Volunteer testimonial

“I love what HELP does and their generosity to this area. I know that school building could not be done without your organization and to know you manage so many schools, is really amazing. I had intended to go to London after I was to finish this project and possible meet, but the pandemic really changed things”. (Amit Lau: Sikkim, 2020)

What did Amit achieve during his curtailed assignment?

“I really wanted to do something great and help in many ways so I spent various things. For example I brought 100 stationary kits that included pens, pencils, erasers, a sharpener colored pencils, markers and a ruler. The kids loved it! But I had to ship it because it was so heavy and shipping was a problem and costly. (i lost a shipment of books in the mail… the kits at least i sent to Kalinpong but that took time) The rest I purchased locally as I went to the market on the weekends. I had many projects. For example a sports and board games club. I bought board games and the materials to make table tennis setup including imported nets, paddles, paints as well as a pro style badmington net and raquets. I bought materials to create two biourinals through an NGO which included materials, pipes, urinals, and labor. I purchases 3 sinks and all the piping and taps, and an extra water heater coil. I created a first aid kit and purchased medicines with the help of a doctor that cover all basic needs of children in without an immediate hospital nearby, I hosted a Holi party because the kids had never celebrated it as well and we had a cake party one night and a cupcake and tea morning one time because these simply little things are big deals for the kids. I purchased a portal Public Addressing bluetooth system so outside morning sequences could pitch with microphone. I also brought around 50 books and was working on trying to set up a computer lab and was fundraising for that. Finally, I initiated the services of a local advocate to see if the school could apply for a sister trust with a local Sikkim member to shore possibilities of future government support and protect against incursions by the landlords or neturalize their leverage.”

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HELP is rare for an organisation offering volunteer teaching in that it puts the needs of the local people before the desires of the western person wanting ‘the experience’.
Alastair SkeffingtonSaraswatimata Yumahangma English School