A sponsored student writes about a holiday in Kerala


Lush green meadows, crimson sunset, golden beaches, tall coconut trees, rice barges and of course, the backwaters where you would want to sail forever; these would probably summarise the beauty of a small state in the southernmost tip of my country. Kerala, or as they call it ‘God’s own Country’ is that one destination one ought to visit at least once in their lifetime.

My first visit to Kerala was even more than what this small coastal state could offer.…

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Newsletter 2016 (No. 14)

December 2015 – November 2016

This year has seen a welcome resurgence in numbers of volunteer applications. The fall in the value of the British pound after the Brexit vote will make our fees even cheaper for non-UK applicants next year, but the downside is that it will reduce the value of the money we send to India and Nepal.

INSPECTION VISIT (October – November 2016)

Barbara Porter undertook this year’s inspection visit, and visited the schools we support in Ladakh and Uttarakhand.

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Teaching in a Nepalese school

James Dix has just submitted this account of his HELP assignment in Nepal:

Albert Einstein, in formulating his theory of relativity, came up with the idea that time is not constant but can expand or contract depending on conditions. Einstein thought hard to come up with this idea. If he had been a Nepali, however, the idea would have come to him easily. Time elasticity is a Nepali cultural trait. A half-hour walk can mean ten minutes or two hours. A bus can come early, late, or not at all.…

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HELP projects in 2016

This woman's husband set fire to her.
This woman’s husband set fire to her.


We have agreed to help the following projects this year:

  • Provide the funds required by the Women’s Empowerment Centre in Damak (Eastern Nepal) to set up a Safe House for women suffering from domestic abuse.
The sewing workshop at the Women's Empowerment Centre
The sewing workshop at the Women’s Empowerment Centre
  • Part fund the salary of a teacher at the SASA Academy in Uttarakhand (India)

We will be considering other requests as they come in.…

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The voluntourism dilemma

  • Does voluntourism have the positive effect on communities that we expect it to have?
  • What’s the role of money? And how is it helping (or not helping) economies abroad?
  • Why do we still feel compelled to volunteer abroad? When is it a good thing?

A three part article by Pippa Biddle, which appeared recently on the Go Overseas website, attempts an answer to these three tricky questions about the voluntourism. This is where you can find it: trend.www.gooverseas.com/industry-trends/voluntourist-dilemma

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The Voice of Sikkim

An Amazing Voice of a Girl Student

An Amazing Voice of a Girl Student Of Namchi Govt Girl's Sr Sec School, South Sikkim
Her Name is Barsha Rai
Share it / Tag it
#sikkim #hatsoff

Posted by The Voice of Sikkim on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

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Orphanage tourism

This is something I keep returning to. We don’t help orphanages in Nepal because it is so difficult to distinguish the genuine from the fake. Too often the children are dressed in rags and underfed to arouse the sympathies of well-meaning but naive tourists. Several years ago we did send a volunteer to one such orphanage, and he revealed to us what was happening behind the warm welcome we were given by the management: beatings, lack of care, and the selling of children to foreign adoption agencies.

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A HELP volunteer in Ladakh

Paul Lessner's farewell
Paul Lessner’s farewell

Last summer, I spent eight weeks in the Indian region of Ladakh. Even with large amounts of preparation, training and research, I found myself in a state of constant amazement and surprise. Immersed in a culture established eons before my own country was ever imagined or conceived, the experience touched me greatly and will follow throughout my lifetime.

I travelled from the United States to the heart of the Indian Himalaya to teach English and math in a remote village school where teachers and students welcomed me with open arms and beautiful spirits.…

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HELP is rare for an organisation offering volunteer teaching in that it puts the needs of the local people before the desires of the western person wanting ‘the experience’.
Alastair SkeffingtonSaraswatimata Yumahangma English School