Flood relief

 Cloud bursts during the nights  of  3rd and 4th August  brought disaster to the Uttarkashi area of North India. Villages were washed away in the resulting flood waters from tributaries feeding the Ganges. 36 people died, and nearly 1800 people saw their cultivated land washed away and more than 1000 people suffered severe damage to their houses.

In spite of the damage done to  bridges and roads,  our local partner, the Serve and Share Association (SASA)managed to reach the area and  act quickly to set in train the following emergency support:

1.  …

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Trek

About 18 months ago, I was approached by the Mountain Company with a proposal to run a charity trek in Sikkim under their auspices for the benefit of HELP’s various projects in the Himalayas. This seemed like a good idea at the time, providing tourists with a chance to stay in a Sikkimese village and to visit a school we are helping (en route to the start of their trek), in return for a donation to boost HELP’s funds.

Disappointingly, we have had no takers.…

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JN Memorial School building project

With the help of family and friends (including parents and children of the  Hilmarton Primary school) of one of our volunteers, Rebecca Scott, who taught at this school in 2006, a new robust reinforced two-storey concrete structure has already been built at a cost of about £4,300, to replace the wooden structure that was slowly sliding down the mountainside. The children moved in on 28th July, straight after the summer break. This project came in under budget and was completed ahead of time.…

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St. Paul’s primary school building project

I have just sent the final instalment of £1,300 to complete the new school building. This money will be spent on wiring, painting, plumbing, including the installation of a toilet and bathroom for the boarders. This was our very first project. We began it from scratch in 2003 and , with the invaluable support of our first volunteer, Simon Forwood, we have, between us, raised £19,000 over the five years. Without Simon’s help, it would have taken us double the time to reach our target; but thanks are owed to all of you who, knowingly or unknowingly, contributed to this project.…

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Annapurna High School recruit

We have a recruit for the Annapurna High School in Manang, our new project in an important village on the route of the Annapurna Circuit trek! A young American will be trekking there in the second half of March. It will take him up to seven days to get there from Kathmandu. Quite an adventure.…

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New project

We have added a new school to our list of projects in Nepal, called the Annapurna High School. I came across it on the Annapurna Circuit trek in October 2006, and they asked me if we could provide them with a volunteer teacher. The details are in the Nepal projects section of the website. Let’s see whether we get any applications! Whoever goes will need to trek there, so they will have to be fit!…

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Teacher training

A new venture scheduled for next February is the provision of a teacher trainer to run two week-long seminars in Kalimpong and Gangtok respectively. The aim is to develop the teaching skills of local teachers who have not had any formal training in teaching methodologies. In this way, we hope to avoid over-dependence on our volunteer teachers, who can do no more than provide temporary support to the local staff.

Barbara Porter is a free-lance teacher trainer who volunteered with us as an English teacher in Sikkim two years ago, so she is ideally suited to run these seminars for us.…

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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