Joe Fisher

Webinar on “Financial Literacy: The Need for a Retirement Fund”

“Educating people on how to use their hard-earned money.”

Financial Literacy webinar bannerThe GFF HELPS Philippines Team had successfully hosted and aired its fifth free webinar about Financial Literacy: The Need For A Retirement Fund which was beautifully presented by Mrs. Remedios Saldivia-Macabate, a Licensed Financial Planner whose one of the managers in an International Life Insurance Company in the Philippines. The webinar was held on 29th of October, Friday at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, via ZOOM application and it was attended by more than 20 individuals together with their families who came from different parts of Aklan Province, Philippines.

During and until the end of the webinar proper, different ideas from the speaker, participants and the PH Team were shared to everyone. During the open forum, financial-related questions were also thrown by the participants and were professionally answered by our beloved speaker. As quoted from Mrs. Macabate, “The best time to start saving and investing your hard-earned money is NOW.”

The webinar had been livelier as ever as Mr. Saom Namchu, the GFF HELPS Asia Coordinator along with the other GFF HELPS Representatives and Volunteers were also there. This 2-hour webinar includes the introduction to the GFF HELPS founder, Sir Owen Glenn, and the International and Philippines Programmes which were hosted by the Philippine Team Representative, Lady Peace and the Philippine Team Volunteer, Stifhany Salvador.

Sewing Project 

“Making good use of what they have.”

The GFF Sewing Machines have been a great support to the five (5) Sewing Project Women since they have been using those in sewing and marketing their outputs to make a living. The PH Team  has been receiving their monthly payments for these machines since August 2021 with the receipts given to them as proof of payments. They had given them those machines 30% less from the original price to continue their livelihood and make good use of their sewing skills since most of them became Licensed Dressmakers through our Sewing Project Phase 1. They are hoping to embark with Sewing Project Phase 2 by next year to make another group of Licensed Dressmakers through this skill-sharing project.


Vegetable Garden Project – Phase II

“Continuing the “Healthy Meals: Healthy Bodies and Minds” aim

The Vegetable Garden Project beneficiaries from the different parts of Banga had finally able to plant almost all of the seeds that we had provided for them this summer year – for countless times, they were able to plant by batches considering the weather and all natural phenomenon – the planting and harvesting became continuous activity since most of the keen farmers were able to replant seeds out from the matured fruits that they had dried under the sun. The nutrients from the soil from the previous harvest was still there that’s why the replanting became possible due to the fertile soil/land. Since they have sold produce to their neighbors and local markets, they were able to save few money for their children’s schooling.

The ongoing projects were a year long projects and the participants for the webinar were from these projects. The webinar enhanced the participants to equip themselves with the financial literacy, an often not addressed topic for marginalized communities.

Joe FisherWebinar on “Financial Literacy: The Need for a Retirement Fund”
Read more

Emotional Learning

GFF Helps Nepal and GFF Philippines works towards emotional learning with their creative ways of engaging with various partners who can create a better mental well being of the community.


Mrs. Ruth Shrestha conducts the Virtual Psychosocial Follow-Up Session

A Virtual Follow-up Session on School Psychosocial Support was conducted on – 17th November, 2021. The session time being 5:30pm- 6:30pm, was effectively conducted by Mrs. Ganesh Maya Ruth Shrestha (Counsellor Psychologist) on the virtual platform Zoom . The enthusiastic participation of teacher participants from community schools, was put into excellent engagement during the session.  excellent ability to engage our teachers and understanding their dedication towards their students was embraced by the participants.

A testimonial was shared by Mrs. Shanta Sharma, (teacher from Janaklyan Secondary School), on how after the workshop, the training was able to help her communicate with a young students going through a turmoil of emotions. The virtual session was a part of the project’s accountability and evaluation.

Ms. Rojina a nurse in a community school participates in the session

Ms. Sulochana Faciliates the session alongside Ms. Ruth


Effective Project Evaluation Session







Five Fruit Tree Saplings were selected for plantation. Namely_ POMEGRANATE, MANGO, GOOSEBERRY, GUAVA & PAPAYA.

Senior most students from Tri-Jyoti Higher Secondary School Participate in the tree plantation activity.

An awareness session on the Importance of Tree Plantation was conducted by GFF Helps at Tri- Jyoti School; Dated: 26th, October. This session was followed by a Tree Plantation Activity on 19th of November. A TREE PLANTATION ACTIVITY took place within the premises of Tri-Jyoti Higher Secondary School, Kapan. The senior most students participated in planting  over five fruit trees within the premises of the school. GFF Helps Nepal with the support of the school principal Mr. Ganesh Mishra and senior teacher Mr. D.B. Basnet, was successfully able to execute this project into action.


This activity also enhanced the mental well being of students as nature has always healed humans.

GFF Helps volunteers, students and school teachers, digging into mud intentionally to bear real fruits.

The plantation activity took place within the school premises.

School Principal Mr. Ganesh Mishra and senior teacher Mr. D.B. Basnet involve with the students as tree plantation takes place within the school premises.






Joe FisherEmotional Learning
Read more

Broadening imagination with Mobile Library

A write only begins a book. A reader finishes it. Samuel Johnson

GFF Helps India and Philippines has been travelling with a bundle of books and reaching out to remote villages for the love of reading and seeding imagination in children’s mind.

A student of SOGG Pudung reading out a story

GFF Helps India team has been going for monthly visits to the SOGG Learning Centres of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung villages. The last visit was made on 29th & 30th October in Bong and Chibbo and 1st November in Pudung. On the day of our visit we exchange new set of books with the old ones and rotate it among the three centres. Since past few months we have been holding reading sessions along with the book distribution. Children were delighted to receive new set of books. Through this project children are developing their reading and explaining skills. However we have also felt the need of phonetics to be taught to the children for which we will be organizing a workshop in the near future.

Gff Helps Representatives with the participants of Bong

A student of SOGG Bong issuing a Mobile Library book.

Joe FisherBroadening imagination with Mobile Library
Read more

Engaging Youth and Empowering them

‘We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.’ Franklin D Roosevelt

The youth empowerment programme across countries like GFF Helps Sri Lanka, Nepal and India has been paving towards building youth for a better world.

“Three-month long Capacity Development and Career Guidance Programme .”

GFF HELPS Sri Lanka in collaboration with Global Shapers Kandy Hub and
SANASA Campus has launched a three-month long Capacity Development
and Career Guidance Programme where weekly workshops were
conducted targeting 18 students who are following degree programs at
SANASA Campus. These workshops covered a variety of topics aimed to
equip the participants with 21st century skills and employability skills
which will greatly enhance their chance of landing better jobs after the
completion of their academic program.


Language proficiency and confidence building

Workshop on Language proficiency and confidence building

The first session was facilitated by Ms. Shamilka Karunanayake and several members of the Hill Capital toastmasters club. Toastmaster Mohamed Yasir gave pointers on structuring and delivering an impromptu speech. Beneficiaries presented a short, prepared speech which was then evaluated by the resource people. The second session had toastmaster Akaam Zain conducting a session on how to improve language proficiency. Beneficiaries delivered short, impromptu speeches which were evaluated by the resource people.


Digital and Financial literacy

Mr. Saahithiyanan Ganeshanthan, a development practitioner, youth activist, climate reality leader and project coordinator – The Sentinel Project was a resource person for digital literacy

Mr. Chathura Jayasundara, ACMA, CGMA, MBA, BBA, Risk manager, CIMA lecturer and aspiring entrepreneur, Manager – Loan Management Unit and Wholesale Credit at HSBC chaired the session for financial literacy.

Workshop on Digital literacy

Workshop on Financial literacy





Work-life balance and Career guidance

Resource person was Mr. Gayantha Niyangoda, Manager – Business Development at GAC, Visiting lecturer at NSBM Green university – Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing while the session on Career guidance was guided by Senior HR Business Partner Corporate Functions and T&O & Employer Brand Lead, Unilever – Sri Lanka. Resource person: Ms. Keshavi Puswewala.

Workshop on Work-life balance

E-mail etiquette/ meetings/ presentations and CV building

Workshop on email etiquette

Ms. Bhagya Hapuarachchi – consultant/lecturer at National Institute of Business Management (NIBM – Sri Lanka), conducted the session on email etiquette while Mr. Choliya Bandara – Assistant Manager Business Development at MAS Holdings, conducted the session on meeting etiquette. Resource Person for CV building was Mr. Harsha Widanapathirana, LLB, Visiting Lecturer at University of Peradeniya – Dept. of Law and at APIIT- Sri Lanka. 




Workshop on interview etiquette

Interview etiquette and Networking

Resource person for Interview etiquette was Ms. Thisuri Ekanayake, Research Assistant, Institute of Policy Studies – Sri Lanka while for networking was Mr. Heshika Deegahawathura, General Manager – product innovation and design at MAS, Co-founder at Spryng, TEDxer



Digital skills and LinkedIn

Workshop on LinkedIn

Resource person to give a session on digital skills was Mr. Saahithiyanan Ganeshanthan, a development practitioner, youth activist, climate reality leader and project coordinator – The Sentinel Project while Mr. Thanushka Dilshan – Electronic Engineer at Burgeon Solutions, Embedded Software Developer spoke about LinkedIn and the possibility of using that platform to network.

Workshop on Responsible citizenship

 Responsible Citizenship and Responsible Global Citizenship

Ms. Nethmini Madawela – Head of Programmes – Hashtag Generation, Attorney-at-Law spoke about what it is to be a Responsible citizen and Ms. Niroshini Nugawela, AAL, LLB (Hons) Colombo, Director at HYPE Sri Lanka, Program support officer – Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights highlighted on the responsibility of becoming a Global citizen which is required at an era where internet helps us communicate beyound boundaries.



Joe FisherEngaging Youth and Empowering them
Read more


Stories braiding through Nepal, India and Philippines

The online storytelling session is a collaborative project of GFF Helps Nepal and India since 2020. The former volunteer of GFF Helps Nepal introduced this project during the CoVID19 lockdown keeping in mind children’s mental health. Children from different places of India and Nepal attended the sessions. The 2nd season of the online storytelling session began in June 2021. Since then both the teams of India and Nepal has been conducting the sessions alternatively. The storytelling sessions include important lessons and activities apart from storytelling. In India a school counselor Ms. Prashanna Sherpa has volunteered to conduct the sessions. She mostly engages children with fun activities. Children look forward to her fun session every weekend.

“Gain knowledge through mindfulness and active learning”.

Counselor and and children during the session.

Ms. Prashanna conducting the online storytelling session.

Ms. Prashanna Sherpa interacting with the children during a session.

A group of children from India and Nepal team became a part of  group storytelling in the month of November. The session focused on enhancing children’s capacity speak in a second language (English). The storytelling session allows children to use their imagination and widen it’s scope. Children have been both avid listeners and fantastic storytellers’, as children from both countries meet and interact virtually on Saturdays’ a bond of friendship and connectedness has been another special thing about the storytelling sessions.

Group Storytelling Session

Young Storytellers

Widening the scope for imagination

Children from India and Nepal participate in a group storytelling. Using their creative imagination, they engage virtually but, connect through stories of their own.

GFF Helps Intern- Ms. Asbina Rai engages in the storytelling session with the children.


Read more

GFF Helps Nepal strives towards Sustainable Development Goals 4

School Psychosocial Support Workshop

  • Professional facilitation by counsellor

    Teachers listening to the presentation

  • Addressing Mental health at school level

  • Educating the educators with psychosocial supporting skills


Community Teacher schools participation in the workshop, Kapan- CDS Office.

A School Psychosocial Support Workshop was conducted on 4th October 2021 targeting teachers  from 7 community schools of Kathmandu and Budhanikatha municipalities. Ms. Ganesh Maya Ruth Shrestha a counselor psychologist from Anandaban hospital Lalitpur, Kathmandu facilitated the session.

The workshop focused on orienting teachers dealing with children from vulnerable backgrounds from community schools. The session started with pre-test questionnaire discussion on the general understanding of psychosocial problems and support. 14 participants attended the workshop to understand the psychosocial problems, its identification at school level amongst children, development of effective communication skills, learning the basic psychosocial development theory of Erick Erikson. A virtual follow-up session is to take place in the month of November.

Teachers presenting their work

Joe FisherGFF Helps Nepal strives towards Sustainable Development Goals 4
Read more

Re-Introducing Sulochana Thapa

Hello Everyone! I am Sulochana Thapa   born in Darjeeling hills and brought up in   Kalimpong, India. Prior to the volunteering   programme with GFF Helps, I was working   with Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology   and the Environment in Darjeeling.  I have   specialization in Community Development,   Medical and Psychiatric Social Work and   worked with organizations such as Bosco   Mane (Working with street children),   Kidwai Memorial Instiitute of Oncology   (Working for children suffering with blood   cancer), Asssociation of people with   Disability (With a special focus on   differently abled children), Pravah (A youth   development organization), Hayden Hall   organization (Working with Mother and   Child Healthcare) Mercy Corps (Worked on school component of WASH). This is my second visit to Kathmandu, Nepal as a GFF Volunteer. Travelling across different places and serving communities gives me immense pleasure and energy to enjoy my work with Glenn Family Foundation Helps. I feel this volunteering programme provided by GFF Helps in Child Development Society, Nepal is a chance to give back to the community. I would like to put into practice the already gained knowledge and experience which I have acquired when I volunteered in 2019-2020. I am excited to start this new journey again and encouraged to conduct WASH awareness sessions with children, working on a project on Eco Brick to reduce plastic waste, assist in reporting and documentation of the organization, conducting training on gastro intestinal diseases and its prevention, conduct personal development workshops for school students.

Joe FisherRe-Introducing Sulochana Thapa
Read more

GFF Sri Lanka collaborates with Global Shapers Kandy Hub and SANASA Campus

Launch of the Shaper Buddy Programme

GFF HELPS Sri Lanka in collaboration with Global Shapers Kandy Hub and SANASA Campus has launched a three-month long Capacity Development and Career Guidance Programme where weekly workshops will be conducted targeting 18 students who are following degree programs at SANASA Campus. These workshops will cover a variety of topics aimed to equip the participants with 21st century skills and employability skills which will greatly enhance their chance of landing better jobs after the completion of their academic program.

Project launch and orientation programme of the “Shaper Buddy Programme” was held on Friday, October 8th 2021 with the presence of Mr. T. Karunasena, Registrar of SANASA Campus, Mr. Saom Namchu, GFF HELPS Asia Coordinator, Mr. Tharaka Munidasa, International Advisor for GFF HELPS Sri Lanka, and Ms. Pavithra Wijethunge, Curator of Global Shapers Kandy Hub.

Participants for the launch of the Shaper Buddy Programme


To briefly introduce our partner for the programme, Global Shapers are a community of young professionals brought together under an initiative of the World Economic Forum consisting of young professionals under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional, and global challenges. With more than 13,000 members, the Global Shapers Community spans 448 city-based hubs in 150 countries. Kandy Hub, the second Global Shapers hub in Sri Lanka, comprises of 25 shapers from diverse career paths and their projects focus mainly on the impact areas of Education & Employment and Climate Change & Environment.

SANASA Campus is providing higher education under government supported financial plans to students from low socio-economic background who have not been selected into public universities and are unable to afford tertiary education at private universities. Therefore, getting good professional opportunities are of utmost importance not only for their future but also for their families and this programme aims to equip the beneficiaries with skills required for them to achieve their career prospects.

This programme is implemented under GFF key focal areas of Education, Professional Development and Skill-sharing. Moreover, the programme will be contributing towards 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through the impact overlapping with targets of SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth,and SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities.

Workshops under Shaper Buddy Programme

Shaper Buddy Programme is implemented by GFF HELPS Sri Lanka in collaboration with Global Shapers Kandy   Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, with the aim to equip 18 students who are following degree   programs at SANASA Campus with necessary skills to enhance their employability and to succeed in a work   environment. Under this programme, weekly workshops will be conducted covering 16 modules delivered be   competent and experienced resource people. The first session of module two, “Mental well-being” was conducted   by Michael Fronczak, Co-Founder and Manager at Sanatha Suwaya Meditation & Retreat Center, Kandy on 09th   October 2021. The resource person for the second session (10 October 2021) was Dr. Ravihansa Rajapakse   (PH.D., AFHEA), a researcher, UX practitioner and a strong advocate for human-centered design. Dr. Rajapakse   holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science (Human-Computer Interactions) from Queensland University of Technology.

Mental Well-being by Dr. Ravihansa Rajapakse

Language Proficiency and Confidence Building by Shamilka Karunanayake





The second week of the workshop consisted of two interactive sessions on “Language Proficiency and Confidence Building” on 16th and 17th of October 2021. The sessions were conducted by Ms. Shamilka Karunanayake and her colleagues from Global Shapers Kandy Hub. Mr. Mohomed Yasir, Area Director of Area F3 at District 82 Toastmasters and Ms. Jithmini Amunugama, a digital marketing specialist, a writer and a public speaker joined the sessions as resource people and delivered invaluable tips on how to improve public speaking skills.


Mental Well-being by Michael Fronczak

The first session of module two, “Mental well-being” was conducted by Michael Fronczak, Co-Founder and Manager at Sanatha Suwaya Meditation & Retreat Center, Kandy on 09th October 2021. The resource person for the second session (10 October 2021) was Dr. Ravihansa Rajapakse (PH.D., AFHEA), a researcher, UX practitioner and a strong advocate for human-centered design.

Public Speaking by Mohamed Yasir and Jithmini Amunugama

Joe FisherGFF Sri Lanka collaborates with Global Shapers Kandy Hub and SANASA Campus
Read more

GFF India engages with children from remote village of Kalimpong, India


Melissa giving prize to one of the youngest participants From Chibbo- Ms Kashish Tirwa

In the month of May, Covid-19 cases in the country and the district had surged. Our team at GFF Helps India, was prepared for yet another lockdown and thus started planning activities for the children of Chibbo, Bong and Pudung villages. No sooner did the first week pass, than the state went under complete lockdown for three months. Our main objective was to keep the students engaged in an academic yet through non-traditional activities/method- to make learning fun.

Mr. Karan Rai with the calendar he made

The children were familiarise with the QWERTY keyboard. Mr. Sujit Tirwa of Chibbo Centre

Nikita and Melissa giving away prize to the best leader- Mr. Yugen Lepcha









Keeping abreast with one of the sustainable development goals, our focus was on education. We divided children into groups of 8, who were guided by a mentor. Each village had 4 groups, thus in sum, 12 groups comprising of 96 students took part in the 10 weeks activity. The children completed 2 activities in a week ranging from: mapping of countries, continents, oceans, drawing the flags of 10 countries, letter writing (formal and informal), germination of seed, making eco-bricks, learning a new language, extempore, arts and crafts, community mapping, news reporting, essay writing and drawing and coloring.

The mentors were assigned with the task of guiding their respective students and sending photo and video reports. Upon completion of all the activities, evaluation was done based on consistency, creativity, punctuality and effort. The leader was evaluated on punctuality and reporting.

‘I really enjoyed learning Portuguese. I did not know that we could do it online. Thank you dear Miss for giving us this opportunity. I want to have an in depth knowledge of Portuguese and will learn more in days to come.’

Anisha Rai, Bong centre.

Gff Helps Representatives with the participants of Pudung


Gff Helps Representatives with the participants of Chibbo

Based on the suggestion of the leaders, a winner for each category from every group was chosen. On the 13th of September, with prior notification, we visited Bong and Kameshi centres, Pudung centre on the 14th and Chibbo on the 20th of September to distribute prizes to the students, who were gathered in the centre. We interacted with the students and sought feedback for the activities. Some of them spoke in the language they had learned, while others read short paragraphs from the mobile library books. The children were excited to receive prizes and ensured their participation in future activities as well. To encourage participation of all the students, we provided small stationery gifts.


A student showing the seed she had germinated and observed over one week

Miss Anjela Rai of Kameshi with one of the crafts she had made

Joe FisherGFF India engages with children from remote village of Kalimpong, India
Read more

GFF Phillippines reaching out to children and women

PH Sewing Project – This is Zenie sewing a dress in Banga, Aklan Philippines

Sewing Project

As the COVID-19 cases are gradually decreasing in the Town of Banga, Province of Aklan, where our five (5) Sewing Project Women’s  houses are located, they were able to keep pace with the needs of the customers by sewing facemasks, curtains, pillow cases, repairing other garments like dress, some pairs of trousers, and many more.

These Sewing Project Women are all housewives and the amount of money that they earned  from  sewing helps them with their finances somehow. They are very grateful for this opportunity especially that the GFF’s sewing machines are the ones that they are using in sewing those garments and all.

“The Sewing Project Women are enhancing their skills from what they have learnt.”

Joe FisherGFF Phillippines reaching out to children and women
Read more