Founder Director: Rev. Tony Budell. Director: Philip Edmonds. Accounts: Valerie Budell.
“….but Tony, I do not need your help.”
These were the words, spoken by Mother Teresa, that greeted Tony on his arrival at a Romanian orphanage in 1992. Like many others he had been greatly moved by television programmes depicting the plight of the orphans in that country and had been compelled to act. He filled a van with aid and set off, driving into the unknown. Just imagine the initial shock, after a long hard drive, of those words. However, it was not long before she explained that, because she was well known, she received more that adequate aid for her home but there were many others not far away where the help was desperately needed.
“God has called You. Do God’s work with a loving heart and never let God down.”
Her parting words had considerable impact and led Tony and Valerie to set up BHA with the express purpose of helping those, especially children, impoverished due to war, poverty or disaster. Since 1992 many people have felt the need to help and the ‘Convoys of Hope’ were a way of doing this. BHA has successfully taken convoys to various places of extreme hardship including Romanian orphanages (6), Croatia and Bosnian refugee camps (47), the Chernobyl area of the Ukraine (37) and, recently, Kosova (4). That was a total of 94 “Convoys of Hope”, transporting in excess of 8000 tons of humanitarian aid. The largest was one numbering 105 vehicles, the largest peacetime convoy ever to leave the UK and actually made “The Guinness Book of Records“. Sadly, red tape and the greed of the Italian Ferry operators made these convoys impractical after 2000. Tony first went to Chernigov, in the Ukraine, in 1996 in response to a letter from a one of the hospitals. A Doctor had explained that, in the aftermath of Chernobyl, they had 2500 mothers and children dying of cancer and that approaches to other charities had not born fruit. He was shattered, on arrival, to find that the translator had dropped a zero and the true figure was 25,000 and that State Aid for homeless, sick and unemployed was non-existent. Since 2000 all our work has been in Chernihiv Region (note the new spelling!)