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.)

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Recent Activity

3 weeks ago

The Nepalese holiday of Dasain is starting. Here are some pictures, taken over the years, of how villagers like to amuse themselves.बढा दशैँको शुभकामना A wonderful tradition in villages is the seasonal swing ("ping" in Nepali) built to celebrate Dashain each year. Children enjoy them and so do adults. These photos are from different locations taken in years from 1963 to 1978. ... See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

This is what HELP volunteer Veeda Huang has said about her recent experience:

"When I landed in Nepal, I knew this was going to be an unforgettable experience. Kathmandu was very overwhelming, the traffic, the crowds. I was a little bit worried about what I have gotten myself into. The first few days at school did nothing to calm my nerves. The structure, the method of teaching were all so unfamiliar to me. And as a teacher who relies on activities, and therefore the printer, to drive the class, I was a bit apprehensive about not having a printer. While these obstacles challenged me, they allowed me to push the boundaries of my teaching abilities. Through this experience, I learned a lot about about myself, both as a person and as a teacher. And as my time in Nepal comes to an end, I am grateful for the connections I was able to build with my students and I am sad that I am leaving them so soon."
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1 month ago

Kathleen Kressly from the U.S., whose portrait you can see at the top of this page, has recently returned home after a two month assignment at a small school in the outskirts of Kalimpong. She has written the following in her report:

"My experience was amazing. From start to finish, I felt so warmly welcomed into the culture as a visitor from when I landed to being in a couple hotels and traveling with drivers. Everyone was wonderful and curious and kind. The school was overwhelmingly heartfelt and captivating. The students there have my heart. I would do this again, but my time there was not long enough. I would not recommend less than 8 weeks (as indicated on the website), but it was all I could do. It took me weeks to adjust and feel like I finally had a grip on all of it, and then I was planning to leave. Maybe a 2nd trip for that length of time would be ok since I already know what to expect. I recommend it for anyone who has the passion to do this!"

It's this kind of thing that makes it all seem worthwhile!
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2 months ago

HELP volunteer Kathleen Kressly with her school children. We are looking for more people like Kathleen to teach in the schools we support across the Himalayan region. If you would like to learn more, please visit our website at www.help-education.org. ... See MoreSee Less

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I want to let you know that I have looked at a lot of volunteer organizations since I did your program and you have (as far as I can tell) one of the best. I really like how much you personally care about each volunteer and each school.
Anne GillilandDenjong Pema Choling Academy