Joe Fisher


Health Awareness Program

GFF HELPS Srilanka has been collaborating with Kegalle Base Hospital for the second time. On the 14th of February 2023, GFF HELPS Srilanka supported by Mr.I.S.Rajapaksha who is 23 years experienced health education officer in Kegalle Base Hospital conducted the Health Awareness Program for the mothers and fathers in Ekiriyagala Village. The main purpose was awareness of the mental health lessons, child mental health, nutrition development, health diseases, family planning, child upbringing lessons, and health challenges of the school community during the economic downturn. There were 45 participants for the program. After the session, GFF HELPS Sri Lanka received positive feedback from the beneficiaries.

Thank you so much for giving this opportunity for us. I truly appreciate Ms. Amali’s support and guidance. We learnt lot of things from the session,
we learnt the importance of the upbringing our children in proper way. We are very grateful for this opportunity.

Mrs. Kumari

Mental Well-being and Meditation Program

GFF HELPS Srilanka organized a mental wellbeing and meditation program for the first time on the 04th of February 2023, GFF HELPS Srilanka supported by Mrs. Piumani who is a certified yoga and meditation instructor in Kegalle. The main aim was to provide a mental wellbeing and mediation program for community members, Sanasa staff directly for their mental health, those that regularly exercise is less reactive to stressful situations, reducing levels of cortisol, and experiencing less depression and anxiety. Exercise will help to boost their confidence and strengthens their belief that they can achieve goals all essential to good mental health. Every weekend GFF HELPS Srilanka has been conducting the sessions with 30 participants.

English For Village Program

GFF HELPS Srilanka conducted the English for village program to enhance the English language abilities of village students. Week by week, creative sessions and activities according to the structured syllabus were prepared. GFF HELPS Srilanka team collaborates with Ekiriyagala Sanasa Primary Society and Sanasa Campus. Every Thursday and Friday the program with Ekiriyagala village Students are conducted. To build up confidence and improve English language skills, GFF HELPS Srilanka has an ongoing English for Village Program for primary-grade and second-grade students at the Ekiriyagala Sanasa Kegalle, Sri Lanka. Day by day they are improving their English knowledge and vocabulary skills.

The worksheets were prepared and distributed and the children were asked to complete the tasks and activities. Gradually they are developing and improving their writing skills and reading skills. To brainstorm, they used creative activities, coloring letters, and writing letters. They also practiced creating the letters in a creative way that helped them to remember the letters and their pronunciation. The resource person is Mrs. Sumudu Basnayaka who is a postgraduate of the University of Wayamba, Srilanka.

Mobile Library and Donation Program

GFF HELPS Srilanka actively collaborated with Ekiriyagala SANASA Society and the village, and conducted the Mobile library. Every week reading sessions were conducted with the Ekiriyagala village students due to the lack of educational resources within the village. GFF HELPS Srilankan Representative provides the story books for the village students. By reading, they have been improving their reading skills and also improving in their story-making abilities. GFF HELPS Sri Lanka organized a book donation drive for the SANASA Campus staff and the undergraduates. GFF could collect 150+ story books for the Mobile Library. This program was initiated in Ekiriyagala village as a part of the English for Village program. The kids in Ekiriyagala and nearby villages gathered at Ekiriyagala SANASA cooperative society to read story books. While reading, they remembered different characters and settings that belong to a given story. Reading is a workout for their brain that improves memory function.

Art and Craft sessions for Yasuko Ono Sanasa Preschool

GFF HELPS Srilanka has been collaborating with Yasuko Ono Sanasa International Preschool for the first time, GFF HELPS Srilanka organized and conducted Art and Drawing sessions for the preschool kids in Yasuko Ono Sanasa Preschool. On the 07th of February, the program started with 45 students. They actively participated for the weekly sessions. The main aim was to enhance the creativity and also increase the emotional intelligence. Drawing is an important outlet for children and helped them to illustrate new ideas and helped them to think creatively.

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Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

Helen Keller, U.S. author, educator, and disability rights advocate

A month long activity for the students of SOGG Learning centres – that comprised of indoor and outdoor sports, and co-curricular activities came to an end in Chibbo on the 5th of February. Ms. Lee Geok Boi and her friends from Singapore sponsored the Winter Camp this year too. Together with Taekwondo Association of Chibbo village, the event was organized for the children of SOGG centre Chibbo. The primary aim of Winter Camp is to keep the students engaged during the long winter break and help them pick an interest in the field of sports or arts. Healthy competition was held in various categories for both senior and junior students. The finale was held in the SOGG Learning centre premises, wherein prizes were distributed to the participants. The chief guest for the event was Mr. Paul Simick, a prominent figure in the field of Taekwondo in West Bengal. Mr. Saom, GFF Helps Representatives, interns too attended the finale. The managing committee and the guardians too supported the finale, which was executed in an organized manner. It was observed that students have been making progress in their own way. Some have become excellent football players, while other have learned how to play chess, while the rest have picked interest in writing, singing, dancing and debating. GFF Helps will henceforth be taking up initiative to help students form groups based on their own interest viz., debate club, literary club, fine arts club, sports club etc. The finale ended with a warm fellowship over which beautiful memories were relived and progress of the children assessed.


On the 7th of February, the Winter Camp finale was held in the SOGG Learning centre of Bong. The chief guest of the event was Mr. Nereus Mukhia, President of Kalimpong NGO Network- with whom several projects have been implemented in the past especially during the pandemic. After the welcoming of the guests, the students performed a welcome dance, which was followed by friendly games that were organized for the students as well as the parents, who showed their support with their participation. Mr. Saom provided words of encouragement to the parents as well as the students. Mr. Nereus shared the past collaborative work with GFF. The Prizes for the activities that were held in the previous month were distributed to the participants. 4 students who performed well in the previous academic year were also felicitated, to acknowledge their hard work and efforts. A friendly football match between the parents was held, followed by lunch, which marked the end of the finale. Overall, the students showed active participation in various sports and arts. It has been observed that the students of Bong Learning centre are excellent badminton players; hence, GFF Helps will be working together with Badminton Association of Kalimpong to hold workshops so that students understand both theoretical as well as practical implications of the sport.

“The winter camp
kept me engaged.
Since I do not have any siblings (I have two elder sisters and no brother) at home, I used to visit the centre and take part in various activities that helped kept boredom away while at the same time helping me realize my interest in badminton.”

Aven Rai (Student)


On the 7th of February, an awareness program by Indian Postal Department of Kalimpong was held. The program was organized by GFF Helps India. The resource person was Mr. Dipankar Pradhan, inspector of Kalimpong sub-division post office. The primary topic was Sukanya Samridhi Account, which is a Government of India backed saving scheme targeted at the parents of girl children. The scheme encourages parents to build a fund for the future education of their female child, which can be opened at any India Post office or a branch of some authorised commercial banks. The parents as well as students who had gathered for the Winter Camp Finale took part in the program, which provided useful information and emphasized the importance of female child education. Many parents today, have realized the importance of educating their daughters because of which they are working hard to send them to school.


On the 10th of February, GFF Helps Representative visited Debanjan Share Girls’ Academy for the 3rd round of Mobile library. 15 girls were present, wherein a reading session was held. The girls were also asked to share stories from the books that they had borrowed from the library. The beneficiaries have been making the most use of the books that is helping them improve their vocabulary as well as reading skills. In the next visit, GFF Helps Representative will be conducting fun filled activities for the students of Debanjan Share Girls’ Academy.

“These books have kept me engaged during winter break. I can now read better than before and my grammar has also improved.”

-Pinky Rai, Debanjan Share Girls’ Academy


One-Stop Centre scheme is a sub-scheme of the National Mission for Empowerment of Women. One Stop Centres (OSC) are intended to support women affected by violence, in private and public spaces, within the family, community and at the workplace. Women facing physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economic abuse, irrespective of age, class, caste, education status, marital status, race and culture are facilitated with support and redressal. Aggrieved women facing any kind of violence due to attempted sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, trafficking, honour related crimes, -acid attacks or witch-hunting who have reached out or been referred to the OSC are provided with specialized services.

The objectives of the scheme are:

  • To provide integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces under one roof.
  • To facilitate immediate, emergency and non-emergency access to a range of services including medical, legal, psychological and counseling support under one roof to fight against any forms of violence against women.

Although crime rates against women in Kalimpong is almost negligible according to statistical data, there are victims who have been silently suffering. Some of the cases are reported while many are unreported. Therefore, organizing such an awareness program was considered necessary to make the villages aware of the facilities and support that are available for them and their family. 10 women of Pudung took part in the event which was held in the office of Self Help Group- Pudung Dara. The key resource person, Ms. Salina Thapa provided words of encouragement to the participants and shared the objectives of the Scheme.


On the 10th of February, GFF Helps India organized an awareness program in Pudung on Mental Health and tobacco. The key resource person of the event was Ms. Sarah Ralte and Mr. Bibek Pradhan, representatives of DMHP and NTCP.

The Government of India launched the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in 1982. The District Mental Health Program (DMHP) was launched under NMHP in the year 1996 (in IX Five Year Plan). The main objective of DMHP is to provide Community Mental Health Services and integration of mental health with General health services through decentralization of treatment from Specialized Mental Hospital based care to primary health care services. The team of workers at the district under the program consists of a Psychiatrist, a Clinical Psychologist, a Psychiatric Social worker, a Psychiatry/Community Nurse, a Program Manager, a Program/Case Registry Assistant and a Record Keeper.

Government of India launched the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in the year 2007-08 during the 11th Five-Year-Plan, with the aim to (i) create awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco consumption, (ii) reduce the production and supply of tobacco products, (iii) ensure effective implementation of the provisions under “The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003” (COTPA) (iv) help the people quit tobacco use, and (v) facilitate implementation of strategies for prevention and control of tobacco advocated by WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control .

10 women from Pudung attended the program which was interactive, informative as well as engaging.


The 11th of February marked the closure of Winter Camp 2023 in Pudung Learning centre. The chief guest was Mr. Anand Pradhan- Secretary of SBI Pensioner’s Association Kalimpong. Along with Mr. Pradhan, Mr. NT Lepcha and several prominent members of the Managing committee, parents, Mr. Saom, GFF Helps Representatives and interns also took part in the finale. Succulents were given to the guests so as to minimize the usage of non eco-friendly materials like khada or traditional scarf.

The students performed a welcome dance and sang beautiful songs- which reflect the confidence that they have built over the years. One of the parents sang a beautiful Nepali song that kept the audience engaged. A game for the mothers was also organized that made the event fun. Students who had participated in various events of the Winter Camp were given prizes and their talent acknowledged. The team of Pudung expressed their gratefulness to Ms. Lee Geok Boi and her friends from Singapore who has been supporting the event since many years now.

Mr. Anand expressed his willingness to donate a table tennis board to the students of Pudung. GFF Helps will henceforth collaborate with Table Tennis Association of Kalimpong to organize a workshop on Table Tennis so that students get oriented about the game from a theoretical perspective. The finale ended with a fellowship over lunch that was prepared by the villagers who volunteered to prepare lunch for the students as well as guests of the finale.


After the commencement of new academic year of 2023, GFF Helps Representatives visited SOGG Learning centre of Bong for Mobile Library Project on February 2023. New set of books which were donated by Ms. Lee Geok Boi on her visit to Kalimpong, was also distributed. The students were happy to receive new books which included comics, fiction, biographies, and puzzle books. The participation of the students in Grassroots Comic that was held last month has boosted the children’s interest in comics, which will help them look at comics from a different perspective. A reading session too was held followed by spelling competition. The students of Bong have made a lot of progress since the start of Mobile Library Project in 2020. GFF Helps Representatives will be visiting the centre next month.


On the 17th of February, GFF Helps Representative visited the SOGG Learning centre of Pudung for Mobile Library project. Books that were donated by Ms. Lee Geok Boi were distributed to the students who were excited to read books. A reading session along with spelling competition was held to assess the progress of the students. GFF Helps Representative will be visiting the centre next month for the mobile library project.

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Positive Parenting Session: A Collaborative Initiative

The positive parenting project is a collaborative initiative undertaken to address the issue in parenting recognized by the school authorities. With the objective to help support both parents and their children in developing healthy relationships, and in bringing positive change in the lives of families. A two days session was conducted on the 9th and 10th February, 2023. These sessions were conducted by two facilitators Mr. Shiva Gurung (CDS Protection Officer) and Ms. Kamala Lamsal (Community Psychosocial Counsellor). The session was conducted in the CDS head office located in Kapan, Kathmandu. There were over 28 participants, the feedback from most participants was positive.

Psychosocial Follow-Up Session at Srijanshil school for CWD

Summarizing the psychosocial intervention work which was conducted from February to July of 2022, and a follow-up session which took place on 20th February of 2023. The Psychosocial Intervention was aimed at supporting the care givers of children with disabilities in a school very remotely located within Kathmandu city. The scarcity of effective and efficient resource individual in guiding and supporting family care givers has been an underlining issue in Nepal. To bridge the deficit in the system of social support, GFF Helps has been regularly taking visits and building connections to help family care givers get psychosocial support.

Youth Empowerment Project

Under the youth empowerment project, there have been over four individuals who have supported and who have been supported by GFF Helps Nepal. Ms. Anu, Mr. Abhisek and Mr. Paras who worked as an intern each with a period of six months and currently Mr. Pradeep has been interning with us. Youth empowerment is a project set to empower young people to learn and grow in several skills such as: technical work in editing and videomaking, field work, team work, coordination, cooperation and overall collaboration skills. In a short period of 6 months, not only do they get to showcase their individual skills but also learn skills and tools for personal as well as community betterment.


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Helping our fellow Aklanon to become eligible to work in the Philippine government offices.

We are very grateful with this program, we won’t do a self-review anymore, thank you for the review materials and the ongoing coaching.

One of the participants, Tito, expresses his thankfulness

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” — This is a famous quotation that also mirrors the Glenn Family Foundation founder, Sir Owen Glenn. This project is created to elevate the employment of our fellow Aklanon in the Philippine Government Office. The Civil Service Exam (CSE), also known as the Career Service Examination, is conducted twice a year by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to figure out whether or not an applicant is eligible to work in the Philippine government offices. With the help of our 7-week Free Review of the examination scope inside the GFF HELPS Office in Kalibo, we can help pass the almost 10 examinees. LP and Stef have been the one conducting the Review to topics like English, Math, Philippine Laws, Code of Ethics, Environment and many more since both are Licensed Teachers. We are looking forward to have 100% passers in the upcoming examination in 26th March 2023.


We are very much willing to receive help from GFF HELPS since it will all for the sake of our citizens here. We are willing to have the seminar about Agriculture since most of us are doing Agriculture jobs. – Village Secretary

Doing projects with the community is a great way to increase knowledge, skills and promotes progress to people living there. The PH Team, with the guidance of Mr. Saom has initially make progress in communicating to the Muguing Village, an agricultural village 10 kilometers from the GFF Office to partner and create projects with them through the help of Philippine departments like the Department of Agriculture, the Local Government Unit and other agencies. The PH Team will serve as a catalyst to make this project happen. In January, we started communicating the the officers of Muguing Village, did some data survey so that we could decide which project applies best. In February, we communicated to the Mayor’s Office to request permission for a resource speaker from the Department of Agriculture, the Municipal Agricultural Office (MAO) in Banga, to be sent to the Muguing Village and give a seminar on Agriculture and Livestock. The MAO Acting Officer Mr. Elmar Estanislao were very willing to send a resource speaker to Muguing Village in March 2023. The recipient village, on the other hand, was more grateful for the opportunity that we will give to their citizens.


Remedial Classes are ongoing in the four schools: Banga Elementary School, Muguing Elementary School, Sigcay Elementary School, and Lapnag Primary School. Progress of the children were witnessed by the teachers and parents. More students were added to our class, and they also manifested progress despite being new. We continue to provide worksheets and focus on intensive learning. Now, there are more than 50 students under the remedial class from these four schools. We are also grateful for the support of our intern in most of our schedules. We are able to teach many kids in just one session.

“We are very grateful with the Remedial Class Project given to my students, they are now doing progressively.”

Sir Ronnie of Sigcay Elementary School

“Assisting students to achieve expected competencies in core academic skills such as literacy and numeracy.”


Health is one of our priorities. In recent months, we purchased a weighing scale, automatic blood pressure monitor, and glucometer. In every activity that we have, we integrate the health check-up for the participants. One example is the Free Civil Service Examination Seminar where we checked the blood pressure and weight of the participants. All of them were interested to know their weight and their blood pressure. We are planning to hold a seminar in villages about health in partnership with the local government unit and their health workers in the future. For now, we will focus on health check-up integration to each projects that we have.


“Promotes Self-Esteem and Self-Expression.”

All human beings are creative by nature. Young children know this in their hearts but lack resources and support. As a celebration of Arts Day, the GFF HELPS Philippines Team brought art materials to Muguing Elementary School. We taught children in Grade 1 how to make animals using simple materials like paper and colored pencils. They made jellyfish and cards out of the materials that we brought. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be creative. The children learned that they could use available materials to create something. Almost 20 kids participated in the activity and proudly showed their work. This activity made us closer to them, and their parents, who are part of the community of Muguing Village. We are happy to ignite their creativity and inspire them to explore their skills.

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English for Village program – Ekiriyagala Village

Mobile Library and Donation Program

English for village program is one of the impactful ongoing programs in GFF HELPS Srilanka. We are continuously conducting English Sessions, Reading Exercises, as well as storytelling sessions for a group of students in Ekiriyagala village by providing working sheets, students were more attracted to the English for Village Program. Every week, we continuously conducted the English for village program, according to a well-structured syllabus. Students already completed Grammar Sessions, Phonics, Conjunctions, and Picture Description Activities with the help of the English Department in the Sanasa Campus. Currently, there are 15 students and they are monitored by Mrs. Reshani, who is the English tutor in English for the village program.

GFF HELPS Srilanka actively collaborated with Ekiriyagala village and community members and continually provided a mobile library and donation program for the Ekiriyagala village students. Currently, there are six students and GFF HELPS Sri Lankan Representative provided the no of books for the students and helped them to read books individually. Every week, students engaged with the program actively. The main aim was the Mobile library and donation program that improves the reading skills of the village students and also facilitates the lack of educational resources within the village.

ICT Development program – SANASA CAMPUS

ICT Development program has been ongoing an educational program in GFF HELPS Sri Lanka. ICT Department, which is developed in 2019. Students are accessing and receiving technology access. GFF HELPS Sri Lanka conducted the ICT Development program by collaborating with Sanasa Campus and Ekiriyagala village. The project will end after 02 months. Till then students will engage with the ICT Development Program and improve their knowledge.

Health Awareness Program

GFF HELPS Srilanka has been collaborating with Kegalle Base Hospital for the first time. On the 29th of November 2022, GFF HELPS Srilanka supported by Mr.I.S.Rajapaksha who is 23 years experienced health education officer in Kegalle Base Hospital conducted the Health Awareness Program for the mothers in Ekiriygala Village. The main purpose was to be aware of the mental health lessons, child mental health, nutrition development, health diseases, family planning, child upbringing lessons, and health challenges of the school community during the economic downturn.

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A mega health camp organized by the Rotary Club of Darjeeling, sponsored by Glenn Family Foundation Helps India & Mayukh Tea was held in Risheehat- a tea estate, on the 20th of November. The camp was held in collaboration with Yuma hospital, Darjeeling and the local community of Risheehat. For a population of 2500, there are two sub health centres in Risheehat, which is supervised by a medical nurse. For medical checkup, the residents visit Darjeeling town which is half an hour away. Risheehat, was therefore a suitable place where medical intervention was the need of the hour. Therefore, after much deliberation and planning for over a month, a mega health camp was planned which came into fruition on the 20th of November 2022.

Mayukh Tea undertook food and logistic responsibilities and the members of the 7 community helped in preparing lunch, tea and snacks for the volunteers. GFF Helps India sponsored medicines as well as water and soft drinks for the volunteers of the event. The beneficiaries were given medicines for free after consultation. The event was successful as the number of target beneficiaries were met, who got their medical needs fulfilled.

14 medical professionals associated with Yuma Hospital provided free service to 534 beneficiaries- ranging from dermatologist, general physicians, gynecologist, ophthalmologist, optometrist, orthopedic, and psychiatrist. The medical camp aimed to target not only the physical wellbeing but also mental- thereby presenting itself as a holistic camp (Mental health is not given much priority in India yet). From the data, it was observed that the number of females were more than the number of male beneficiaries, with a handful of children below 18years of age. More than half of the patients were above the age of 50 years. Orthopedic, general physician and ophthalmologist/optometrist were most visited reflecting high case of eye and bone ailments. Mr. Yugen, coordinator of SOGG Bong Learning centre volunteered in the camp and monitored the blood and sugar level of 220+ patients along with GFF Helps Representatives- Melissa and Nikita, who helped at the registration counter, and monitored the blood pressure levels of concerned individuals as well.


This camp was very much needed in our place. I got my eye tested today. I have called all my family members
to take get themselves checked because we have to go to Darjeeling town which is far and expensive for us.’

Sarmistha Thapa 43 years, Risheehat
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GFF India engages and empower with the community


On the 17th and 18th of November pickle, vinegar and squash making training was held in the SOGG Learning centre of Pudung. The program was organized by GFF Helps India in collaboration with the Food Processing Unit of Kalimpong. More than 21 female beneficiaries from different Self Help Groups of Pudung took part in the programme. The staff of SOGG centre Pudung volunteered in the two day training programme, which was rewarding.

‘I will definitely put the skill that I have acquired to good use, probably for some financial purposes. Thank you for organizing a programme like this in our village.’

Mrs. S. Lepcha


Every year on the 14th of November, the birth anniversary of Lt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India is commemorated. Since 1947, his birthday had been a public event although the Indian government officially declared the day as children’s day only 10 years after India gained independence. Due to his love for children, November 14th is observed as Children’s Day in India.

GFF Helps Representative Melissa visited the SOGG Learning centre of Bong to celebrate Children’s Day with the students. Mr. Subash Rai- Assistant teacher shared a few words on Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, while Melissa shared words of encouragement and motivation since the final examination of all the students is round the corner. The celebration ended with distributing pies and sweets to the students who were already engaged in their daily studies at the SOGG Learning centre.

In the other SOGG Learning centres of Chibbo and Pudung, the teachers too celebrated Children’s Day by cutting cake and sharing few words of motivation.

‘Thank you for your kind words dear teachers. We will work even harder and make all of you proud.’

Anisha Rai Student, Bong Learning centre


Focus on health and health related projects have been one of the priorities of GFF Helps India. During the health crisis of 2020, GFF Helps started ‘Health Project’ wherein; the coordinators of SOGG Centres of Bong, Chibbo & Pudung were given Blood Pressure monitoring device as well as glucometer to provide easy access to needy individuals. The staff of SOGG centres was given training initially, after which they have been working at the grassroots level to date.

On the 1st of November, GFF Helps Representative, Ms. Melissa visited Bong to monitor the health project. BP as well as glucose levels of 3 individuals were checked- a 90 year old lady, a 45 year old lady who recently suffered stroke that had led to partial paralysis and her husband- who suffers from high BP. Melissa also visited Chibbo on the 15th of November to monitor the health project. It has observed that monitoring is done keeping in mind hygiene and safety of the patients. The kits are sanitized after regular use and an antiseptic liquid is used to prevent further infection.

The Staff of SOGG centres have been doing commendable job by giving door-to-door service to needy patients. GFF Helps has been providing strips as well as needles for the smooth functioning of the Health Project.



‘Thank you sister Melissa for providing us with the strips and needles. We can ensure hygiene and safety of everyone.’

Yugen Lepcha Coordinator, Bong Learning centre


November marks the final month of studies in the academic calendar for most of the schools in Kalimpong, after which students appear for the final examination which determines their progress and promotion to higher class. The syllabus for the examination is comparatively vast; hence GFF Helps Project has reduced the monthly activities with the students. However, to encourage the students to perform better in their final examination, GFF Helps Representatives provided exam supplies. 45 students from Chibbo main centre and sub-centre, 35 students from Bong centre and 40 students of Pudung were given exercise books, pens, pencils and erasers. The students were grateful towards the concern and love of Sir Owen and have promised to work hard and do well academically this term.

‘Thank you Miss Melissa for supplying what the children needed. Some of them cannot afford to purchase a pencil. Thank you Sir. Owen.’

Sudeep Chettri Teacher, Pudung Learning centre


On the 21st of November, a workshop on Child Rights and Protection was organized by the North Bengal Child Rights NGO Network and Darjeeling District Administration. GFF Helps India Representative, Nikita attended the one day workshop in Darjeeling. Most of the NGOs working in the field of children from North Bengal area took part in the program which was informative and helpful. The main objective of the program was to celebrate ‘Child Rights Week’, to keep children below 18 years of age safe in the community. Another important topic covered in the workshop was on ‘Abuse’- definition and types. The importance of ‘Child Rights’ and the protection of children from 0-18 years were also discussed. It was informed that NGOs, Administration, ICDS workers, community counselors and each individual are deemed responsible for the protection of children.

Joe FisherGFF India engages and empower with the community
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Nepal continues to address social and emotional learning

English Grammar lessons for community school students

GFF Helps Nepal started it’s collaborative empowerment projects with it’s major role being in the educative field of English language and Literature. English as a Second Language is being taken forward by Ms. Mei Quie Sherpa. The focus of interest has been firmly constructing the base of English studies in the community school.

The social and emotional session with the Children at Bourghandi Children’s Home for the month of November comprised of practicing growth mindset under the Social and Emotional Learning. Practicing a short play on the title: The Grumpy Leprechaun which was performed at the Children’s Homes. Prop making, dialogue learning, narration practice, were all of the activities that led to the real performance. The short play ended with sweet treats after the session.

Emotional Learning at Children Homes Bourghandi

Social and Emotional Learning Project with Bal Kumari School

In the month of November, a session was conducted based on the class course four students at Bal Kumari school. An audio visual session was conducted on the course titled: “The abuse of drugs and other substances”. The session targeted young people of Bal Kumari with the objective to sensitize and rationalize the young minds on the impact of substance abuse. The course fulfilled the need to make children aware and discourage them from using substances. The class teacher of class four Ms. Sudha, has been encouraged to take the support of GFF Helps Team for making the class courses more effective and more understanding.

In-collaboration projects – Workshop on risk of child marriage through social media

With the increasing number of child marriage by choice in the nation, GFF HELPS Nepal collaborated with the Child Development Society and conducted a day workshop on the Risk of Child Marriage Through Social Media and it’s impact on Mental & Physical Health. Over 31 students from four schools took part in the workshop from 10 AM-4PM at CDS Kapan Office. The workshop was focused on three major aspects-

  • Romantic relationships on social media and mental health issues.
  • The reality of early pregnancy on physical health and the strain of married life.
  • The legal consequences of child marriage by choice and referral systems.
Joe FisherNepal continues to address social and emotional learning
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Philippines bridging the gap for education and health

Free Blood Pressure Check-up

The GFF HELPS Philippines Team provided Free Blood Pressure Check to almost 50 people from the mountains of Madalag Town. We communicated and sent Letter of Intent to their Village Leader and after getting the GO signal, we gathered all the materials that we need in that time such as the Sphygmomanometer, the Manual and Automatic BP Machine, the GF HELPS PH Flex, tables and sanitizers and BP Checklist to where the participants write their names and BP results. We needed to ride on a motortaxi from the center town going up to the village It was raining that time but we proceeded because people are waiting for us there. Most of the beneficiaries haven’t taken their Blood Pressure for quite some time because most of them are seniors and cannot easily travel to their clinics. The people living in Mercedes Village in the mountainous area of Madalag are quite humble and happy. We cannot forget how grateful they were while they were in queue observing us getting their Blood Pressure one by one and waiting for their turns. We have interviewed a grandfather who is taking his maintenance due to high blood pressure. He is quite happy for our service.

The beneficiaries and the Mercedes Village council staff headed by Hon. Francisco were very thankful that we have this kind of project for them to be aware of their Blood Pressure.

GFF Helps Philippines


Remediation is a word that means improving and correcting a situation. Most students in different schools were in a situation of educational stagnation. They are stationary at a level where they can’t even comprehend a simple sentence, can’t read a CVC word, and worst, can’t read their own language Filipino. There have been different theories for this problem, but a major factor is the pandemic quarantine. Without personal guidance from the teachers and with the poor support of most parents, the children were greatly affected. The GFF PH Team is on the move as part of the remediation class. We keep on going to schools regularly, print our learning materials, and communicate with teachers. We forgot the days that passed, and we saw how they improved. From a blank page to ongoing writing, the kids’ progress is unstoppable. It only proves that focused attention to the learners and keen supervision results in academic progress.

Assisting students to achieve expected competencies in core academic skills such as literacy and numeracy.

GFF Helps Philippines
Joe FisherPhilippines bridging the gap for education and health
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Words from interns, volunteers and representatives of GFF Helps

JOE FISHER – EX Volunteer with GFF Helps Nepal and India

I first joined GFF in 2018 as a volunteer based for three months in Kalimpong, India and two months in Kathmandu, Nepal. As a then 19 year-old, the opportunity to give back to those in need while embedding myself in, and learning from, a culture totally foreign to my own is an opportunity I will always be incredibly grateful to Sir Owen for. While in India, I worked alongside the GFF India team to run projects across their three learning centres in Kalimpong; as well as working in the office for the BSA Trust. A project that remains particularly memorable was setting up a village football program in Chibbo Busty.

I started out by running a one-week coaching class for passionate football fans who were keen to pass on their love of the game to young players. We had seven coaches who turned out for the week long class, and after some long mornings in the classroom and on the grass, we had a strong group of coaches ready to pass on their skills to eager young players. Also, as some of the coaches were based in Chibbo, we started inviting children down to train with us every morning from 6-8am. Word quickly spread, and by the time I left Kalimpong, we had a dedicated group of 20+ children, coming down 7 days a week to play football and improve their skills. And, given we had other coaches helping out, the project was able to continue in my absence. Seeing this project thrive showed me how far passion for community can go.

The coaches were willing to get up at the crack of dawn every morning to provide football training to children, receiving nothing more than seeing smiling children in return. After three months in India, Sophie (my fellow volunteer) and I moved across to Nepal for the two months, becoming the first GFF representatives to spend time in the country. Our main focus was figuring out how GFF could best establish itself in the country, so we worked alongside CDS (Child Development Society) who have extensive experience with development projects in Nepal. We were particularly inspired by CDS’ SEEP program (Self-Employment and Education Program), a microfinance education program in which groups of women learn valuable skills and are then given seed funding to apply these skills to start small businesses.

We interviewed women who participated in these programs, and were truly blown away to hear about how the program had helped change their lives. Many of these women were denied a basic education when they were children and never had an opportunity to earn a stable income. But, after participating in the program, they had their own income, helping them to put their children through school and afford basic necessities such as food and clothing without the stress they may have had in the past to figure out how to pay for it.

Since returning from Nepal I have continued to support GFF HELPS as an advisor and by helping with digital communications and marketing. Then, last month, I was lucky enough to be hosted by Saom in Kalimpong and revisit the area I spent three months living in, in 2018.

Few words from Sulochana Thapa – Ex Volunteer from Nepal

My overall experience with GFF Helps Nepal was very enriching and full of learning. My first volunteering journey with the organisation began in February 2019 which ended in August 2019. During that period, everyone was so friendly, supportive and appreciative. Since there was a request from the community for a free Gynaecological Health check up camp, with the support of the partner NGO of Nepal, I got an opportunity to organize a free health check up camp for women of all age groups suffering from various health issues in the rural area called Kavre. After this health camp, a General Health check up camp was organized for men, women, children and elderly from the community. One of the interesting project under my tenure was the Eco Brick Project where children from the community school was mobilised to make Eco Bricks (Empty plastic bottles filled with plastic waste), which was used to make a school bench in the school playground. This activity was supported with an awareness session on management of plastic waste at home and school. Solar panels were distributed to the two SEEP (Women Literacy) centres in Kavre since the learning centres did not have access to electricity during that point of time. Computer classes were conducted in the community school of Kavre which was requested by the school principal during our visit to the school, a fan was donated to the school as there was no such facility in the school.

I, once again got an opportunity to join GFF Helps Nepal for the second time from October 2021 to October 2022. This time, I felt that working for the project was more fun and not a chore, getting involved with the community women, school children and other organisations. Supporting the women and children was very inspiring. My new experience working at the day care centre of CDS was a very enjoyable moment. The children were absolutely adorable and happy. We were able to paint the wall of sleeping hall with educative alphabets, letters, numbers, shapes and pictures and change the carpet of the sleeping room. Working with kids daily with rhymes and playful activities was rewarding. This opportunity helped me to use the skills I had and at the same time felt useful to the organisation.

I felt that my year’s time had a big impact in the lives of many women and children. Radhika Didi prepared the most amazing meals and was always ready to extend her help to GFF Helps Team. Our partner NGO was incredible and made our stay comfortable. I am thoroughly impressed and satisfied with GFF Helps for having given us this opportunity to serve the communities of Nepal. Many thanks to Sir Owen and Sir Saom for relentlessly being there to support the undeserved.

Erica’s Exemplary Experience – GFF Helps Philippines Team’s Intern

“Experience is the best teacher, that is why my experience with the GFF HELPS Philippines Team teaches me a lot. As we go to the field with the PH Team to visit various schools, I’ve experienced riding a tricycle that runs on rough and narrow roads. I felt dizzy because of too much smoke coming from heavy vehicles like trucks. When it is raining, we use an umbrella to cover our bodies as we walk along the road. If we can’t find any vehicle to ride on, we’ll walk from the beneficiaries’ house or school for 1 km or so. As we got there, facing the students is pleasing to the eyes, heart, and mind because our sacrifices, effort, and time is worth it. I teach them to read, write, draw, spell, count, identify things, describe, and many more. As they’re learning and participating actively even though some are too hard to be taught, I am learning from them too.”


The internship is one of the most fulfilling jobs an individual could experience, especially if it involves working in an environment suited to your current degree. In GFF HELPS, our intern Erica, a BS Secondary Education Major in Social Studies sophomore at Aklan State University. She has been gaining memorable experiences from the field where the GFF HELPS Philippine Team goes and does projects every day. She has been meeting a lot of school staff and school children. She has been working with us since July with the Reading Workshop and Mobile Library, Remedial Classes, Vegetable Garden project visitation, and others. Her experiences in teaching the children at their houses and schools have given her a lot of exposure that she could bring when she emerges in a real-life situation once she graduates and seeks a career. The whole GFF PH Team wishes Intern Erica a sound mind as she emerges in our works and be inspired by Sir Owen’s dedication, and the whole Team’s commitment towards a sustainable future in the Philippines.

Joe FisherWords from interns, volunteers and representatives of GFF Helps
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