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SRI LANKA CONSISTENTLY WORKING HARD TO CREATE ACCESS TO EDUCATION

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.

Joe FisherSRI LANKA CONSISTENTLY WORKING HARD TO CREATE ACCESS TO EDUCATION
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MEGA HEALTH CAMP IN RISHEEHAT

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
Joe FisherMEGA HEALTH CAMP IN RISHEEHAT
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GFF India engages and empower with the community

PICKLE, VINEGAR AND SQUASH MAKING TRAINING

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

CHILDREN’S DAY CELEBRATIONS- BONG LEARNING CENTRE

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

HEALTH MONITORING- BONG & CHIBBO 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

DISTRIBUTION OF EXAM SUPPLIES

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

WORKSHOP ON CHILD RIGHTS AND PROTECTION

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

REMEDIAL CLASSES

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.”

Erica

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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GFF Helps Nepal completes Phase III – Self Care Session under Psychosocial Intervention

The vegetable gardening project was undertaken to impart the most valuable lesson on the consumption of slow food. Similarly, to encourage the younger generation to consume cooked foods instead of processed food. Keeping in mind health and nutrition that will maintain the health of this generation struggling with multiple option with poor nutritional value. Guiding the students from Bal Kumari school through this project and urging the children to start their very own urban and rooftop gardening. While, GMO seeds were avoided and organic seeds were used in planting of these vegetables within the school compound.

Joe FisherGFF Helps Nepal completes Phase III – Self Care Session under Psychosocial Intervention
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GFF Helps completes Phase III – Self Care Session under Psychosocial Intervention

In the Nepali society, specially-abled children face a multitude of disadvantages, when it comes to living a life without being frowned upon or called names. While, our community still has not come to a place of complete acceptance of these children. GFF Helps Nepal is making an effort to empower children with disability. In the month of October on the 18th, children along with guardians and the school staff from Srijanshil school were able to participate in a day filled with fun, joy and adventure at the Jawalakhel Central Zoo. This struggling school located in Chandragiri Municipality, for the specially-abled is a school for more than 18 students is in dire need of assistance and support. Here, comes GFF Helps Nepal to support the school in everyway possible. From making a website, school compound and conducting interventions, we are addressing areas of social and emotional gaps that needs to be mended and empowering them by uplifting grieving spirits due to lack of social acceptance and paving way for a normal way of socializing.

It is difficult to take children outside by their parents’ themselves. But, taking them out to the zoo is not only fun,
but the best way to learn about animals and to socialize with
people outside school and home. Personally, I believe that it is essential for our children to
learn outside the classroom. We appreciate what GFF Helps
Nepal has done for our students.

Joe FisherGFF Helps completes Phase III – Self Care Session under Psychosocial Intervention
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GFF Philippines October journey

Reading Workshop & Mobile Library

Projects under the Health Programme is one of the things that we are working hard with. We need to engage with a number of people and organizations involving the medical field like Red Cross Philippines, volunteer nurses and even doctors. As we start to call the attention of the people from the medical field, we initiated the Medical Camp Program where collaboration with the Red Cross Youth Philippines (RCY) was done during their Peer Educators Training: HIV Awareness in Kalibo. After a series of conversation with their President, Mr. Errol Ordines, we were approved to collaborate with them to do the Medical Camp. On October 15th-16th, the Philippines Team went in their venue in Kalibo, bringing our Manual and Automatic Blood Pressure Machine and provided a free Blood Pressure monitoring for the 25 members of the LGBTQ since they are the primary participants of the said training. They were really grateful for such service that they seldom do a Blood Pressure monitor for the few months, and they were glad we have this kind of program. We are planning to continue this Medical Camp: Blood Pressure Monitoring and Blood Sugar Testing in the schools, and the community especially those living in faraway villages, i.e., Madalag Town where villagers won’t able to travel down in the center town or can’t even afford service like the Blood Sugar Monitoring.

We continue to provide reading and arithmetic tutorials to a group of kids living in different towns. The support that we give serves as a refresher class for them. The pandemic made them stationary at home and became stagnant in academic progress. We can see the impact of modular learning when we go to their houses and monitor how they answer their modules. As school reopened and kids have been alternately attending schools by sets, the teachers have a hard time teaching them. The kids that regularly attend our home visit and workshops are noticeably at edge among their classmates in school. The parents thanked us for the worksheets that we provided and the company that we gave to their children. Their emotional and cognitive skills have been improving.

REMEDIAL CLASSES

The Department of Education implemented mandatory remedial classes for students who have low marks and do not manifest academic progress. These enrichment classes are conducted during a specific time agreed by the teachers and parents. The GFF HELPS Philippines Team understood the needs of the learners and offered to be a remedial class teacher. The team is consisting of Licensed Teachers who have expertise in General Education and English. We sent a letter of intent to schools, and there are three of them where we regularly visit and conduct remedial classes. Materials like modules are provided by the school, but we also bring our own resources to reinforce. The support that we give to teachers and students were recognized. Parents have been very supportive of their kids and appreciate our efforts. 

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

GFF HELPS PHILIPPINES

SCHOOL VISITATION AND SURVEY

School visitation gives us a great understanding of every school’s needs. This October, we began visiting schools where we worked before. Most of them had been a beneficiary of the Digital Learning Program and received tablets to support the learning of their students. As we started the school visitation, we saw the main problem that every teacher tries to mend, the poor comprehension and numeracy of the students. Thus, we provided support by volunteering as remedial class teachers. Some of the schools also reported a lack of teaching facilities, like classrooms, to accommodate students. They are hoping for a makeshift classroom to avoid dividing a single room into two. We are glad to work with teachers and to know the situation on the ground. We will provide support within our capacity.

Medical Camp: Free Blood Pressure Monitoring

Joe FisherGFF Philippines October journey
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GFF Helps India’s October 2022 meaningful engagement

MOBILE LIBRARY

Like every month, this month too the Mobile Library visits were made in the SOGG Learning & Information Centres of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung. Old books were replaced with new ones in all the 3 centres. This time a new Intern of GFF Helps, Ms. Surabhi accompanied the GFF Helps team. She also got to learn about the project and experienced it for the first time. The students were happy to interact with her and receive new books.

Computer Classes

The computer classes in all the 3 learning Centers have been ongoing since the month of September. While the 2 Centres Bong and Pudung had a computer teacher since the beginning, Chibbo had a volunteer teacher for a month. From 10th October, Ms. Teresa Lepcha has been appointed as a computer teacher in the Centre. The students of all the 3 centres have been learning Computer. GFF Helps India has provided each Centre with basic computer books. The project will end after 3 months of completion.

WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY

The World Mental Health Day is celebrated on the 10th of October every year. This year a Darjeeling based NGO DLR Prerna had organized a program remarking the day on 17th of October 2022. GFF Helps India Representative, Ms. Nikita Rai attended the program in Drajeeling. The theme for this year was “Make Mental Health & Well Being for all a Global Priority. There were various guest speakers who spoke on various issues, causes, solution and their experiences. Schools, colleges and social organizations were present from Darjeeling and Kalimpong Districts.

MOBILE LIBRARY IN DEBANJAN SHARE GIRLS ACADEMY

Debanjan Share Girls’ Academy is a year old residential girls’ football academy where 18 girls have been accommodated in their hostel at present. It is a collaborative effort of Debanjan Sen Foundation and Share Football Club and is the first residential football academy in West Bengal. Mobile Library Project was introduced to them by GFF Helps India on 19th October 2022. The main aim to implement the project there is not only to improve their English language and vocabulary but also their imagination and creativity. The books were handed over to the incharge Ms. Sushan, who will be coordinating and keeping the records as well. The managing team of Debanjan Share Girls Academy and the girls were glad to have started the project. Every month books will be given to them and reading sessions will be held along with storytelling sessions.

AWARENESS PROGRAM BY IL&FS

GFF Helps India has been collaborating with IL&FS (Skill Development and Training Institute) from the very beginning. There are various courses through which dropout students can get employment through. Awareness programs for these courses have been done before in Chibbo and Dabling villages. Similarly this time on the 21st October 2022, an awareness program was held in Bong village in the SOGG Centre. There were 22 women participants from the Self Help Groups who were active participants of the program. They were mostly interested in the tailoring and beautician courses. Ms. Mamta Cgettri of IL&FS gave clear information about these courses. After the Diwali break, followup needs to be done on these 2 courses. These kinds of skill development and employment opportunities have given direction to those who have dropped out of their school and colleges.

REGULAR HEALTH CHECKUP IN THE VILLAGES

The regular health checkup project started during the CoVID19 pandemic in April 2021. The project still continues to reach the vulnerable section of the society in Bong, Chibbo and Pudung villages. Blood Pressure and Sugar tests are done in regular basis of the sick and elderly population of the villages. The project has made it convenient for the people to take benefit of the health checkups especially for those whose Hospitals and Health Centres are far from their houses and during emergency situations. The Staff of SOGG Bong, Chibbo and Pudung have been volunteering since the pandemic and have been serving their community.

SOCIAL MEDIA WORKSHOP

As we move towards a digitalized era, there is a need for us to move towards building virtual connection with our sponsors, friends and beneficiaries. Therefore on the 1st of October 2022, to address the need, a seminar on Social media was organised by GFF Helps India where the main resource person was Mr. Joe Fisher (former GFF Helps India volunteer). It was held in the GFF India Office in Kalimpong from 10:30am-12:00pm. The GFF Helps team from Philippines, Nepal and Sri Lanka attend the seminar through online mode while GFF Helps India and SOGG L&I Centre team physically attended the seminar. Mr. Saom and Ms. Minket were also present and were the moderators for the seminar.

Mr. Joe conducted a very interactive session with the participants and covered various important topics such as Capturing great footage, Goals for social media and Case studies. There were many participants’ queries and doubts cleared.

Joe FisherGFF Helps India’s October 2022 meaningful engagement
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