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

Remedial Classes are ongoing in the two schools: Sigcay Elementary School and Lapnag Primary School. These two schools remained because the other schools were busy and do not have classes during our schedule. The villages where these schools are located are also adjacent to each other. We can easily monito progress of students from school to school. Teacher Ronnie in Sigcay Elementary School noticed the progress of the students in Grade 1 that he talked to us to include some of his students too. He selected the non-readers and slow-learners. What’s interesting is that they are all boys. It is a challenge to us to teach this group because they are competent and always argue with each other. During the first meeting, we assessed their needs and brought worksheets that will target their weakness. During sessions, we encouraged them to spell and read the words. They also have to identify the pictures from their worksheets. They are always excited to see us every Monday. Progress of these students will be recorded for their teacher’s record.


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

The Civil Service Examination is a test to determine those qualified to work in public service. Having Civil Service Eligibility means one can apply for permanent jobs in the government, and be entitled to a number of benefits such as competitive salaries, career growth, and insurance among many others.

The GFF HELPS Philippines initiated a Free Review for the test takers of the Civil Service Examination. The First Phase of the project started last February 9th and ended on March 16th. It was a fruitful 7-week review. We had a Guest Coach that helped them to solve Math equations. It was a special day and the reviewees learned a lot.

The reviewees took the exam on March 26th. We are very excited for them during the exam. Some of them sent selfies before and after the examination. We are now waiting for the results that will come out on June.

The second examination for this year of the Civil Service Commission will be in August 13th. We prepared a Phase 2 of the Free Review that will start this June 1st up to August 3, 2023. It will be a 10-week review every Thursdays. We are now gathering interested reviewees. Preparation is ongoing: invited speakers, materials, and etc.


“Enhancing the opportunity of access to library resources.”
“Engaging students in authentic reading experiences”

These months were full of holidays. Schools are also busy with different activities so they have to postpone their classes. The school year is fast approaching so teachers are seizing the remaining school days. During these times, we can’t go to school, so we conduct a house-to-house visit to the students. We have the students of Capitan Tazan Memorial Primary School that lives in the same neighborhood. During the peak of the pandemic, we regularly visit them because they are only in their houses. Now that schools are open, we seldom visit them. We always contact their parents during holidays if they are available and we make sure that we can have an enjoyable time together. The kids missed us a lot. Their parents keep on saying that they always look forward to the day that we can visit them. We promised that we will visit them during holidays or when school year ends.

We also have another group of kids in Laserna Village in Kalibo Town. Reading alone wouldn’t be fun, especially for children. That’s why, we as their mentors need to be flexible enough to teach them not only in reading but with a twist to make it exciting and memorable. To test their skills in art making, we prepared art materials such as coupon bonds, scissors, pre-cut colored paper, and glue. We let them write their names first on the coupon bond. Then, they select the color of the pre-cut colored paper they wanted to use. They need to fill the coupon bond like a mosaic or assemble the pieces to create larger and more beautiful letters. While doing this activity, they enjoy cutting the pre-cut colored paper based on their chosen shapes and then pasting it on the coupon bond. This activity teaches them not only how to follow directions carefully but it allows them to showcase their talents in art making.


“Assisting students to experiment through trial and error, find solutions to problems, work out the best strategies, and build new confidence and skills.”

Summary of Chess Session with Sigcay and Lapnag Kids

Chess game knows no age. It could be played by children, teenagers, adults and even senior. Some of them see it as pasttime, but for many it is educational. It helps somebody to be creative, strategic, logical, wise and sport, thus, the goal of GFF Philippine Team why we teach this sport to two schools in Banga. We are hoping that their logic and strategic thinking will be improved as well as showing participation and sportsmanship throughout the 10 weeks time in this project. The team also prepares powerpoint presentation for Chess so that the children could learn the basics. The are also thankful to the teachers especially in Sigcay School, the Principal, Mr. Norman Remaneses said, “This is a great help for our students to learn about Chess that the curriculum doesn’t teach.”

Summary of Scrabble Session with Lapnag Kids

Scrabble makes the children in Lapnag Elementary School learn English words and their meanings. The game is interactive and informative. We made sure that everyone was included and received fair attention from us. As the Philippine Team introduced what it is all about, we can sense their excitement and eagerness to play and learn. Even though it is quite new to play this kind of game, they’re very active and cooperative. Scrabble doesn’t only give them time and a chance to cooperate and play with each other, it also enhances their capability to think, create, and form a series of words in Scrabble. Moreover, because of this game, the children learned to value teamwork, fairness, and sportsmanship as key elements in winning.

ADOPT-A-VILLAGE: Health Seminar

Bringing Right Information to the Villages from the Right Authorities

Earlier this year, we have been in partnership with the Muguing Village and the Agricultural and Health sector in Banga Town. This is to make our goal a reality by providing seminars in the villages. Recently, we had our Rabies, and African Swine Fever Awareness conducted by the Agricultural Office and this upcoming June we are in collaboration with the Health Department to conduct a seminar on “Dengue Awareness” (the original topic that we wanted was on “Heat Stroke and Nose Bleeding Awareness but the doctor advised another helpful topic to be discussed.”). We have been making letters of intent, meeting the doctors and other authorities that we will be needing in the said seminar. The Town Doctor said, “Your programs are very helpful but I would advise you that Dengue Awareness is more important to discuss with but we can also talk a few minutes about Heat Stroke.” With this being said, we are grateful for the doctor since this topic is relevant to the weather here in the Province of Aklan. Right now, more on processing the letters so that we could be approved to handle such seminar in Muguing Village. We are looking forward to have this seminar with the teachers, parents and other concern individuals in Muguing Vilage as soon as possible.

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Mobile Library

Childrens education and their overall development has been a prime goal that GFF Helps has set and have been working towards. Every month GFF Helps India representatives visit the SOGG Learning and Information Centre to conduct Mobile Library sessions. This project has been undertaken and been carried out efficiently for the last three years. This month our newly appointed GFF Helps India Representative, Ms. Surabhi Subba, visited all the three SOGG Learning and Information Centre – Pudung SOGG, Bong SOGG and Chibbo SOGG on 10th, 11th and 12th of May, respectively. A fun activity was held where the students were asked to read the books and relate with the various pictures drawn in the pages to enhance their cognitive abilities. 

Visit To Sadhu Sundar Singh & Rotary Centre for Skill Development- Disha

Unemployment has been one of the major problems faced by youths in Kalimpong. After completing their education many students feel directionless with no prospects in their sight to pursue. Sadhu Sundar Singh & Rotary Centre or Skill Development – Disha have been providing various courses with low cost fees to help the youths get enrolled in jobs. GFF Helps Representative Ms. Surabhi Subba, along with Bong SOGG Coordinator Mr. Yugen Lepcha visited the Disha Centre on 18th of May. They met with Mr. Don Fonning, in-charge of the Disha Centre where he explained the various courses (Assistant Electricians, Customer Care Executives, General Duty Nursing Assistant, etc) and their placement schemes. aware about such programmes.

Some courses are also provided by the Centre for free at times, so Mr. Fonning assured that he will contact us when such courses are available. All these information about various courses and current recruitments were shared with the SOGG coordinators and teachers and pamphlets were distributed to help many young people interested in these courses and fields to find employment and gain knowledge about its further scope.

Visit to Indian Postal Department

Newly appointed GFF Helps India Representative, Ms. Surabhi along with Bong SOGG coordinator Mr. Yugen Lepcha made a visit to the Indian Postal Office in Kalimpong. GFF Helps India has collaborated with the Indian Postal Department in the past and hosted workshops on money saving and various saving schemes in Bong village. Therefore, we once again visited the office to discusses and to know about newer updated savings schemes available at present. The Post Master, explained newer schemes available such as the Mahila Sama Saving Certificate which is for financial upliftment of women, the Sukanya Samridhi Yojana for girl child, Kisan Vikas Patrika (KVP) for farmers, Senior Citizen Saving Scheme (SCSS) for senior citizens and many more. All the information of these schemes will be taken and shared with the villagers in hopes that they will avail and reap benefits from it.

Visit to Krishi Vigyan Centre (KVK)

In the upcoming month of June, the entire world celebrates the Environment Day on 5th June. We at GFF Helps are planning to celebrate it by organising “fruit sapling” plantation at the three villages on Bong, Pudung and Chibbo by distributing it to the villagers. When it comes to fruit saplings, we cannot plant whicTherefore Ms. Surabhi from GFF Helps and Mr. Suk Tshering Lepcha, coordinator from Bong SOGG visited the Krishi Bigyan Centre in order to get a better know how about the fruit saplings. KBK centre are spread across India and are associated with a local agricultural university, and serve as links between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and farmers to apply agricultural research in a practical, localized setting. Dr. Basudev Khadka recommended us which fruits were best suitable to be grown. Mr. AD Thapa suggested us to visit the Forest Silvi Culture office and gave us the contact details as good quality saplings were available there at subsidized prices. Visit to the KVK Centre was indeed a helpful one.

Physical General Meeting & Office Clean-up

This month has been a memorable one because after the pandemic this was the first time that all the SOGG coordinators, teachers, GFF Helps representative and our office staff for able to physically meet for the general meeting at GFF main office on 18th of May. The General meeting was extremely successful as we were all able to discuss, take feedbacks and and plan upcoming activities with the teachers of other SOGG learning centres as well. After the meeting all the attendees of the meeting decided to clean the office and we ended the day with a good lunch which Mr. Saom had kindly arranged for us. All of us were glad to be able to physically gather and take each other’s suggestions and advices.

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School of Disable Children: Social and Emotional Learning

Self care program for mothers of community

On the 18th of April, 2023, a visit program to Shrijanshil school in Naikap was successfully conducted. This visit was organized to provide support to the school and its children in the form of various materials that can help them in their development. The supporting materials included stationery items, a football, and puzzle blocks, which will aid in the children’s motor activities and contribute to their physical health by promoting exercise. The program was a great success, and the school authorities were very grateful for timely support provided by GFF. The materials provided will be beneficial to the children in several ways. Firstly, the children will develop their social skills and teamwork abilities through activities such as playing football together or solving puzzles collaboratively. This will assist them in forming meaningful relationships with their peers and understanding the importance of working together, the use of puzzle blocks will also improve cognitive abilities, such as problem-solving, as they will need to use their critical thinking skills to solve the puzzles. This will aid in their overall academic performance and help them to develop strong problem-solving abilities.

With the aim of enhancing awareness on the importance of caring selves, the program was organized on 11th April, 2023 in co-ordination with the Child Development Society (CDS). The program was targeted towards the local women who have been investing all of their time in caring the family and involving into the domestic works thus ignoring to prioritize themselves. For increasing the effectiveness of the goals, three major activities were focused such asthematic counseling, sports and feedback. All these were done according to the schedules. During the initial phase, the counselor of Budhanilkantha Municapility- 12,Mrs. Kamala Lamsal provided short counseling through her presentation and the counselor of Budhanilkantha Municipality-10. Ms. Bhawana also gave her active participation. Similarly, the program had developed the open space for the interested participants to share their experience and knowledge on the subject matter. Hence, the thematic counseling had covered all the contents regarding what, why and how to take care of self along with its benefit to others.

After the thematic counseling, two different sports such as balloon blast and musical chair was organized in order to motivate the participants to involve into the new challenges and focus on the self goals. Additionally, the sports had proven a message that “age doesn’t matter when self interest is high” as many made their participation with full energy and enthusiasm. Lastly, the program was ended with a brief feedback from all the attendees including the participants, counselors, CDS staffs and the organizers. it was right in this phase, prize distribution tasks was also done. The winners of the two sports Mrs. Ruma Giri (balloon blast) and Mrs. Ruma Khatri (musical chair) were awarded with a plant and a packet of corridor seed which symbolizes the moral of the program. That is to say, if the plant gets care, it will definitely grow well and provide necessary services such as oxygen, fruit and beauty to the environment.

One Day Meal Support at CDS Day care

GFF Helps Nepal has always been initiating the child- friendly tasks and the beginning of the New Year 2080 was also guided with the same vision. Within the CDS Day-care premises, the meal program was conducted on 17th April,2023. The core goal of the program was to access a nutritious and balanced meal to the children, which is essential for their growth and development. Futhermore, providing a meal at a day care center can also help to promote healthy eating habits among children. Children who are exposed to a variety of healthy foods are more likely to develop a taste for them and are more likely to continue eating them throughout their lives. In addition, a short warm-up program was done to ensure proper digestion. Overall, providing one day meal at a day care center can have a positive impact on the health, well-being, and development of children.

Supporting our PNGO

GFF Helps Nepal has always been devotedly assisting CDS in every initiatives possible. Within the month of April, GFF team had volunteered in day-care and on two programs conducted by CDS such as second session of SEEP and Wheel- chair distribution. Usually, the GFF team had been assisting the CDS day-care by helping the staff in controlling and looking after the kids and playing with them to make the environment child- friendly. The second session of SEEP program was organized on 7th April, 2023 at CDS premises in which the Ward Chairperson Mr. Shambhu Bhattrai handed over the second installment to the Women’s Group such as Sagarmatha Women Saving Group and Himal Women Saving Group. The main tasks done by GFF team was by helping in arranging materials , capturing pictures and distributing the snacks to the participants.

Similarly, the wheel-chair distribution program was organized on 13th April, 2023 which was attended by the sponsors and the other guests. Altogether 8 wheel chairs were provided to the students of Shrijanshil School. In the program, the GFF team had assisted in arranging the chairs, providing snacks to the guests, capturing the pictures and videos along with the actual statement of the sponsor which was laterprovided to the CDS Executive Director Krishna Sir.

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Mental Well-being and Meditation Program

GFF HELPS Srilanka conducts a mental well-being and meditation program every week. GFF HELPS Sri Lanka collaborated with Mrs. Piumani who is a well-known yoga and meditation instructor in Kegalle. It was arranged for the community members in Kegalle. Currently, sessions were completed with physical activities which are good for mental health and helps those who are more vulnerable to certain physical health problems, such as heart disease and nurturing own mental health can also help prevent the development of mental diseases. It was observed that after the sessions people gained so many benefits. They are engaged with healthy food routines and affordable, effective, and feasible strategies for their mental wellness. Mental health well being enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well, and work well.

English For Village Program–Ekiriyagala Village

English Language is widely used in an international context and is widely used worldwide. To enhance English proficiency among the village students GFF HELPs Srilanka collaborated with the Sanasa Primary societies and the Sanasa campus. The lessons and activities prepared week by week. By using worksheets, they improve their skills. Gradually they are developing and improving their writing skills, reading skills. To brainstorm, they use 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

To facilitate the lack of educational resources within the village, every week reading sessions with the Ekiriyagala village students are conducted. GFF HELPS Srilankan Representative provides the story books for the village students. By reading, they have been improving their reading skills and also improved 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 storybooks.

Supporting sessions for Yasuko Ono Sanasa Preschool

GFF HELPS Srilanka has been continuously 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, GFF HELPS Srilanka started the program with 45 students in Srilanka. We celebrated the cultural new year on the 13th of April and 14th of April so GFF HELPS Srilanka supported the preschool for the new year cultural events. They engaged with Srilanka cultural rituals and celebrated the new year with friends and their families. This kind of celebration contributed to a happier and healthier environment for them and their well being.

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Good health is a vital part of a happy and successful life. The right to Health is a fundamental right of every individual across all countries. In order to bridge this gap, Glenn Family Foundation supports free medical camps that are provided to underprivileged people where free checkups and free medicines are provided. The Rotary Club of Darjeeling organised a Free Medical Camp at Chotta Mangwa on the 23rd of April 2023. GFF Helps team members were the integral part of this important event.

Chotta Mangwa is a beautiful and scenic village that is located on a ridge at the top of the Mangwa hill (above Teesta bazar). Unfortunately, there are no hospitals in the village and to avail medical facilities the nearest medical Centres are either in Takling village or Takdah Cantonment and if there are bigger cases, then they are further referred to Kalimpong and Darjeeling District hospitals. By organising this health camp many people were able to receive free medical check-ups without having to travel long distances and bear the brunt of transportation costs. The number of patients who attended the medical camp was around 350 approximately. The main objectives of a free medical camp are to provide free medical care and treatment to underprivileged people, raise awareness and educate people about healthcare along with referring severe cases to operations for further treatment. The Free Medical Health Camp was able to accomplish these objectives, since along with free medical checkups, the patients were also given free medicines. Medical checkups are important as they can identify underlying illness and further prevent it. Since many patients came to receive medical treatment, they became aware of their health issues. The doctors also recommended some patients with severe cases for follow-up sessions. Moreover, this time, there were different doctors of different medical specialisations each an expert in their own field. The reason for including diverse medical professionals was so that the medical camp could cater to the myriad of problems faced by the villagers. On the demand of the villagers for a psychologist in order to treat their mental health issues we also had a psychologist on the team.

There were 14 doctors (from Darjeeling and Siliguri) along with 8 team members from Jamgon Kongtrul Eye Centre, 8th Mile Kalimpong. They have been doing medical camps with us before and have collaborated again for this important camp. Some of the severe cases were referred to District Hospital in Darjeeling and some of the needy cataract patients were sent to the Jamgon Kongtrul Eye hospital in Kalimpong for further treatment. Overall, the medical camp was a huge success, and for it to be so there was a team of people working together who ensured that everything went smoothly. The members of the Rotary Club were present in the medical camp helping with the registration, sugar &pressure checkupsand also distributing the free medicines. The six Samajas of the ChotaMangwa village, namely Paropkar Samaj, Sunagava Samaj, Gram SewakYuwa Sang Samaj, Ghatani Samaj, Navin Pragati Samaj, and Makhamali Samaj also extended their full support in the medical camp. Members of the SOGG Saichik Welfare Society Kalimpong also volunteered in the medical camp. The Free medicines that were distributed in the Medical Camp were sponsored by YUMA Nursing Home & Diagnostic Centre Pvt. Ltd of Darjeeling. Mr. Saom Tshering Namchu (Project Director GFF) and his family had personally sponsored the lodging of the 14 doctors, four paramedics, and 18 Rotarians. Along with this, he had also organised dinner and breakfast for all the overnight guests (doctors and Rotarians and GFF volunteers) in his Quo Vadis Farm. Transportation for the doctors (3 vehicles) and the SOGG Sacihik Welfare Society, Kalimpong (2 vehicles) was provided by GFF Helps. The medical camp started at 8 am in the morning and lasted till 4 pm in the evening. Towards the end, there was a small thanksgiving ceremony for the medical professionals as they had given us their valuable time and for providing their services. 6 new stretchers were distributed to the 6 Samajas of the villages, which were sponsored by the Rotary Club of Darjeeling.

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The Philippine Team is currently working with the village of Muguing in Banga Town under the GFF HELPS Adopt-A-Village Project. This is for the benefit of the residents of Muguing where most of them are farmers, hog/pig raisers and agriculture/animal-related occupations. We planned for a timely seminar that could benefit everyone. We collaborated with the Municipal Agricultural Office (MAO) in Banga Town and after a series of fulfilling the required documents to the Town Leader, Village Leader and MAO Head, we were able to invite 2 smart Registered Agriculturist, Miss Jhinke Navarro and Mr. Dennis De Mesa, and they were able to conduct our first ever face-to-face seminar where it was attended by 25 residents, including the Village Councilors and Secretary, last 28th March 2023 in Muguing Village.

Before the seminar started, we checked the attendees Blood Pressure and Weight to simply provide assistance for them and after that I introduced Sir Owen Glenn and the GFF HELPS Philippines. We then started the seminar, during the 2-hour event, the speakers provided printed copy of their talk, and they presented meaningful and up-to-date talks about the fast spreading of African Swine Fever (ASF), and its prevention. The rabies awareness where also tackled as it is one of the most cases during summer, especially that dogs are sensitive to hot weather and children are outside playing hence they are the most vulnerable.

During the talk, many of the residents raised questions about tips on how to raise healthy hogs/pigs and how it can prevent the ASF, as well as the benefits that they could get whenever they’d bitten by a dog with rabies, and so on which were all answered gracefully by the speakers. The seminar ended with some snacks cooked by our Association Member and awarding of Certificates to the speakers and participants.


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

Remedial Classes are ongoing in the four schools: Banga Elementary School, Muguing Elementary School, Sigcay Elementary School, and Lapnag Primary School. Students are pulled out from their respective classrooms to join the remedial classes. These are the selected students who have slower academic progress. We observed that they were so excited to start and participate in the remedial classes. During the class, most of them participated well, but some students still needs guidance to complete the task. One-on-one guidance is needed because some of them can’t understand or follow simple instructions. But still, they learned a lot from CVC flashcards, activity sheets with pictures, reading aloud then spelling words. We give prizes like stickers, stamps, etc. to motivate them in doing their activities. Students who participated well in reading words are the ones who got high scores when it comes to spelling. Overall, they’re still progressing and applying what they’ve learned in remedial classes. We’re happy to see that they’re having fun while learning!


“Awakening Children’s love for Chess and Scrabble”

This coming May, our Team will start the Sports Project where it highlights the teaching -and-learning on Chess and Scrabble. We are done visiting and talking to the School Principals of both schools, Sigcay and Banga Elementary Schools. The Letter of Intent were also signed, the materials are also ready as well as ourselves when introducing and teaching the school children these Sports. The School Principals were happy knowing about our project for the children and according to Mr. Norman Remaneses, School Principal of Sigcay, “This is a good project,it will help our students excel more in Sports. I hope that you could also help us in training the children in Mathematics-related Sports like Sudoku, Kakuro and Tower of Hanoi.”

Aside from ourselves training the children, we have also invited a consistent Chess Awardee who is willing to teach the kids with us. The parents of the children are also happy knowing it and they said that it is one of the steps to limit their kids’ cellphone usage.

Project feedback from various beneficiaries

Jamaica Gonzales (student) –
I’m very happy because
I have books to read.
Thank you Sir Owen for the books that you sent to us

Since we started our Reading Workshop & Mobile Library, Online Storytelling, and Remedial classes, we made a difference in the lives of the kids, parents, teachers, and schools. These projects were running for a significant period of time. Last March until this April, we collected feedbacks from kids, parents, and teachers about the impacts that the project brought to them as well as their message for the GFF HELPS and to Sir Owen. We made a video of the compilation and uploaded it in YouTube. Here are some feedbacks:

We are happy to be part of the students’ progress and the schools’ vision. We will continue these projects as long as there are students who are willing to learn.

·Mrs. Zenie Felipe (Association member) – Online Storytelling helped my daughter to expand her thinking. She likes to read now.

Ma’am Shearel Rebaño (Teacher) – Thank you so much to GFF HELPS because the Remedial Class helped our students to read and count.

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Yasuko Ono Preschool Supporting Session

GFF HELPS Srilanka actively collaborated with Yasuko ono Sanasa preschool which is situated in Sanasa Campus, Kegalle. GFF HELPS Srilanka representative supported the preschool engagement and arranged creative and interesting sessions for the kids. 45 kids actively participated in the sessions. The main aim is to develop the children’s mindset with innovative ideas and creative ideas. They learn color variations and art methods through the sessions. GFF HELPS Srilanka representative visits the preschool weekly and organizes the sessions for them by providing worksheets and motivating them to think individually and teaching them to color changes and color variations.

Mobile Library and Donation Program

To improve the reading skills and vocabulary of the kids, GFF HELPS Srilanka organized a mobile library and donation program for the village students. This program has been started on the 08th of June 2022. The kids in Ekiriyagala and nearby villages gathered at Ekiriyagala SANASA cooperative society to read books. By reading story books they improve their interest in the English language. There are more than 150 books in the GFF HLEPS Mobile library so anytime village students can access those books for their reference. The mobile library program is one of the ongoing successful projects in GFF HELPS Srilanka.

English For Village Program

The English for village program is conducted within Ekiriyagala village to uplift the English knowledge within the village students, GFF HELPS Srilanka organized the well organized English sessions for Ekiriyagala village students and nearby village students. There are more than 12 students and Mrs. Sumudu Basnayake who is a resource person teaching English for village program. Students improve their knowledge through the worksheets. All the sessions were prepared by GFF HELPS Srilanka in collaborating with English Department of Sanasa campus. The students have already completed building sentences by referring pictures, vowel reading, coloring letters and comprehension lessons. There is lack of knowledge about English language within the village students. To solve that educational issue GFF HELPS Srilanka is continuously collaborating with the village and providing necessary English knowledge for them.

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.

Sinhala Language Developing Session

Most Sinhalese speakers live in Srilanka. Sinhala is one of the oldest languages in the world and official and national language of Srilanka. GFF HELPS Srilanka Representative identified the lack of Sinhala writing skills within the village students of Ekiriyagala village. GFF HELPS Srilanka started Sinhala sessions for the village students to improve their Sinhala writing skills and knowledge. Every Fridays, GFF HELPS Srilanka provides the workshop for the 5 students in the Ekiriyagala village.

Mental wellbeing and meditation workshop

GFF HELPS Srilanka provided a mental wellbeing and meditation program for community members and students in Sanasa Campus. GFF HELPS Srilanka supported by Mrs. Piumani who is a certified yoga and meditation instructor in Kegalle. The main purpose was to provide workshop to reduce their stress situations and depression and anxiety. The regular exercises will help them to boost their strength and mental wellbeing. Every Thursdays GFF HELPS Srilanka conduct the physical sessions with 20 participants.

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On the 4th of March 2023, the final presentation for the Grassroots Comic was held virtually via Zoom. Students of the 3 centres of SOGG L&I Centres Bong, Chibbo and Pudung participated. Mr. Amrith Basumatari (facilitator) and Ms. Minket Lepcha (Co-facilitator) also joined. GFF Helps India team (Melissa and Nikita) along with Mr. Saom were the moderators for the presentation. A total of 10 groups presented their Grassroots Comic. Mr. Amrith gave feedbacks and comments after each presentation. The topics/issues that the students had chosen were on Pollution, Women Empowerment, Gender Equality and Water Scarcity. The final comic from each group will be made into a booklet. It will also be printed and spread within the village to aware people regarding the issues.


Like every year this year too GFF Helps India celebrated the International Women’s Day on the 8th of March with the Self Help Group members of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung. Melissa visited Bong and Chibbo village while Nikita visited Pudung village. They talked about the history and importance of Women’s Day celebration and had a cake cutting ceremony by the elderly women of the villages. They took saplings of locally grown trees and distributed it to the participants and informed them about the importance of reforestation and environmental degradation. The participants were also told to grow the saplings in the name of their close ones (Women). The participants were happy and shared some of their thoughts during the celebration.

Awareness/ Sensitization programs

Awareness/ Sensitization programs have been a crucial part of GFF Helps India especially while working for the rural communities of Kalimpong since 2020. The main motive behind these awareness programs is to make the villages aware of the facilities and support that are available for them and their family.

On the 10th of March 2023 an Awareness/ Sensitization program was organized in SOGG Chibbo by Sakhi: One Stop Centre. The resource person was Ms. Deepa. There were 40 women from the Self Help Groups that participated in the awareness program. The program was interactive with lots of questions and answers. The resource person explained about the program and how the people could get help from the program. Along with the awareness, Women’s Day was also celebrated by cutting cake. One Stop Centres (OSC) intends 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 will be 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 will be provided with specialized services.


Reading is important because it develops your mind and gives you excessive knowledge and lessons of life. It helps you understand the world around you better. It keeps your mind active and enhances your creative ability. Reading improves your vocabulary and develops your communication skills. GFF Helps India has been involved in the Mobile Library Project since 2020 in the SOGG L&I Centres and 2022 in Debanjan Share Girls Football Academy.

The 4th visit to Debanjan Share Girls Football Academy was made by Nikita on the 15th of March 2023. There were 15 girls present on that day. The girls had just finished practicing football as their daily routine when they came to their study hall for the Mobile Library session. The girls brought with them their story books and shared what they had read one by one. When they got to know about the new set of books that was sponsored by Ms. Lee Geok Boi, they were excited to read those books. In the next visit a reading session will be conducted by the interns.


On the 14th of March 2023, GFF Helps India Representative, Ms. Nikita Rai and SOGG L&IC, Pudung Coordinator, Mr. Suk Tshering Lepcha attended the seminar on Women’s Day and Women Empowerment by Sakhi: One Stop Centre as guests of honor. The participants were SHG leaders, NGOs and Government officials. The speakers were Government Officials and women from different backgrounds. The One Stop Centre presented about their work and their collaboration with different NGOs including GFF Helps India. They also talked about women empowerment.


On the 17th of March 2023, Nikita visited SOGG Pudung for Mobile Library Project. There were 15 students who were present. She distributed the new set of books and brought back the old ones. She briefed the students about the new books and a fun interactive session was held. On that day she was also bid farewell by the students and staff of the Centre as it was her last visit to the Centre as GFF Helps India Representative.

Joe FisherGFF
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GFF Helps Nepal connects with women and nature in March

The community clean-up campaign in Faika, Kapan served as a fantastic platform for individuals to take an active role in promoting sustainability and making a meaningful contribution towards building a cleaner and healthier planet. Student’s efforts in keeping our surroundings clean and promoting environmental awareness for a brighter, more sustainable future. Equipped with gloves and masks, these students selflessly dedicated their efforts to cleaning up the area, collecting a significant amount of litter, and making a visible difference to the surroundings. Through this initiative, aimed to raise awareness about the critical need for environmental sustainability and the role each one of us can play in achieving it. In community clean up campaign in Faika Kapan, aimed at promoting environmental awareness and ensuring a cleaner, greener future. The event witnessed a tremendous turnout, with 25 enthusiastic and socially responsible students from Shree Balkumari School volunteering their time and energy towards this noble cause.

Women Empowerment – Women’s Day celebration

The international Women’s Day celebration was important event that brought together women from different walks of the to celebrate their achievements and contributions to society. It was a platform for women to connect, network, and build relationships with each other, and to acknowledge the vital roles that women play in our families, workplaces, and communities.

The events was organized by our team in collaboration with CDS, SEEP project, and Day care Mothers, and was a resounding success. The highlight of the event was the initiative taken by the SEEP Project mothers, who planted beautiful flowers, representing the growth and empowerment of women in our society. At the same time, we were encouraged by the resilience and strength of the women we met at the event, and the powerful connections that were formed. We believe that events like this provide a space for women to come together and support each other, and we will continue to work towards empowering and uplifting women every day.

Psychosocial Counselling Support

GFF Helps Nepal Representative Link Psychosocial counselor of Budhanilkhantha municipality Ms. Kamala Lamsal with Bal Kumari public school. Discuss on future plans on the roles and responsibilities of the counselors and school in supporting children struggling with issues.

According to the coordinator of Balkumari most of the children are seen to have a negative social and family environment, including lack of family and love. Identification of issues and supporting the general issues while referring major and intense issues to transcultural psychosocial organization Nepal.

The psychosocial counsellor will refer the children below 10 to a child psychologist. Identified list of the children given by school will be supported by the counsellor once the school reopens. Two session with four of the students of Shree Balkumari has been completed where counsellor ma’am has been working on identifying the problem for the purpose of improving wellbeing, alleviating stress and enhancing coping skills.

Joe FisherGFF Helps Nepal connects with women and nature in March
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The 7-week Free Coaching on Civil Service Examination has finally ended last Thursday, March 16th, 2023. This program was attended by almost 10 participants, who are living in the different towns of Aklan Province, some are l job orders or working temporarily in the government. Due to the lack of the eligibility, they cannot be employed regularly or cannot be promoted in their respective fields. Once they pass the Exam this March 26th, they will be qualified to be employed regularly or to get promoted in the future. This program was done every Thursday at the GFF HELPS Office Kalibo. The PH Team is very proud of the participants’ diligence in coming to the office once a week to personally attend the said program. We followed a weekly schedule where Stef and I discuss every topic assigned to us. We were the one teaching them the areas of the exam. We also provided them some worksheets, test papers, handouts and answer sheet similar to that of the Civil Service, we also invited a Mathematics Teacher to teach the Math area of the Exam. We are yet to have the result on May depending on the releasing date of the Civil Service Commission in the Philippines. We are hoping that our participants will all pass the Exam so that they can get a permanent job in the future. 

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

Most of our programs ran for 6 to 1 year. This includes our Remedial Classes which started almost the same time when the government-funded school opened after two years of pandemic. We visited the four different schools in Banga Town and teach different children with Math, Science and English along with the e different worksheets we provided. We also lend books to schools and to the children during our Mobile Library Project and interviewed the parents, children and teachers about our programs -they were very grateful with all the books they had during the pandemic, when the schools were all closed, they read our books. Maica expressed her joy that she is always excited reading all the books over and over again. She said, “My favorite book is ‘The Little Bunny’ and the lesson I learned that I am unique and have many talents like the little bunny in the story.”

The parents were also very thankful for the Online Storytelling, which had developed the children’s creativity, took away their shyness and improved their English competencies. The participants of the Free Review for Civil Service were also grateful for the opportunity given to them, this is their ticket to employment once they pass the eligibility exam on March 26th 2023. (The result of this exam will be in May 2023.) Likewise, with the participants of Workshops: Crochet and Calligraphy, and Baking class – they had gained new skills that will lead to a livelihood when taken right.

These are some of the projects results that we have evaluated and we are looking forward to more quotations from the participants in the coming days.

Remedial Classes are ongoing in the four schools: Banga Elementary School, Muguing Elementary School, Sigcay Elementary School, and Lapnag Primary School. The progress of the children was witnessed by the teachers and parents. Some students were pulled out by their classroom teachers already because they showed improvement. They were replaced by other students who need remediation too. Some students who still need attention and remediation remained in the remedial class. We assessed why they are showing poor improvement and saw that their learning style is different as compared to others. They learn more when they are playing and not through worksheets. We changed our teaching approach and introduced them to educational games. It is more challenging for us because they are energetic kids and like to play around. We are always finding ways to help these learners who are misunderstood as “lazy” and “naughty”.

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


The GFF HELPS TEAMS are composed of hardworking women from different races and backgrounds. Our beneficiaries and members of the GFF AKLAN WORKERS’ ASSOCIATION were mostly women. To celebrate milestones and extraordinary roles of women in all spheres of society, we made cards with messages. These cards were given to teachers who work with us and women who are member of the association. We went to their schools and houses to personally give the card and greet them. This is just a small act but they were touched by our genuineness. They left a heartfelt message to GFF HELPS and to Sir Owen. To all the women in the whole world who are making positive changes, “Thank you for being the woman you are!”

“Celebrate women’s milestones and their extraordinary roles in all spheres of society.”

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