees are presented with a handbook detailing their responsibilities and the current policies of the Association, as well as recent minutes, by way of induction.
The trustees appoint staff, team leaders and individuals to carry out specific tasks, who report back to the Management Committee. Paid staff include: Viv O'Dunne (office manager), Angela Tellier (education co-ordinator, part-time) and Jim Voiels (public relations, part-time). The Springboard project has led to increased work hours. Staff meet with the trustees for a weekend in the summer to review activities and make plans.
The association is indebted to volunteers without whom there would be no website, EAB Update, La Brita Esperantisto, residential or postal courses, Butler Library, Congresses, dictionaries or new educational materials, exams, leaflets, Bendoteko, 'Language Watch', etc.
Membership at the end of October 2005 : life members 30, full members 336, family members 25, supporters 73.
It is disappointing to note the drop in numbers, and sad to learn of the deaths of so many faithful friends during the year. Research into membership is ongoing, and maybe ways can be found of attracting those non-members who use EAB's website, courses, or the mail order book service. The very modest membership subscriptions have not increased for several years. Members and supporters receive EAB Update - edited by Geoffrey Sutton - four times a year. Full members receive in addition La Brita Esperantisto - an all-Esperanto journal edited by Paul Gubbins - twice a year. Full members are automatically affiliated to UEA.
A comprehensive Information Pack was sent to members at the end of the year, detailing all activities, and the easy-to-read website, www.esperanto.org.uk carries a wealth of information.
The Library committee has been working steadily to sort, catalogue and conserve material in and about Esperanto and interlinguistics. The original Butler collection has been expanded by bequests of books and archive material, some new purchases and bound editions of important periodicals. There is still a lot to be done. During Somera Festivalo, the library was a focus for bibliographic exploration. It is hoped to connect the library computer to the internet soon, to enable online research.
A specialist second-hand book list, as well as the library catalogue, are available at: www.biblbut.org. This website is edited by Geoffrey King, the Honorary Librarian. Contacts are being fostered between the Butler Library, the British Library and the National Library of Scotland; selected duplicate volumes and periodical runs will be sent to them.
Donations are gratefully received and acknowledged for the Butler Library, Publicity, Education, the Esperanto Garden or Afrika Agado.
The Education Support Fund was started in 2005. The aim is to subsidise specific initiatives in Esperanto education which might not otherwise be financially viable including: extra tutors when courses are undersubscribed at Barlaston or elsewhere, subsidising training for new Esperanto teachers, subsidising new teaching initiatives and Esperanto courses. The first payment into the Fund was the profit from the Felixstowe Congress in 2004. Added to this was a gift from North Staffordshire Esperanto Group, and an anonymous donation of £500.
A legacy of £5,000 from William Howard was received for general funds.
NoJEF gave a grant of £250 towards the cost of a seminar for Esperanto Teachers in August.
Scout Esperanto League of Britain entrusted funds to EAB three years ago. Ways are being sought to support the centenary World Scout Jamboree in Britain in July-August 2007.
Free Reserves are monies which have not been committed to any specific expenditure plan. The Charity Commission requires trustees to state why they are holding free reserves, thus:
The trustees of EAB aim to balance expenditure with income on an annual basis. But they may plan projects which need substantial funding over several years, and can make provision for this by earmarking (designating) money from reserves to ensure continuity, and call on capital if necessary - up to 5% of the total capital fund over any two year period.
Restricted Use legacies and donations have provided funds for Butler Library, Publicity and Education. When these restricted funds are exhausted, the trustees will have to designate reserves for these purposes, to ensure ongoing commitment. Trustees aim to hold enough reserves to meet any emergency or shortfall in income for whatever reason.
The trustees decided to designate £100,000 over 5 years to the Springboard to Languages project. Should the project founder, then the money remaining could be used for other purposes.
Total available resources of as at 31st October 2005, £1,580,487
For restricted purposes (Library, Publicity, Education, Africa, Garden) £27,043
Designated for the Springboard project £93,773
Fixed Assets including the new building £178,550
Capital Fund from sale of 140 Holland Park Avenue held to generate income £903,183
John Brownlee endowment fund (interest only to be used) £52,945
This leaves Free Reserves of £324,993 which the trustees consider reasonable, to cover any eventuality.
EAB's investment policy is to invest capital in unit trusts specifically designed for the charity sector, to meet the need for both income and growth for many years, at the same time permitting the release of capital for well-considered projects in furtherance of the charity's aims. Under the Constitution, the charity has power to make investments as the trustees see fit.
The split of investments between categories is:
Total value of cash and Investments at 31st October 2005 £1,394,471.
Law applicable to charities in England and Wales requires the trustees to prepare financial statements at the end of each financial year which give a true and fair view of its financial activities during the year and of its financial position at the end of the year. In doing so the trustees are required to:
The trustees are responsible for keeping accounting records which disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the charity and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Charities Act 1993. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the charity and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention of fraud and other irregularities.
Approved by the trustees and signed on their behalf by:
Prof. J.C.Wells, President Date:11th February 2006
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