Εmergency : To all Orthodox Christians in Australia, USA and all over the World about Orthodox Church in Siera Leone
Adding to Fr Themis existing 40+ Orphans that live in Foster homes, Fr Themi introduces the new 30 Orphans whose parents passed away from the EBOLA virus.
These children also live in Foster homes, but like the others they now have Fr Themi and the Orthodox church behind them in Faith, Food, Education, Medicine and as much of their needs that the church can afford.
Dear Rev Themi Friends and Supporters in AUSTRALIA
Fr Themi is facing a genuine financial crisis; wayback when Fr Themi was in Kenya, it was the Aussie supporters who kept Fr Themis works above water. In 2013, the Australian Government changed the regulations; and with this change Fr Themi’s work was and is severely affected.
New rules state, AusAid and the Australian Tax Office stipulate the types of projects that are able to receive this status. Welfare assistance, that is the running of institutions, orphanages and like activities are expressly excluded; whereas assistance to a community that will help the whole community is tax deductible. Sponsoring children to go to school without other projects in the village is not permitted. If a project includes micro credit, clean water supply and sponsoring of children tax deductibility is acceptable. Australian funding has always been the backbone of Fr Themis mission, by sponsoring the running of the mission and feeding the poor, which according to the above statement is “NON TAX DEDUCTIBLE”.
Fr Themis mission budget for the running of the mission and feeding the poor, was set at $8000 USD per month back in 2012 and hasn’t changed since. At that time we were raising just over $10,000 AUD every month; and with these funds (even with the fluctuating conversion rate) we were able to meet the budget.
But since the new laws our funds had to be split into Tax Deductible (HADA) and Non Tax Deductible (Rev Themi Trust); and as of this email, we raise $ 4,420 every month via 172 supporters via the Rev Themi & Friends Trust Ezi Debit (Non Tax Deductible). With todays exchange rate, we are short $5,700 AUD every month.
In the past this $5,700 AUD would be covered by the Non Taxable funds raised by the Australian fundraising functions, but because of EBOLA and Fr Themi unable to return and be present at the functions, the functions only raised 1/3 of normal.
This month, being May 2015, is the first month, for as long as I can remember, where we were not able to send him the $8000.00 USD without borrowing money.