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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NEWSLETTER No. 17: December 2018 – November 2019

2019 has been a much better year for volunteer recruitment. It has also been good for fund-raising, thanks to the generosity of our friends who responded generously to our playground appeal. Find out what we’ve been up to this year!


My indefatigable and estimable colleague, Barbara Porter, who runs our volunteer programme, and doubles up as our teacher trainer, has just returned to the UK from an arduous five week visit to the Himalayas, including Ladakh, Nepal and Uttarakhand.…

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Newsletter 2018 (No. 16)

So here we are, in our 16th year, still doing our best to make a difference to the lives of young people in poor Himalayan communities in India and Nepal. We can be proud of what we have achieved with your help over these years, with new school buildings and classrooms constructed with your donations, young students being helped through their education with your sponsorship money, and standards of English in village schools being raised through the efforts of our volunteer teachers, and our teacher trainer, Barbara Porter.…

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Newsletter 2017 (No. 15)

This newsletter marks our 15th birthday! I never thought when I set HELP up in 2002, with the indispensable assistance of my family, that it would still be up and running 15 years later. I hope you will agree that it has been a worthwhile effort.

We redesigned our website this year. If you haven’t seen it, do go and check it out and let us know what you think of it.

The on-going demand for a separate state for the Nepali-speaking regions of West Bengal flared up earlier this year in a prolonged strike in Darjeeling and Kalimpong and surrounding areas.…

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Newsletter 2016 (No. 14)

December 2015 – November 2016

This year has seen a welcome resurgence in numbers of volunteer applications. The fall in the value of the British pound after the Brexit vote will make our fees even cheaper for non-UK applicants next year, but the downside is that it will reduce the value of the money we send to India and Nepal.

INSPECTION VISIT (October – November 2016)

Barbara Porter undertook this year’s inspection visit, and visited the schools we support in Ladakh and Uttarakhand.

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Newsletter 2015 (No. 13)

December 2014 – November 2015

Our work this year has been overshadowed by the disastrous earthquakes in Nepal. Although HELP is not a disaster relief agency, we felt we had to respond to this event since some of the villages we support were badly affected.

INSPECTION VISIT (October – November 2015)

Barbara Porter undertook this year’s inspection visit, and visited the schools we support in Nepal, Sikkim and the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. She also met many of the sponsored children.

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Newsletter 2014 (No. 12)

December 2013 – November 2014

This year marks a transition for HELP. After 12 years at the helm, Jim is handing over some key responsibilities to Barbara Porter (our new Director, Volunteer Programme) and Ben Coleman (Director, Sponsorship Programme). Jim will retain an advisory role, and handle Projects and Accounts for the time being. Jim’s wife, Yami, remains as HELP secretary. Everyone on the HELP team is a volunteer, which means none of your money goes on salaries!

INSPECTION VISIT (October – November 2014)
Homework on the verandah
Homework on the verandah

Barbara undertook last year’s inspection visit, so it was my turn this year.

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Newsletter 2013 (No. 11)

December 2012-November 2013

Another year has passed. The completion of our 10 year anniversary last year marked an appropriate time to review our programme and re-orientate it where necessary. Barbara Porter, one of my fellow directors, has just returned from her first inspection visit:

INSPECTION VISIT (October – November 2013)
Barbara Porter on a field visit
Barbara with local teachers

Barbara Porter started out as a HELP volunteer in Sikkim and since then has run teacher training seminars in Kalimpong, Leh and Pokhara for local teachers.

She spent three weeks this autumn in Ladakh and Nepal visiting old contacts and the schools we have been supporting, meeting as many sponsored children as possible, ferreting out new schools that would benefit from our programme, and making new contacts.…

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Newsletter 2012 (No. 10)


December 2011-November 2012

10th anniversary edition

It’s true! We’ve been around for 10 years helping children from poor families or none get an education in the Himalayas. It’s been a demanding but rewarding ten years. Our achievements are briefly recorded below. The fact that so much can be achieved by just one executive director in the U.K. (with advice from his fellow non-executive directors) and a handful of helpers in India and Nepal is testimony to the immense power of modern computing and the internet.…

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Newsletter 2011 (No. 9)

December 2010-November 2011

Welcome to our new logo! I think it does a better job at encapsulating what we are about than our old text-only version. I hope you agree.


This newsletter is dedicated to Tony Abrahams, who died this April. My first overseas teaching job took place in Morocco from 1976 to1978, under the auspices of the Centre for British Teachers (now shortened to CfBT). I lost touch with “The Centre” for many years after that, so was very surprised when an email plopped into my in-tray three years ago from Tony Abrahams, The Centre’s larger-than-life founder with a  soft spot for the Gurkhas.…

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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