Blog

GFF HELPS INDIA UPDATE FOR NOVEMBER 2023

Art Therapy Workshop at Teesta Primary School

Ever since the GLOF (Glacial Lake Outburst Flood) occurred, GFF Helps has been providing unceasing assistance to the victims. One of the hardest-hit regions is the Teesta Valley, where many people have been displaced and are currently living in rehabilitation camps. This time GFF Helps India decided to host an art therapy workshop at Teesta Primary School on November 9th. Miss Aachal Agarwal, a full-time artist with experience working with numerous government departments, served as the resource person for the day. We had previously worked with her at the Pudung SOGG Learning and Information Center, where we had performed the identical session. The young kids were taught coloring and line drawing, which is supposed to improve focus and concentration. Through mixing the vivid hues, the kids encountered the restorative quality that art bestows. The children were able to feel delight and let go of their despair during such trying moments.

Childrens Day Program at SOGG Learning and Information Center

India celebrates its Childrens Day on the occasion of our first Prime Minister Jawarhal Lal Nehrus’s birthday on 14th of November. He was affectionately known by kids as “Chacha Nehru,” and he was a strong advocate for providing kids with an adequate education. Children’s Day is observed in India as a way to raise awareness of children’s welfare, rights, and education. This year GFF Helps India hosted the Childrens Day Celebration at all the three SOGG Learning & Information centers in Bong, Chibbo and Pudung, where there are 108 students at present. As the children’s final examinations are approaching soon, we decided to gift them with all the essential stationary set for their exams. As a gesture of respect for one another, all of the learning center teachers gave their students gifts during the joyous Diwali celebrations that were also taking place at the same time.

GLOF Relief Distribution at Bhalu Khola, Melli

On October 4, 2023, the South Lhonak glacier in Sikkim saw a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) that destroyed several homes, buildings, people, and animals that were residing along the banks of the Teesta River. Helping those affected by the GLOF, SOGG Saichik Welfare Society and GFF Helps have been visiting all affected locations on a regular basis. On 18th of November SOGG Saichik Welfare Society distributed relief materials to the Church Jiwit Jal Upasnalaya and the Samaj Jan Pragatishil, of Bhalu Khola Melli. The relief items contained silverwares, gas burners, chairs, spoons, serving spoons, steel glasses and pressure cookers. GFF Helps India Local Representative Surabhi Subba volunteered in this GLOF Relief distribution drive. All the members of SOGG Saichik welfare society along with our Project Director, Mr. Saom Namch were also present. The residents of Bhalu Khola, Melli, were very happy to receive all the donated supplies, thanking everyone who helped them at this critical time.

Joe FisherGFF HELPS INDIA UPDATE FOR NOVEMBER 2023
Read more

GFF HELPS NEPAL UPDATE FOR NOVEMBER 2023

WASTE MANAGEMENT

Waste management is of paramount importance for several compelling reasons. It safeguards public health and the environment by preventing the spread of diseases, reducing pollution, and conserving valuable resources. Proper waste disposal and recycling practices mitigate the harmful impacts of waste on air, water, and soil quality, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable and liveable planet. Furthermore, efficient waste management systems can generate economic opportunities, create jobs, and stimulate innovation in recycling and waste-to-energy technologies, aligning environmental responsibility with economic growth. Waste management is an essential cornerstone of a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future for all.

The Waste Management program was done on the 5th of November 2023, sixteen total women participated in the session and actively took part in the discussion, the program was facilitated by Mr. Sharad Neupane who also worked on different social projects for Budhanilkhantha Municipality. The program was shortly started after an introduction where Mr. Neupane briefed all the women about the negative impact of using plastic and burning it.

ADULT LITERACY FOR COMMUNITY WOMEN

Literate women have the knowledge and abilities necessary to seek careers, engage in community life, and make wise judgments. By giving women the confidence to advocate for themselves, participate in social and political life, and contribute to the promotion of both gender equality and society at large, adult literacy helps to advance gender equality. Adult literacy programs for women essentially operate as a catalyst for positive change, promoting equality, empowerment, and sustainable development. Among the important subjects discussed in this session were the start date of the class, the times of the classes, and the participants’ areas of interest in learning. These committed adult women showed incredible energy and a strong desire to learn new things, especially when it came to vocabulary in English. They greatly enhanced their pronunciation during the training and learned how to write their names in English, which gave them greater confidence while talking about other parts of Kathmandu. They have also made significant progress in knowing the names of the days, understanding Sunday and Monday in particular. Observing their excitement and advancement in acquiring new abilities has been quite fulfilling. By providing them with essential knowledge and skills, literacy programs for women are a transforming endeavor that ultimately boosts their self-assurance and independence. Women can access better economic prospects and significantly increase their family’s income and overall financial stability by developing their reading and writing skills. Education also promotes gender equality and advances the rights of women in society by challenging and dismantling rigid gender norms. Additionally, literacy has a tremendous impact on raising women’s health knowledge and empowering them to make wise decisions regarding their own and their families’ welfare. The advantages go beyond the individual because educated women actively participate in social advancement and communal development, which strengthens the fundamental foundation of their communities. In the end, these initiatives have the potential to create a ripple effect, as literate mothers are more likely to encourage their children’s education, setting the stage for a brighter and more prosperous future for all generations.

SPORTS PROJECT: CHESS

Since every move played in the mentally taxing game of chess replicates a decision made in real life, it was chosen as the vehicle for these important life lessons. Seventy-six kids in grades 7, 8, and 9 enthusiastically participated in the program, which was started by national-level chess player Sushruth Dahal. Mr. Bikash, the school coordinator, and Principal Indra Bahadur Rai provided supervision. Mr. Dahal captivated the pupils’ attention and sparked their passion right away with inspirational movies and chess strategies.

The dates of the second and third sessions, which spanned four consecutive Fridays, were September 15 and October 6, respectively. Chess provides kids with several benefits, including improved critical thinking, problem-solving, and strategic planning abilities that support cognitive growth. Their focus, judgment, and the important traits of patience and endurance in the face of difficulties have all improved as a result of the game. It relieves stress, improves memory, and promotes strategic thinking. Chess also encourages social interaction, good sportsmanship, and the growth of critical time management abilities. The last session, which is slated for the third week of November, is expected to solidify the students’ passion for this strategy and mental acuity game while also enhancing their intellectual and life abilities.

Finally, on November 24, all children from grades 7, 8, and 9 participated actively in the final friendly competition session. Out of the more than 50 students, three were selected as the game’s champions, and GFF Helps Nepal gave them encouragement in the form of a journal and pen. Additionally, Mr. Dahal received a thank-you gift for affection and a thank-you speech in appreciation for his time and labor.

Joe FisherGFF HELPS NEPAL UPDATE FOR NOVEMBER 2023
Read more

WORDS FROM GFF HELPS PHILIPPINES LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE WHO COMPLETES 4 YEARS

We congratulate Lady Peace Remaneses for sharing her journey with us and we thank her with grateful heart!

This month marks my fourth year of being part of the GFF HELPS and the GFF HELPS Philippines – a non-religious and non-political organization that empowers vulnerable communities by providing them with sustainable access to their most basic needs.

All the projects are under the umbrella of HELPS – Health, Education, Livelihood, Personal & Professional Development and Skills sharing.

As the team leader, project manager and volunteer teacher, I initiate the planning/designing, implementing, accomplishing and evaluating short-term and long-terms projects, while working, communicating and collaborating with the school community, villages and authorities in the government and private organizations at the same time, with the help of our Asia Coordinator and Team – making everything fall into place – these must come with careful decision making and commitment, hence SMART.

These tasks require (1) physical strength as we tend to go from different town to another, walking in long distance, running errands, carrying these and those things (books, laptop, materials, etc);

(2) emotional strength as we face those people in need, listening carefully, showing empathy and sympathy with all the struggles they are facing – food scarcity, financial problems, sickness, etc. I always fight and hold my tears back whenever I witness other’s disadvantages;

(3) social readiness as we initiate meetings with the authorities (Mayors and Brgy. Captains, School Heads and Teachers, Doctors and Nurses, Police Officers, Guest Speakers, Parents, Participants, Students, and others – sealing and dealing agreements on certain projects;

(4) mental strength to cover, surpass the unexpected happenings and get ready with everything (project proposals, postponements, shortcomings, miscommunications, bad weather, accidents, deadlines, international meetings, oral and written reports, etc)

I am always grateful that my superiors and subordinates are all smart, supportive, trustworthy, responsible and committed – where we work as a team, even if we are in the different parts of the world.

Thank you, Sir Owen Glenn and Sir Saom for entrusting me with all of these projects and programs in Aklan, Philippines.

Thank you, Stef and Erica for volunteering and doing your part for the benefit of Aklanon children, youths and adults, and the whole community since 2021.

Thank you, Willyn, Ana, Leisle, Jem, Minket, Lisa for all your help in the past.

Thank you, Representatives and Volunteers in GFF HELPS Sri Lanka, GFF HELPS Nepal, GFF HELPS India for the hardwork and friendship.

Joe FisherWORDS FROM GFF HELPS PHILIPPINES LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE WHO COMPLETES 4 YEARS
Read more

GFF HELPS PHILIPPINES NOVEMBER 2023 UPDATE

GLOBAL HANDWASHING DAY

October 15 is Global Handwashing Day. Although it’s already over, we continue to bring the antibacterial soap to schools. Before we started the Remedial Classes, we asked the students to fall in line at the sink and wash their hands. The students are always enthusiastic when it comes to this activity. We assist them to prevent wasting water. Students in Sigcay and Elementary School learned the importance of handwashing for a healthy body. They also like the smell of the antibacterial soap after every wash.

OLLOW-UP VISIT IN NEW WASHINGTON TOWN: SEMINARS IN THE FUTURE

In the last week of October, we did an initial visit and survey to the town of New Washington to know the people’s source of living, the training that they need, and the things that they want to know. We visited some villages, and the Municipal Office, and went to the Department of Agriculture to know the list of seminars that they will have this November. Unfortunately, at that time, the election was about to happen, and the long holidays were coming. The staff in the Department of Agriculture told us that the government offices are busy and they don’t have a list of the seminars for the coming months. They told us that they would contact us if ever they have information. They advised that we should first give a Letter of Intent to the Mayor so she can approve our plan.

We did a follow-up visit to the town of New Washington in the second week of November. We brought the Letter of Intent to the Office of the Mayor, but unfortunately, she has a meeting with the newly elected officers of each village. The staff in the office told us that they would contact us if the Mayor approved the letter. We are looking forward to their reply. We are also excited to conduct our very first seminar in one of the villages.

SPORTS PROJECT: SCRABBLE and CHESS

Students are always excited and ready to start playing Chess and Scrabble. As usual, they are grouped by three or four, with five members in each group. Four members will play the game, and the remaining one from it will be the one to monitor the game and tally the scores of each player. Boys are often declared as the winners in playing Chess and Scrabble because they are quite talented in thinking logically and analyzing where to put their pieces at the advantage place for them to win the game. Girls often help one another which not only showcases their ability to understand the situation of the game but also builds their teamwork and cooperation which strengthens their bond and friendship towards one another. “Sports connect them closer and bind them together.”

REMEDIAL CLASSES

Days go by, and it’s only a month before 2023 ends. Remedial classes are ongoing, and students are participative and creative during these sessions. Worksheets like fill in the missing letters for level 1 and CVC for level 2. Grades 1 and 2 students answered worksheets about filling in puzzles using words from the boxes, solving the puzzle about jobs, reading, spelling, writing, etc. They are given different kinds of worksheets to test their knowledge and skills in answering them orally or individually. They learn in many ways, and each one of them is listening attentively and coping to understand what the teacher teaches. Most of them can read well, although some are still having difficulties in reading, understanding, and answering. We are helping each one of them to do it in their own ways and apply what they have learned at the end of the discussion.

UGSOD AND LASERNA VILLAGE

During the first week of November, we have a lot of holidays. We decided to visit some groups of kids in their houses because schools are closed. I visited a group of kids living in Ugsod Village in the Town of Banga. They go to school in Capitan Tazan Memorial Primary School. LP visited the group of kids in Laserna Village in the Town of Kalibo. They go to school in Kalibo Integrated School. We haven’t visited these kids for a while because we are always going to school. We had the opportunity during the long holidays to meet them again. The kids were very excited to see us. We also brought some snacks for them for doing a great job in our activities. The parents of these kids expressed their gratitude to us for visiting their homes and for the snacks that we brought. We are happy to know that they appreciate our simple acts.

“Applying what you have learned is a great matter of experience.”

NATIONAL READING MONTH

The Department of Education (DepEd) marks the calendar with a significant yearly celebration – the National Reading Month (NRM). This month-long event observed every November, is part of the agency’s efforts to foster a culture of reading and enhance literacy skills among the youth. DepEd urged schools and learning institutions to conduct a month-long reading program to revive students’ interest in reading. The team also planned some activities in our partner schools. We introduced the Reading Workshop and Mobile Library. We brought 12 books to Sigcay Elementary School to let the children borrow, but we only distributed 10 books and used the remaining two books for the Reading Session. LP read the book about worms, and the students spelled the words from each page. The students were happy to get their books, and they will swap books with their classmates next week. We also read the same book about worms in Lapnag Primary School. The students spelled the words from each page, and after that, we had an outdoor activity of finding worms and their waste. The teachers were also happy that we already started to conduct activities related to Reading Month.

MOBILE LIBRARY

“Awakening the children’s love for reading.”

Since November is the Reading Month, we brought books to partner schools that are within in the student’s level. After the book rotation, securing their book title and names, we read a story to the kids in these two schools. We also let the children explain how important it is to read books and to love reading.

We did a storytelling about the Worms, prepared English Worksheets for the Level 3 and 4 students. We did outdoor activities regarding to the story heard by the children. We explore the school ground by finding worms and worm’s wastes. The children explained how the worms contribute to make the soil healthy. We did activities such as Spelling, Reading, Writing and Oral Recitation. Separate activities were given to the Level 1 and 2 students as they need a more simplified lessons to match their level. We were always accompanied by our Intern Erica when we do our projects in this school. We reminded the children that they have to take care all the books that they received because they are going to lend that book to the other student next week. We will continue this project even after the Reading Month pass by.

LEADERSHIP SEMINAR INSIGHTS

According to the Power Resource Center, there are several very powerful reasons why leadership training is important. The best reason of all. Leadership training and development is important because it works – if you do it the right way. Sure, there are many failed leadership development programs out there that give it a bad name. But we’ve seen it transform underperforming teams and inspire high-functioning teams to accomplish great things. But it takes patience, stamina and commitment because long-term behavioral change is hard. All the pieces must be in place – strategic clarity, alignment with goals and values, defined success criteria, detailed execution, a thorough and in-depth follow-up plan to ingrain the learning and reduce backslide. With real strategic commitment, leadership training and development is one of the most powerful paths to success for any business.

We at GFF HELPS Philippines is very grateful for allowing us to gain knowledge from this seminar. It was attended by Stifhany and I together with 60 participants form all over the Philippines. It will help us become effective and great leaders even more. And we are planning to create a 1-hour seminar for the International Country Teams in December as well.

Joe FisherGFF HELPS PHILIPPINES NOVEMBER 2023 UPDATE
Read more

GFF HELPS ENGAGEMENT WITH CHILDREN

GFF HELPS PHILIPPINES

REMEDIAL CLASSES

EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS DISTRIBUTION

The Mid-Year vacation is over, and we’re back with our Remedial Classes in schools. In this new school year, we started the first session with two schools: Sigcay Elementary School and Lapnag Primary School. The students recognized us in schools, and they greeted us just like they greeted their teachers. The first session was fruitful, as well as the second session. We have a new school partner, Polo Elementary School, and we will start the remedial lessons in the fourth week of September. We are so happy with the support of the teachers. We are also happy to see the gradual improvements in students. We spent last school year with a different set of students, and we are looking forward to more memories with this new set of students from our partner schools.

Working together to support and strengthen students’ learning.

The schools reopened again for the new school year on the last week of August. We started the month of September by visiting schools where we conducted our remedial classes and sports project. We visited first the Sigcay Elementary School and Lapnag Primary School. We brought our Letter of intent with the schedule and time. We talked with the teachers if our schedule fits their schedule and they said ‘yes’. They signed the letters and we officially started our remedial lessons and sports project on the second week of September. The teachers were grateful that we continued the project in their schools. We posted our school visitation pictures on our Facebook page and the head teacher of Polo Elementary School commented that they would like to have the same projects in their school. We arranged a visitation schedule and went to the school on September 12th. The Head Teacher, Ma’am Emma Intano, accommodated us. She also served us some refreshments. We went to the classrooms and she introduced us with the teachers. Our schedule was approved by Ma’am Intano and we can start right away depending on our schedule. We are so happy with our new school partner and we are thankful with the kindness of the teachers. The school also is a cozy place.

GFF HELPS NEPAL

REFRESHMENT TOUR: FAMILY BONDING WITH FUN ADVENTURES

A refreshing tour was organized for the students of Shrijanshil School on the 25th of September. This unique event brought together not only the students but also their dedicated teachers and project participants. The successful execution of this initiative was the result of numerous meetings and collaborations with the esteemed Principal of Shrijanshil School, along with the diligent coordination of Saom Sir, the GFF Asia Pacific Coordinator.

The program proved to be highly effective in fostering stronger connections between parents and their children. Often, in the hustle and bustle of daily life, parents are engrossed in their responsibilities, both at home and at work. This tour provided them with a precious opportunity to step out of their routine and celebrate quality time with their beloved offspring. The highlight of the event was witnessing the deep emotional bonds between children and their parents. Games were thoughtfully incorporated into the itinerary to encourage parents to express their feelings toward their children. These activities served as a medium through which parents could convey their love, care, and support, strengthening the parent-child relationship. Furthermore, the program featured a short but impactful awareness session on parenting styles for children wellbeing, facilitated by Namrata Bhattrai, which offered valuable tools for parents to enhance their parenting skills, leading to more profound bonds and attachments with their children. This session proved to be enlightening and empowering for all in attendance. In conclusion, the refreshment tour for students of Shrijanshil School was not merely a recreational outing but a meaningful endeavor to bring families closer together. It provided a platform for parents to connect with their children on a deeper level, fostering mutual understanding and love. Through games, shared experiences, and insightful parenting guidance, this event was a significant step toward building stronger, more harmonious family relationships.

Handing over essential materials designed to improve children’s gross and fine motor skills to Shrijanshil School is a significant step towards fostering their holistic development. These materials play a pivotal role in nurturing the physical and cognitive growth of the students, leading to happier, healthier, and more confident children.

Firstly, these resources encourage active engagement, helping students develop better hand-eye coordination and dexterity through activities like puzzles, building blocks, and art supplies. Secondly, they facilitate the refinement of fine motor skills, which are crucial for tasks such as writing, drawing, and buttoning clothing. This, in turn, can boost students’ academic performance and self-esteem.

Moreover, materials that promote gross motor skills like sports equipment and play structures encourage physical fitness and teamwork, contributing to overall physical health and social development. The importance of these materials extends beyond the immediate benefits, as they provide students with opportunities for creative expression and physical activity, promoting a well-rounded and fulfilling educational experience.

Ultimately, witnessing the joy on children’s faces as they engage with these resources underscores the invaluable role, they play in shaping the future generation’s development and happiness.

GFF HELPS SRI LANKA

English for Village

GFF Sri Lanka, in its unwavering commitment to uplifting rural communities, hosts the “English for Village” program on two days every week. This initiative is specially designed to cater to the educational needs of underprivileged children living in rural areas, empowering them with vital English language skills. The program provides them with a comprehensive educational experience encompassing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Through the “English for Village” program, GFF Sri Lanka aims to bridge educational gaps and empower rural, economically disadvantaged children with a valuable set of language skills. This initiative not only enriches their lives but also opens doors to better educational and career opportunities in the future, ultimately contributing to the holistic development of the community.

Mobile library

The Mobile Library initiative played a vital role in nurturing the development of the students. By offering them access to books, it fostered a culture of reading, prompting the children to explore paragraphs and encounter unfamiliar words. This process of encountering challenging vocabulary led to meaningful discussions, ultimately resulting in the expansion of their language skills. Additionally, the Mobile Library featured engaging storytelling sessions, providing students with an interactive and immersive experience related to expand vocabulary.

Art Session

Every week, GFF Sri Lanka organizes an art session for preschool students of Yusuko Ono. This special session is designed to help these young kids become more creative and improve their motor skills.

The impact of these art sessions is remarkable. The children get to explore their artistic side, using colors and materials to make beautiful creations. Not only does it make learning fun, but it also helps them become more skilled at using their hands and fingers for various tasks. Overall, these art sessions are making a positive difference in the lives of these preschool students, helping them grow and develop in exciting ways.

Drama Club

The Drama Club has begun as a vital component within the English for Village program, organized by GFF Sri Lanka, with the primary objective of strengthening participants’ English language skills.

It is purposefully designed to address the common fear of using English as a second language among the students. Recognizing that confidence plays a vital role in fluent communication, this initiative seeks to empower individuals to articulate themselves effectively.

Every week, GFF Sri Lanka allocates half an hour of valuable learning time to the Drama Club sessions. During these engaging gatherings, participants actively engage in practicing dramatic scenes and singing songs. These activities not only make language learning enjoyable but also serve as a powerful tool for building language skills.

Joe FisherGFF HELPS ENGAGEMENT WITH CHILDREN
Read more

GFF HELPS CONDUCTS SEMINARS IN VARIOUS TOPICS

GFF HELPS PHILIPPINES

SUMMARY OF HEALTH SEMINAR
IN ATI VILLAGE

The Phillippines Team managed to create amd conduct a health seminar related to Hepatitis and Diabetes Awareness in a Indigeneous Tribe here in Aklan, Philippines. It is in partnership with the Rural Health Unit of Numancia Town and it was approved by the Municipal Health Doctor, and the Resource Speakers for Diabetes Awareness are Mrs. Melanie Aguirre, a Registered Midwife and for Hepatitis Awareness, Mrs. Femy Tejada, Registered Nurse. It was also approved by the Town Mayor and Village Chieftain, Mrs. Alicia Javellana. According to her, the seminar was very timely as her members are almost senior and needs to be educated about it. They now also know to maintain healthy and clean lifestyle. She is very thankful to this initiative by the GFF HELPS and the Numancia Health Workers.

GFF HELPS NEPAL

ADULT LITERACY FOR COMMUNITY WOMEN: ORIENTATION CLASS

On the 28th of September, an orientation session for women’s literacy classes was conducted with the aim of empowering their learning process, literacy equips women with knowledge and skills, enabling them to make informed decisions, pursue employment, and engage in their communities. Additionally, adult literacy fosters gender equality by enabling women to assert their rights, participate in social and political activities, and contribute to the advancement of gender equality and overall societal progress. In essence, adult literacy classes for women serve as a catalyst for positive change, promoting empowerment, equality, and sustainable development. During this session, several important matters were discussed, including the starting date of the class, the class timings, and the participants’ field of interest for learning.

The orientation program spanned a duration of 2 hours, during which participants actively engaged in the discussions. After thorough deliberation, it was mutually decided that the literacy program would officially commence on October 2nd. The classes will be conducted for 2 hours each session, twice a week. The primary focus will be on teaching English, mathematics, and Nepali.

This commitment to prioritize English, mathematics, and Nepali instruction reflects our dedication to providing women with valuable skills that will empower them in various aspects of life.

GFF HELPS INDIA

LPG Gas Safety Awareness Workshop

On 21st of September GFF Helps India conducted a LPG Gas Fire Safety Awareness Workshop at Deorali, Lower Bong village.

For this workshop we collaborated with David Gas, Kalimpong who brought in the resource person for this workshop. This awareness program for safety around LPG Gas was especially requested by the residents of this village.

The resource person explained in detail all the safety measures that is to be taken while using the stove and LPG Gas cylinders, giving examples of casualty cases that have taken place. He also showed the new type of LPG cylinder available in the market that are extremely safe and do not burst. The villagers were unaware of this and got knowledge about this new cylinder. At last, a question answer session where the all the queries of the villagers were answered and resolved.

District level NBCRN Consultation meeting with the CACL Forum

CACL (Campaign Against Child Labor) is a national level civil society forum. They had organised a consultation meeting with NBCRN (North Bengal Child Rights Network) on the 15th of September at Siliguri. Since we are a part of the core committee member of NBCRN, GFF Helps India Local Representative Ms. Surabhi Subba and Pudung area coordinator Mr. Suk Tshering Lepcha travelled all the way to Siliguri and attended the meeting. Many NGO’s and organizations from North Bengal working of child rights attended the program, where we got to learn a lot about the current situation and nature of child labour in these various districts. It was a great opportunity for us to share our works and learn from each other. NBCRN as a whole also decided to collaborate with CACL Forum in programs against child labour in North Bengal.

GFF HELPS SRI LANKA

Health Awareness Program on non-communicable diseases

On the 24th Sunday, a significant event took place at the Bulluruppa Community Hall, organized by GFF Sri Lanka. This event served as an educational awareness program aimed at educating the local community about non-communicable diseases. The primary objective was to equip the public with knowledge about these prevalent health issues, given the alarming rise in non-communicable diseases attributed to unhealthy lifestyles and dietary habits.

In current society, a considerable number of individuals over the age of forty find themselves handling with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart attacks, cancers, and kidney diseases. To address this concerning trend, Dr. Rajapaksha, the esteemed Medical Officer of Kegalle Hospital, graced the occasion with his presence.

Through this insightful session, the rural community received vital information that can empower them to take charge of their health and make informed choices. The attendees were highly engaged and displayed gripped attention as they absorbed the wealth of information presented. They expressed their gratitude to GFF for organizing this invaluable program, recognizing the immense significance it held in enhancing their understanding of non-communicable diseases and their preventive measures. The heartfelt thanks from the participants emphasized the program’s success in providing them with the knowledge and tools needed to prioritize their health and well-being.

Joe FisherGFF HELPS CONDUCTS SEMINARS IN VARIOUS TOPICS
Read more

SPORTS PROJECT IN INDIA, NEPAL, SRI LANKA AND PHILIPPINES

GFF HELPS PHILIPPINES

The sport’s project Scrabble and Chess this month embraced the knowledge and skills to the hearts of the students. As we guided and played with them, they were enjoying and learning at the same time. We’re fond and comfortable with each other’s presence that’s why they’re treating us with humble respect and admiration. We can see the progress happening to them not only with the socialization they had created upon playing with each other but also the cooperation, teamwork, and dedication to fulfill their part in the game. We, as their mentors or their teacher believes that these young students will gain more learnings and experiences that will play a great role in shaping their nature, helping them nurture their talents and skills, and fulfilling their eagerness, perseverance and opportunities to learn.

GFF HELPS NEPAL

CHESS

On the 25th of August, the Chess project was introduced with the objectives to help and motivate the students to think critically, build confidence to influence students to believe in themselves, and develop confidence in their strengths. Also, they could work on their weakness. Chess is a mentally demanding game that needs intense concentration. In addition, since every choice made affects how the game will go, it is also a game of life. So, it was commencement by a national-level chess player Shurshut Dahal. A total of Seventy-six students from classes 7,8 and 9 participated in the first session along with school coordinator Mr. Bikash and principal Indra Bahadur Rai. Mr. Dahal started the program with motivational videos along with the technique of chess. Almost all students show their interest in the game and play with enthusiasm.

The second session was conducted on the 15th of September which was on Friday from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. every four consecutive Fridays. Chess to students offers numerous advantages. This intellectually stimulating game enhances critical thinking, problem-solving, and strategic planning, contributing to cognitive development. As per the students, it has improved concentration and decision-making skills and also taught them to be patient and perseverance in the face of challenges. It enhances memory, encourages strategic thinking, and provides stress relief. Moreover, chess promotes sportsmanship, social interaction, and time management skills.

SCRABBLE

Introducing Scrabble to over 50 enthusiastic students, alongside their English teachers, has proven to be a valuable addition to their educational journey. This classic word game offers a multitude of benefits that extend beyond the confines of the classroom. Firstly, it acts as a potent tool for enhancing vocabulary, as students are motivated to explore and employ a diverse range of words. Moreover, Scrabble contributes significantly to improved spelling skills, reinforcing the importance of accurate and effective communication.

Furthermore, the game’s strategic nature fosters critical thinking skills as students meticulously plan their moves, make decisions, and adapt to changing circumstances on the board. Scrabble also serves as a platform for nurturing creativity, challenging participants to form meaningful words from a limited set of letters, thus igniting their imaginations. In addition to enhancing cognitive abilities, Scrabble aids in memory development, as players must commit words to memory and recall them during the game.

Through active participation, students have become more confident in using the English language, resulting in improved fluency and articulation. Beyond these academic benefits, Scrabble promotes social interaction, allowing students to bond with peers and teachers over a shared interest while instilling valuable life skills such as sportsmanship, resilience, and the appreciation of effort. Ultimately, Scrabble transforms education into an enjoyable and memorable experience, preparing students for academic success and the challenges they will encounter in the real world, equipped with a rich vocabulary, strategic thinking abilities, and effective communication skills.

GFF HELPS INDIA

Taekwondo Foundation Day & Teachers Day Celebration at Chibbo SOGG Learning Center

Chibbo SOGG Learning Centre celebrated their teacher’s day along with celebrating their 5th Foundation day of the Taekwondo club on 16th of September. SOGG (Sir Owen G Glenn) Learning and Centres are our partner Glenn Project in India. The Chibbo taekwondo club has partnered with Chibbo SOGG Centre, where the children from the village are able take lessons and pursue Taekwondo. The presence of the Taekwondo club in the village had made a very positive impact in the village as children have learned to live a disciplined life by incorporating the values of this sport. GFF Helps India extended their support in the Chibbo Taekwondo Club Foundation Day and has been supporting them since its inception. The event started from 10 a.m. and the students where they performed dances and songs for the teachers and managing committee members. The teachers also gave motivational and encouraging speeches to the students.

Debanjan Girls Academy Share Football Cup

Debanjan Girls Academy is a residential place for girls from underprivileged background and nurture them in the field of football. GFF Helps has been actively partnering with Debanjan Girls Academy for the past two years through our various projects of Mobile Library, Newspaper Project and awareness programs on health & hygiene. Debanjan Girls football academy, share football club and Darjeeling Football association had organised an all-girls free football league for girls from marginalised communities. The finals of football tournament were held at Carmichael ground on the 20th of September. In the DSGA Football Champions Cup, several girl groups from Darjeeling, Pokhrabung, Gorubathan had come to compete in the football match where they got the opportunity to compete in a bigger platform and gain more exposure. Therefore, our help and presence in the event was very essential. GFF Helps supported them organize this program and attended it too. It was a wonderful experience watching young girls pave their way into the field of sports.

Joe FisherSPORTS PROJECT IN INDIA, NEPAL, SRI LANKA AND PHILIPPINES
Read more

SIGN LANGUAGE WEBINAR WITH PARTICIPANTS FROM INDIA, SRI LANKA, NEPAL AND PHILIPPINES 2023

WORDS FROM THE FACILITATOR – Lady Peace R. Remaneses

It is with a humble heart that I was again invited as a Resource Person in this International Webinar. I was able to meet again the children from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and other professional guests from the mentioned 3 countries. They were participative and eager to learn.

Conducting 2 webinar sessions on Sign Language as part of the celebration for the International Sign Language and educating the children, youths, and adults about the Deaf Community and their language is a form of appreciation and love to all the Deaf around the world. The basic Sign Language words they learned all throughout the webinar would be a stepping stone for them to communicate and acquire friendship.

We are very thankful to the participants from the 3 countries, especially here in the Philippines, Jelai and Atasha participated during the 2 sessions, and they are very grateful for the Certificate of Participation, ballpen and notebook that they received as an acknowledgment.

Here at Glenn Family Foundation, we are inclusive, we are considerate and loving when it comes to dealing with different kinds of people despite of status, race and PWDs. We are also accompanied by my sister, Leonorma, who is a part of Interact Club in their school. She loves volunteering to the community like me.

I am grateful to be part of this advocacy.

WORDS FROM NEPAL

“GFF assisted Nepal in actively participating in the sign language project initiated by GFF Helps Philippines. Seven students from Shree Balkumari School, predominantly teenagers, were enthusiastic participants in the program. Essential materials needed for the initiative were provided to these participants, ensuring the program’s effectiveness. As a result, the students learned how to use sign language to communicate with and understand individuals who rely on this form of communication in their daily lives.”

The impact of the project was profound, as it empowered these students with the ability to communicate using sign language. This newfound skill allowed them to engage effectively with individuals in their community who depend on sign language for communication. Beyond the practical aspect, the program also fostered a sense of empathy and inclusivity among the participants, instilling in them a deeper understanding and appreciation for the diverse forms of communication around them.

WORDS FROM INDIA

September 23rd is the International Sign Language Day and to give respect to the differently abled individuals, GFF Helps Philippines Team conducted a sign language webinar. Philippines Local Representative Lady Peace, was the resource person and Stiphany Salvador was the Technical Assistant. Sign language is an important skill to learn as it will enable us to bridge the communication gap and converse with differently abled individuals, therefore GFF Helps India team also decided to attend the webinar. The webinar was divided into two sessions conducted on the 16th and 23rd September at 9:30 am IST. In the first session we learned about how the sentences while using sign language are formed in a different order. We also learned the alphabets and basic signs of family members, food etc. In the second session our students from the SOGG learning centres excellently followed through with the homework given to them and actively participated in the revision session and also during the entire webinar. Kudos to the Philippines team for coordinating such a well-planned and easy to understand webinar. Our students from all three centres gave their full participation and diligently revised the lessons learned in the webinar.

Joe FisherSIGN LANGUAGE WEBINAR WITH PARTICIPANTS FROM INDIA, SRI LANKA, NEPAL AND PHILIPPINES 2023
Read more

GFF HELPS SRI LANKA AUGUST 2023 UPDATE

First Aid Training workshop

The First Aid Training Workshop was conducted on 5th August Saturday from 8.30am to 4.30pm by Mr. Wimalasena, Officer of First Aid Society, Kegalle at SANASA Campus Kegalle. The community members of Akiriyagala, Students of Vocational Training Institution, Kegalle and SANASA Campus participated in.

The training consisted of; Introduction to First aid and Incident Management, Disorders of respiratory system, Unconsciousness and CPR, Wounds and bleeding Management, Bone and musculoskeletal injuries, Medical Emergencies and Lifting and transporting of causality management. During the Introduction to first Aid and Incident Management training, participants were aware of the First aid and how the immediate and initial assistance provided to a person who has been injured or suddenly taken ill. It is a crucial skill that can make a significant difference in preserving life, preventing further harm, and promoting recovery until professional medical help arrives. First aid training equipped individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to respond effectively in emergency situations.

Next the training was done by explaining the importance of CPR and how it can help maintain blood flow to vital organs when the heart stops beating emphasizing that CPR buys time until professional medical help arrives. The participants were also taught how to recognize the signs of cardiac arrest, including unresponsiveness, absence of normal breathing, and lack of pulse. The participants practiced performing chest compressions. Compressions involve using the heel of the hand to push down hard and fast in the center of the chest, between the nipples.

It’s great that the participants learned about how to provide assistance to a person who has been rescued from drowning. The trainer demonstrated and participants practiced the method. The trainer used visuals and demonstrations to show participants the correct technique for the Heimlich maneuver and allowed them to practice on models or training aids. In addition to practicing on models, participants also engaged in scenario-based training. This involved simulating choking situations using role-playing or scenarios to help participants practice the Heimlich maneuver in a more realistic context. Proper wound care, immobilization of fractures, and how to mobilize a fractured person was demonstrated involving the participants.

The participants actively participated in the workshop, and demonstrated in groups what they learned. The participants thoroughly equipped the knowledge provided by the workshop because they participated in demonstrating the training activities.

English for Village & Mobile Library

Every week English for village program is conducted in two days, on Tuesday and Thursday. During these days listening, speaking, reading and writing activities were conducted. Students were encouraged to talk about giving different information. This interactive approach encouraged active participation, enhancing their English speaking skills and strengthening their confidence in using the language.

Small children were asked to make words using given set of letters. Through this activities they learned the formation of words.

A Drama was also introduced during the program. Students were divided into groups and pairs to read the drama script, which featured the humorous adventures of Andare. Each group was assigned specific characters to read. After reading the script, participants gathered in smaller groups to practice their assigned roles. They focused on improving their reading and speaking skills. The mobile library initiative played a key role in expanding the students’ language growth. By providing them with books, they were encouraged to read a paragraph and meet unfamiliar words. These challenging words were then discussed, leading to an expansion of their vocabulary. Storytelling sessions were also conducted with relation to the Mobile Library.

Art Session

The Art Session at Yusuko Ono preschool is conducted on every Tuesday for one hour. Session began with a communicating introduction to different themes related to the lessons on preschool.. They were encouraged to share their knowledge and experiences related to what they learned at class and reinforcing them through coloring.

The impact of the session was evident through the active participation and enthusiasm displayed by the students. Moreover, the color mixing activity provided a multidimensional learning experience, development creativity and thinking skills.

The storytelling sessions also conducted with relation to the Art sessions. Following the storytelling, the participants were provided with coloring sheets featuring an outline of a lion. They were encouraged to use a combination of colors to bring the lion to life and let their creativity shine. The coloring activity aimed to develop their artistic skills, color recognition, and attention to detail.

The participants displayed high levels of engagement throughout the activities. They actively listened to the story, eagerly asked questions, and expressed their thoughts.

Reading Club

Reading Club is conducted every Saturdays and Sundays as a voluntary service to enhance students’ reading skills. During the session, students were instructed to read at least one chapter from a given book and extract answers to specific questions provided. Once the reading task was completed, the students engaged in a collaborative discussion, sharing their answers and addressing any challenging vocabulary encountered

Following the question and answer exchange, the students were asked to provide a summary of the material they had read. This exercise encouraged them to not only comprehend the content but also extract it into a brief and clear form.

Joe FisherGFF HELPS SRI LANKA AUGUST 2023 UPDATE
Read more

GFF HELPS INDIA’S AUGUST 2023 UPDATE

Film Presentation (Theme: History of freedom movement in India)

We at GFF helps believe that learning should be fun and aid an individual to better understand the world around them. One of our projects this month was to engage the students from the villages of Bong and Pudung with the history of the freedom struggle of India. This theme was specifically chosen since the Independence Day of India falls on 15th of August. A detailed film on the struggles of freedom fighters for the independence of India and the progress we have made in the field of science, economy, sports till date, was shown to the children. Along with this we instructed the students to write essays on their learning, as we will be holding an essay writing competition amongst the students. This is a fun exercise that will help the children to retain the information and enhance their writing skills as well.

Table Tennis Training Camp

On the 5th of August an auspicious TT Board opening ceremony was held at the Pudung SOGG Learning and Information Centre. Mr. Anand Kumar Pradhan, chief patron of Kalimpong Table Tennis Association (KTTA) generously donated the TT Board and GFF Helps India sponsored the TT Bats and Balls. All the students, Managing Committee members of Pudung, teachers of the learning center, KTTA members were present in the program. We believe that this is a golden opportunity for the students and residents of Pudung village, therefore GFF Helps India has been started the TT Training camp at the Pudung SOGG center. The training camp will initially take place for 4 weeks and will be extended further are getting feedbacks from the students.

Professional TT players from KTTA come down every weekend and teach the students the TT sport. We believe that this has a potential of creating a long lasting positive impact for the entire village.

Mobile Library

Our Mobile Library project has been going on for 3 years since 2020. Every month GFF Helps Representative, Ms. Surabhi visits our partner Glenn Project in India which is the Sir Owen G Glenn (SOGG) Learning and Information centres; present in the three villages of Pudung, Bong and Chibbo. In the Mobile Library, Ms. Surabhi holds a reading session with the kids as she reads out some fables, and chapters from the encyclopaedia.

The children are also asked to come and read in front of their peers. This activity helps them to gain more confidence in public speaking as well as the skill of storytelling. The children are always excited to receive and read fresh new books every month.

Health Checkup Project (BP and Sugar Tests)

The health project has been undertaken by GFF Helps since 2020 in the villages of Bong, Pudung and Chibbo. It is still being continued till date and has been a big help to the residents of these villages. Monitoring BP and Sugar Test is very rare in the rural areas since you need to travel all the way to the town area to visit clinics and hospitals for the checkup. Hence, many have lost their lives because of lack of BP and Sugar Tests.

GFF Helps India is supporting this project by providing all he equipment’s for conducting these tests to the area coordinators of Pudung, Chibbo and Bong who are our partner Glenn Project in India. This month GFD Helps Representative Ms. Surabhi handed out sugar strips and lancets to the area coordinators. These health check-ups have been of immense help to the villagers and thus they do not have to go far away to get their checkups for BP and sugar level. This helps them keep a constant track of their health and maintain their wellbeing.

Joe FisherGFF HELPS INDIA’S AUGUST 2023 UPDATE
Read more