Welcome to the Himalayan Education Lifeline Programme, or HELP for short. We are a limited company registered as a charity (No. 1117646) with the Charity Commission of England and Wales.

We are all volunteers, including the directors, so the money we receive goes towards our charitable activities, not salaries. What motivates us? Call it ‘passion’ if you like, a word used so glibly and meaninglessly by the corporate world. We know and love the Himalayas and the people who live there, and want to do something to improve their lives. It’s as simple as that.

The Situation

Kids in Annapurna

Many Himalayan families are trapped in a cycle of poverty. Living at subsistence level, parents need the labour of their children, particularly the girls, to help the family feed itself. This means that they cannot always afford to release their children to attend school or college.

Even if the child can go to school, the quality of education is often very poor. Problems include untrained and unmotivated teachers, unaffordable books and uniforms, crowded classrooms (and often different class levels have to share the same classroom). Of those children that do manage, against the odds, to get through their schooling, very few indeed are able to go on to higher education.

The consequence of this is that many of these children do not get the education they need to achieve their full earning or social potential and so remain trapped in the impoverished existence they are born into.

Our Aim

The aim of HELP is to help selected village schools raise the standards of education that they can provide to the children of their communities, and to give the poorest children a chance to go to school and college.In so doing, we hope in the longer term to have an impact not only on their own living standards, but also on those of their extended families and of the wider communities they come from.

Our Objectives

Students in Nepal in an unheated classroom.

HELP realises its aims by enabling responsible and committed people from the developed world to:

  • undertake short-term assignments as volunteer teachers in deprived village schools in support of their teaching programmes
  • make a donation, to purchase textbooks and equipment and construct new premises so that poorly resourced schools can provide a satisfactory education for the children in their charge
  • sponsor young people with the potential to benefit from a school or college education, but without the means to do so.

All donations and sponsorship money, net only of unavoidable bank charges, will go to the child or school you want to support. Volunteers are asked to make a small contribution towards HELP‘s expenses (see the volunteer page for details.)

Recent Activity

2 weeks ago

Believe it or not, HELP has been around for 20 years and will be moving into a new incarnation at the end of the year. I will be bowing out as CEO, and Simon Forwood, our very first volunteer (!), has agreed to take my place. More about this in our forthcoming newsletter.We would like to mark the occasion with an appeal for funds. You will have noticed (or maybe not!) that we haven't sent you an appeal for at least a year. This is partly because, until recently, the future of HELP, has been uncertain. Until Simon stepped forward we were planning to close HELP at the end of this year, and expected to make this our final appeal to help the schools in most need cope with the withdrawal of our ongoing support. Now that HELP is going to continue, albeit on a less ambitious basis, this appeal hopes to raise funds to enable these core HELP schools cope with the deleterious impact of the COVID lockdown on their finances and their ability to pay their teachers..This October, Barbara Porter (in charge of the volunteer programme and teacher training) and I both visited the schools we support in India, and have received a number of costed requests for this appeal which will form the basis of the distribution of whatever we manage to raise. Normally, I have raised a funds for specific projects, but this time around it's a more general appeal aimed at raising as much as you, our dear friends, are able and willing to donate for the betterment of these schools.Those of you who have volunteered with us may have taught at one of these remotely located establishments:.-The SASA Academy - the Indian state of Uttarakhand-Vidya Sagar Gyanpeeth school - in west Sikkim-St Paul's school - in south Sikkim-JN Memorial school - near Kalimpong-Khaltse School - in LadakhThe requests range from the need to top up teacher salaries over the next two years, to new toilet blocks, to new whiteboards, to new school buildings and more. We will prioritise the distribution of the money in our usual careful way, based on the likely impact the money will have on the survival of the schools and on the quality of their educational provision.To make a donation, please go to the donate page of our website: www.help-education.org/donate/I will assume that all the money we are likely top receive in response to this appeal will have been received by the end of November, so we will decide which schools get how much shortly thereafter.Regards,Jim Coleman ... See MoreSee Less
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9 months ago

Devotees, some crawling and others walking, make their way to the Changunarayan temple in Bhaktapur on Sunday as part of the month-long Madhav Narayan Festival, which concludes this week. Photo by @sanjogm ... See MoreSee Less
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Volunteering with HELP offers all the good things of working with a small, personal organisation: in-depth local knowledge from the HELP organisers, and the feeling that one is doing something for the first time.
Daniel CookAlgarah School