Women’s Empowerment

We have just sent £1306 to the Women’s Empowerment Centre in Damak located in the eastern Terai region of Nepal. The Terai is the flat southern strip of Nepal along the border with India. Most tourists go for the mountains so Damak does not benefit from the revenue generated by tourist-related activities. The Women’s Empowerment Centre provides refuge and support to abused women and their children, and those with mental health problems. The money HELP has sent comes from our sponsors and other benefactors, and will be used for the benefit of six children, and to pay for the rent of a safe house.…

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A sponsored student writes about a holiday in Kerala


Lush green meadows, crimson sunset, golden beaches, tall coconut trees, rice barges and of course, the backwaters where you would want to sail forever; these would probably summarise the beauty of a small state in the southernmost tip of my country. Kerala, or as they call it ‘God’s own Country’ is that one destination one ought to visit at least once in their lifetime.

My first visit to Kerala was even more than what this small coastal state could offer.…

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Sponsorship can transform lives

This is what one Nepalese student nurse says about the sponsorship she received from HELP:

“Its been very long since the last time i wrote to you. I apologize for the inconvenience but i am writing to you today to share you about my recent progress. Today its the first day of our Nepali new year 2071 and i wish you a very happy new year as well. I pray for the best of health, success and wealth to you and your family.

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The dark side of volunteering overseas

The latest edition of the CSMA magazine reports on the ongoing scandal of of fake orphanages in Nepal. Nepalese children are being stolen or bought from parents and then marketed to tourists as orphans. The scruffier and more neglected the children appear, the more sympathy and money they elicit from gullible tourists. Some of these so-called orphans are sent to the West for adoption, even though they still have parents.

HELP was once taken in by one of these ‘orphanages’, so it is not surprising that casual tourists are taken in.…

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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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Expansion of the sponsorship programme

We have just taken over the administration of eight sponsorships of children at the Algarah primary school that had originally been set up and run by one of our ex-volunteers. That means that we now are responsible for helping thirty-three sponsors to sponsor forty-three children.…

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Sponsorship matters

During my recent visit to India I was able to hand over £1,800 sponsorship money for fifteen children for the next school year (2008). This will be spent on books, stationery, uniforms, school fees, satchels and so on.…

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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