The Julia Thomson Memorial Trust was started in memory of Julia, who was tragically killed (aged 24) in a road accident in New York, in September 2007. Her parents, Bill and Cecilia Thomson, decided to do something positive and lasting in her memory, and the Trust was formed later that year.
The family has strong connections with Brazil as Cecilia is half Brazilian, and the Thomsons have built a house in the city of Canavieiras, where they spend several months a year.
The Trust aims to give the poor children of Canavieiras, (Bahia) Brazil, a different vision of life from the one that confronts them daily due to serious poverty and unfortunate family circumstances, often associated with drugs, crime or prostitution.
The city had virtually no facilities to offer adequate sport and after school activities for these impoverished children and young adults. In 2009, “O Centro Julia” was opened to provide a much needed venue where parents could leave their children during the day knowing that they would be safe, as well as being given a decent meal at the Centre. This enables many parents to be able to work and encourages them to be self sufficient, a great necessity in Brazil.
The building of the Sports/Cultural Centre in a poor, rundown area of town has provided the young people there with an alternative to inactivity, boredom and alienation from society, as well as being a boost to the community as a whole. We believe that given the opportunity and vision, many young people can choose a better path in life, or at least be shown one.
Cecilia and Bill Thomson are very closely involved with every aspect of administering the Trust and it is very personal to them both. Every penny goes directly to helping the people for whom it is intended.
Now that the buildings are finished, our next challenge will be meeting the continual routine daily running costs and buying much needed equipment for both the Sport and Cultural Centre and “O Centro Julia”.
Any financial help you can give us, large or small, would be very much appreciated. With your assistance we can continue our endeavours to help these beautiful children in this Brazilian community to a better life.