NEWSLETTER No. 20: December 2021 – November 2022

December 2021 – November 2022

The constraints that have been placed on the programme by Covid over the past two years have been lifted, and not only were we able to start up our volunteer programme once  more, but this October, Barbara Porter and I were finally able to visit India and the schools we support there.

This is our 20th Newsletter, which means that HELP has been running for 20 years. It seems a long time, and yet it has passed so quickly.

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Volunteer programme 2022

After two years when we were unable to send any volunteers to any of our partner schools, it was a delight to be able to send four this autumn. Applications were slow to come in at the beginning of the year as travel restrictions remained in place until early summer,  but by September we were able to send our first volunteer, Ken Haigh from Canada, to the Vidya Sagar Gyanpeeth school in West Sikkim.

Ken is an experienced teacher and librarian and as with most of our volunteers found it a challenging as well as a rewarding experience : “I was looking for a challenge and it was certainly challenging.…

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Teacher Training (2022)

Because of Covid, Barbara Porter, HELP‘s teacher trainer has not been able to undertake any of her normal teacher training workshops. It was wonderful for her to be able to visit all our partner schools once more, and to undertake teacher training again. 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.…

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NEWSLETTER No. 19: December 2020 – November 2021

December 2020 – November 2021

At the time of writing the last newsletter, I had high hopes that we would be able to resume all our activities this year. Like last year, however, the Covid pandemic has continued to restrict what we can do.  For a second year we have been unable to visit our projects, or run our volunteer programme. Schools have been closed for over half the year, but have opened recently, and we hope that they will now be able to remain open. 

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Covid relief in Kalimpong

We sent a grant to Kiran Chettri of the Hope Family Trust in Kalimpong to purchase and deliver essential supplies to the poorest members of the community. This is what Kiran has reported:


“Respected Jim Coleman and all the team from Help. Greetings to you,

It is my please to give report about the fund which you sent to support for the covid-19 relief. Rs, 86663.00 we as team of Hope Family Trust would like to extend thankfulness to you all for your generous support.…

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Supporting schools and children during the pandemic.

Although our volunteer programme has been suspended since March 2020, our sponsorship and projects  programmes have continued. This year, our friends sent us £3578 to support Covid-related needs, and this money has been distributed as follows:

£600 to the Serve and Share Association in Uttarakhand, India to supply oximiters and and thermometers to seven villages, and to vaccinate villagers without access to government supplied vaccines.

£500 to enable four children in Damak, eastern Nepal, to attend school

£1000 to our Belgian partners to buy  schools in western Nepal  with masks, visors, thermometers, disinfectants and sanitary pads for girls

£500 to a UK charity, Our Sansar, for science equipment for a girl’s school near Birgunj, due south of Kathmandu in the terai (the flat southern part of Nepal which is part of the Gangetic plain)

£400 to buy tents for villagers in the Helambu region of Nepal who lost their houses to floods in June.…

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Amazon’s annual Prime Day event : 21 – 22 June

Amazon’s annual Prime Day event will be held on 21 – 22 June and this year, AmazonSmile is increasing the donation rate for Prime members.

All Prime members who activate AmazonSmile in their Amazon mobile app between now and the end of Prime Day will generate a 10x donation (that’s 5%!. We need every penny we can get to help poor Himalayan communities to get through the pandemic safely!

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Coronavirus crisis in Nepal and India

Dear friends,

Last year you were very generous in sending us donations to help our schools cope with the impact of the pandemic on their finances and teaching programmes. You sent us £3,328 in total, which is more than we expected so we were able to help more schools than the one we had in mind.  I reported on this in our last newsletter.

Last year, the pandemic was particularly bad in Europe and America, but just recently India and Nepal have been overwhelmed by the latest wave.…

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NEWSLETTER No. 18: December 2019 – November 2020

We all need children’s laughter to cheer us up at this difficult time!
Children's smiles

As you might have guessed, this has definitely not been a vintage year for our programme! Travel to and from Nepal and India has been restricted, so we haven’t been able to visit our projects, or run our volunteer programme. On the bright side, our sponsorship programme has continued, and, with your generous support, we have been helping our adopted schools survive during the lockdown.

What have we achieved this year with your help?

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Photos from SASA, Uttarakhand

The schools we support are still closed and so our volunteer programme is on hold. We have been unable to visit Nepal and India, so it is nice to see some photos of the mountains and some happy faces. These pictures have been taken by the Serve and Share Association (SASA) in Uttarakhand, an Indian NGO we support with grants, sponsorships and volunteer teachers:

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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