Unrest in Darjeeling district

The Nepali-speaking region of the Indian state of West Bengal is again in turmoil over its demand for a separate state they want to be called Ghorkaland. Many shops are closed and roads are being blocked by picketing protesters. Read this update from the BBC

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-40323341

For the time being, we will not be sending volunteers to West Bengal or Sikkim. We will re-instate our programme there as soon as the unrest ends.

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From our man in Sikkim

By Shane Lefevre

“Tathung is a small farming village in the Western district of Sikkim, India that lies in the fertile foothills of the Himalayas. It sits in the Northeast corner of India, bordered by Nepal, China & Bhutan and a kind family here have allowed a silly Aussie teacher to call this place home for the past 2 months.

The spectacular scenery and dramatic mountain landscape calls adventurous types from far and wide, but it’s the warm hearted & welcoming people that really blow you away to make your stay unforgettable.…

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Coming back for more!

HELP volunteer Paul Lessner enjoyed his volunteering experience so much last year, that he came back for more this year. Last year he was in Ladakh. This year in Sikkim!

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Women’s Empowerment

We have just sent £1306 to the Women’s Empowerment Centre in Damak located in the eastern Terai region of Nepal. The Terai is the flat southern strip of Nepal along the border with India. Most tourists go for the mountains so Damak does not benefit from the revenue generated by tourist-related activities. The Women’s Empowerment Centre provides refuge and support to abused women and their children, and those with mental health problems. The money HELP has sent comes from our sponsors and other benefactors, and will be used for the benefit of six children, and to pay for the rent of a safe house.…

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Volunteers do more than teach!

HELP volunteer, Liam Campbell from Yukon, Canada, has returned to his school just outside Kalimpong for the second time having raised CAD $20,000 to build new classrooms. The school is overcrowded at present, and different grades have to share the same rooms. HELP has contributed £1000 to Liam’s fund-raising efforts. Here are pictures of Liam and Dinesh Rai, the principal of the school, standing on the land where the rooms will be constructed.…

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Kalimpong, February 2017

We recently visited Kalimpong and met three of our volunteers, and I was pleased to have a chance of meeting the student that I personally sponsor at his family home. Here are some pictures:

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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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I think HELP is the volunteer organization that I looked for for a long time. It is the most easily accessible and responsive organization I found on the web. I really like the self donation to the school and how independent it requires its volunteers to be, unlike many other organizations.
Michael WintersteinSt. Paul Primary School