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.

You can also help support us by shopping online.

Use easyfundraising to shop with over 3,300 retailers including Amazon, Argos, John Lewis, ASOS,, eBay, Boden, and M&S. Every time you shop, you’ll raise a free donation for HELP!

Find out more by clicking on the image below:

Collect free funds for us every time you shop online

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. Her last series of seminars were held in 2016. Another of our ex-volunteers, ran a seminar in Bhutan in 2012. The teacher training programme is being funded out of the HELP donation 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 dependents. 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.

This year the WEC has rented a building to serve as a safe house for these women and their children. HELP has agreed to pay for the rent for three years, and this year we sent them £550 to cover the second year.

JNM 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.

GJ school (Darjeeling District)

One of our past volunteers, Liam Campbell, has been running a campaign to raise money for two badly needed classrooms. He has made good progress in reaching his target of CAD$20,000 (about £12,000). HELP is contributing £1,000 to help him reach his objective in good time. Liam re-visited the school in February 2017 to supervise the building work.

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.)

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

Past projects

  • The JNM 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 VSG 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.

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