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

Donations can provide much-needed assistance to schools and students.

Schools can make use of these funds to provide essential resources and assistance for individual students – for example 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.

Donations may also allow a school to purchase teaching materials and aids, and essential improvements to school premises, such as a monsoon-proof roof, or a new classroom.

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


Covid lockdown support

The schools in the region have had to close during the pandemic, which means the children lose out and the teachers have not received their salaries.Many of the schools are trying to provide online teaching, but with poor internet connections and the lack of equipment and know-how, these efforts are a very poor substitute for face-to-face teaching in classrooms.

We have sent six of the schools we support a total of  £3250 to help them mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic. This was made possible by our friends and supporters who responded so generously to our recent appeal for funds.

Teacher training

This ongoing programme aims to improve standards of English teaching by introducing local English teachers to new methodologies. Since 2008, HELP director Barbara Porter, who taught as a HELP volunteer at a primary school in Sikkim in 2006, has been regularly running seminars  in Kalimpong and Gangtok, Uttarakhand and Ladakh. Another of our ex-volunteers, ran a seminar in Bhutan in 2012. She ran seminars in 2019 in Uttarakhand and Ladakh, and  had hoped to continue this work in 2021, but the Covid pandemic made it necessary to postpone her proposed visit until October 2022. This has now taken place. For the third time, in partnership with SASA (Serve & Share Association) in Uttarakhand,  HELP financed a four day workshop in a retreat centre in Dehradun for 18 teachers who came from 15 different schools in remote rural areas of Uttarakhand.

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

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. In 2019 we raised £3200 from our friends and supporters, and sent a total of £3780 to fund the construction of a new playground which has now been built. In 2021, a new classroom was built on top of the concrete school building.
  • In 2007 HELP contributed £500 towards the building of a Science Lab for the SP school in Pokhara, Nepal. A further £150 was sent as contribution towards the costs of setting up a library.
  • HELP donated money in 2011, 2012 and 2013 to help re-house villagers in Uttarkhand who have lost their homes in the floods.
  • In 2013 HELP donated £2,500 to enable the Women’s Empowerment Centre (WEC) to purchase sewing machines for the women in their care,  and in 2018 a donation of £550 enabled 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.
  • 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.
  • In 2014, Serve and Share Association (SASA), an NGO based in Dehra Dun, lost a major sponsor, so HELP stepped in with £2400 to fund the salary of a local teacher for two years. Previously, HELP donated £500  for a generator. (The school is not linked to mains electricity.).
  • In 2018 HELP provided £1030 for new desks for the JN Memorial school and a new fence around the school.
  • One of our past volunteers, Liam Campbell, raised CAD$20,000 (about £12,000)money for two badly needed classrooms at ther Gyan Jyoti school in West Bengal, and HELP contributed £1,000 to supplement his efforts. Liam re-visited the school in February 2017 to supervise the on-going building work.

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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