Making any kind of decision in life is frightening especially when there are tons of unknown variables that could make or break you. One of the biggest decisions people make is to move abroad. Everyone requires assistance when they make this decision and it’s no different for the Goans in the UK. Enter the Goan Welfare Society in the UK.
The Goan Welfare Society in the UK
The Goan Welfare Society was founded in 1983 to provide limited assistance to Goans living in the UK. It is a Charity organization whose running and responsibility was handed over to the Goan Association in the UK in 2004. This happened since the original trustees had passed on and it was reconstituted with the new first trustees being appointed by a Board of Directors. As per mandate from the Charity Commission, the GWS operates autonomously and has to raise its own funds without any assistance from government organizations.
One of their trustees, Flavio Gracias was kind enough to speak with the newspapers (TOI) giving a small brief about the workings of the Goan Welfare Society. Over the years they have done their best to help families that are living in the UK, to the best of their abilities. They have raised funds to pay for people that could not work due to unforeseen circumstances, for children that fell ill but could not be taken care of by their own families as money was scarce. A major part of their work also includes repatriation of the bodes of deceased Goans to their families back in India. In fact, in the past 5 years, they have done at least 15 repatriations.
Looking to move forward and take on more members
The Goan Welfare Society works closely with Goan chaplains and other Goan associations in the UK to make sure their work is done. The present trustees are Paul de Mendonça, Norma Menezes-Rahim, Alfred Rebello, Rosy de Souza and Flavio Gracias (chair). All provide their services in a voluntary capacity.
So if you would like to or know someone who would be able to join, check out their official website and sign up.
Additionally, the members of the Goan Welfare Society have a small message for people looking to move or moving to the UK. They say that it’s not advisable to emigrate to the UK if one does not already have a strong family support system in the country. Life is quite hard with a lot of families living in cramped conditions without much money to spare for the extra necessities of life. It’s common knowledge that the cost of living in the UK is high and renting out accommodation is also expensive.