The Quicken Trust was founded as a registered charity by Geoff Booker in 1996. At that time tackling poverty and transforming lives in the rural Ugandan village of Kabubbu was not on the agenda.
Instead the aim of the Trust was to provide support to help the development of new charities based in the UK. The name was inspired by the old English word “quicken” meaning to give new life to others.
But, after Geoff and his wife Geraldine returned to Kabubbu in 2000, the focus changed. The Trust now concentrates entirely on working to help the villagers find a way out of poverty, destitution, disease and despair.
To reflect the change, the Trust re-registered with the Charity Commissioners in 2004. It also registered as a Trust Company Limited by Guarantee.
From the start, Quicken was underpinned by Geoff and Geraldine’s Christian faith. But preaching was never the main aim. As Geoff puts it: “We are inspired by the words of Francis of Assisi: ‘Wherever you go, preach the Gospel – and only if necessary, use words’. On every visit we share our experience of God in church. We also share our faith when asked by others who have experienced a miraculous provision or felt God’s love personally.”
In its first decade in Kabubbu, Quicken Trust has helped tackle the destitution, disease and despair endured by villagers who once described themselves as “the Forgotten People” Success stories include:
- More than 400 sponsored children currently attend school
- New Primary and Secondary schools – teaching over 1,000 children every year
- a Health Centre treating around 13,000 patient visits each year
- Building Projects for 160 families
- Building Projects supplying safe water through 9 boreholes
- Help for HIV Mothers among 780 AIDS patients each month
- Child Foster Care, and Elderly Care for 90
Kabubbu lies 20 miles north of Uganda’s capital, Kampala. Kabubbu parish spreads over a large area, making it tricky to estimate the population but about 4,200 live within two miles of Kabubbu village centre.
Geoff and Geraldine were inspired to get involved there after a chance visit in 1999. Neither had a background in Third World charity work although Geoff’s career in marketing, sales, publishing, corporate development and administration with companies such as WH Smith, CCLI and Kingsway provided a useful grounding.
Geraldine’s CV included working with disadvantaged young people and counselling where her expertise led her to produce training materials. These were accredited by the Association of Christian Counsellors and recognised by the University of Wales.
But an encounter, during a visit to Uganda, prompted them to action. For, beneath the veneer of lush vegetation and rural peace, they found a community racked by AIDS and malaria, without work and without much hope. They left promising only to return to the UK and tell the story of what they had seen. And with some Divine intervention, things began to develop.