By making one-off donations, you are able to assist in the education of a child without the commitment that long-term sponsorship entails.

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What the money will be used for

Schoolkids showing donated books
JNM schoolkids with donated books

One-off donations will be used to make essential purchases in support of both students and schools. For instance, should a sponsor have to terminate their regular payment, the donations pool will be drawn upon to continue financing the student’s school or college fees until a new sponsor can be found.

Again, a student may not be able to afford to clothe him or herself to an adequate standard, or to buy the necessary books, or a satchel to carry them in. The donations pool will be used to purchase such one-off items.

Schools will also benefit from your donations, which will be used not only to buy teaching materials and aids, but also essential improvements to the school’s premises, such as a monsoon-proof roof, or a new classroom. Please see below to find out which projects HELP is currently running.

Many organisations and donors like to advertise their generosity by asking the schools they support to display large photographs and wall plaques. We, in HELP, dislike this kind of self-promotion, and prefer to do our work quietly and unpublicised. We do not waste our money on plaques!

HELP‘s administration expenses are not met from donated funds, so you can rest assured that all your donation will go towards the children and schools of the Himalayas. And as a donor, you will receive our annual newsletter listing the ways that your money has been used.

Current projects

Teacher training

This ongoing programme aims to improve standards of English teaching by introducing local English teachers to new methodologies. HELP director Barbara Porter who taught as a HELP volunteer at a primary school in Sikkim in 2006, has run seminars in Kalimpong and Gangtok and Ladakh since 2008..Another of our ex-volunteers, ran a seminar in Bhutan in 2012. Barbara’s last seminar was held in 2018 in Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand, and she plans to return there in November 2019.

The HELP teacher training programme is being funded out of the  donations fund.

Women’s Empowerment Centre (South-eastern Nepal)

The WEC is a Nepalese charity that provides legal aid to abused women to help bring their abusers to trial, and offers them a place on their sewing training programme to enable them to support themselves and their dependants. In 2013 we sent £2,500 to enable them to purchase sewing machines for the women in their care, as well as the salaries of trainers, and in 2018 we donated £550 to enable the WEC to run an advanced sewing course.

The WEC rents a building to serve as a safe house for these women and their children. HELP  has provided the funds needed to cover  the first three years of rent, the last payment of £550 was made in 2018.

JN Memorial  school (Darjeeling District)

With HELP funding, the school has completed a concrete safety barrier, and chain link fencing around the school. They have also reinforced the open shelter in the playground. In 2018 HELP provided £1030 for new desks.

Gyan Jyoti school (Darjeeling District)

One of our past volunteers, Liam Campbell, has been running a campaign to raise money for two badly needed classrooms. He raised CAD$20,000 (about £12,000) and HELP contributed £1,000 tosupplement his efforts. Liam re-visited the school in February 2017 to supervise the building work which is  making good progress.

SASA Academy (Uttarkhand)

In 2014, the local Indian NGO, Serve and Share Association (SASA) lost a major sponsor, so HELP stepped in with £2400 to fund the salary of a local teacher for two years. We have agreed to fund an extra year. (Previously, HELP had donated £500  for a generator. The school is not linked to mains electricity.). Barbara Porter ran a teacher training seminar on behalf of SASA in March 2018, and HELP funded this as well as a follow-up programme run by SASA’s own trainer. This was considered a success, and Barbara plans to return in November 2019 to run a seminar for teachers from a different region of Uttarakhand.

Vidya Sagar Gyanpeeth primary school (Sikkim)

We have had a long-standing relationship with this school (see ‘past projects’ below). Our contribution in 2018 was £500 to replace a toilet that was destroyed in a landslide.

In addition to these projects, our volunteers and their families make direct donations to their schools.

Past projects

  • The JN Memorial school is little school that was housed in a flimsy wooden structure, that was slowly sliding down the mountain. The children are now taught in a sturdy cement building that was completed in 2012. Since then an outside toilet has been installed, as well as railings to protect the children from falling down the hill!
  • In 2003, when HELP began its association with the St. Paul school, the school was situated in an old, dilapidated village house, with no security of tenure.
    Our friends helped to raise £19,000 to build a brand new building. The school was able to leave its old building and move into the new building in 2008.
  • The Vidya Sagar Gyanpeeth School in western Sikkim was housed in a picturesque, but totally inadequate, wooden building that got flooded in the monsoon and which had been damaged in an earthquake. HELP, along with its supporters, raised £20,000 to construct a new building. The school moved into a brand new building in March 2013.
  • HELP contributed £500 towards the building of a Science Lab for the SP school in Pokhara, Nepal in 2007. A further £150 was sent as contribution towards the costs of setting up a library.
  • HELP has sent money in 2011, 2012 and 2013 to help re-house villagers in Uttarkhand who have lost their homes in the floods.
  • In 2014, HELP donated £300 for an ECG machine for a clinic in the village of Chitre, western Nepal.
  • In response to the earthquake in April 2015, HELP succeeded in raising £5,500 to fund temporary shelters, food and utensils for villagers made homeless in Western Nepal by the recent devastating earthquakes. This is an area with schools and clinics that HELP has been sending volunteers to.

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If you feel you would prefer to focus on and assist in the development of a single student in the longer term, please consider the option of sponsorship.

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