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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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GFF PHILIPPINES MARCHES TOWARDS IMPACTFUL MARCH

FREE COACHING ON PHILIPPINES CIVIL SERVICE EXAMINATION

REMEDIAL CLASSES

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.”

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S MONTH

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.”

Joe FisherGFF PHILIPPINES MARCHES TOWARDS IMPACTFUL MARCH
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GFF HELPS SRI LANKA GEARS TOWARDS EMOTIONAL WELL BEING FOR FEBRUARY 2023

Health Awareness Program

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

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

Mrs. Kumari

Mental Well-being and Meditation Program

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

English For Village Program

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

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

Mobile Library and Donation Program

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

Art and Craft sessions for Yasuko Ono Sanasa Preschool

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

Joe FisherGFF HELPS SRI LANKA GEARS TOWARDS EMOTIONAL WELL BEING FOR FEBRUARY 2023
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GFF HELPS INDIA’S MEANINGFUL ENGAGEMENT OF FEBRUARY 2023

WINTER CAMP FINALE IN SOGG LEARNING CENTRE – CHIBBO

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

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

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

WINTER CAMP FINALE IN SOGG LEARNING CENTRE – BONG

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

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

Aven Rai (Student)

AWARENESS BY INDIAN POSTAL DEPARTMENT IN BONG

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

MOBILE LIBRARY IN DEBANJAN SHARE GIRLS’ ACADEMY

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

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

-Pinky Rai, Debanjan Share Girls’ Academy

SENSITIZATION PROGRAM BY SAKHI- ONE STOP CENTRE IN SOGG PUDUNG

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

The objectives of the scheme are:

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

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

AWARENESS PROGRAM BY DISTRICT MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM AND NATIONAL TOBACCO CONTROL PROGRAM

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

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

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

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

WINTER CAMP FINALE IN SOGG LEARNING CENTRE PUDUNG

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

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

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

MOBILE LIBRARY IN SOGG BONG

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

MOBILE LIBRARY IN SOGG PUDUNG

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

Joe FisherGFF HELPS INDIA’S MEANINGFUL ENGAGEMENT OF FEBRUARY 2023
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GFF HELPS NEPAL’S USHER TOWARDS FEBRUARY 2023 WITH YOUTH ORIENTED PROJECTS

Positive Parenting Session: A Collaborative Initiative

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

Psychosocial Follow-Up Session at Srijanshil school for CWD

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

Youth Empowerment Project

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

 

Joe FisherGFF HELPS NEPAL’S USHER TOWARDS FEBRUARY 2023 WITH YOUTH ORIENTED PROJECTS
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GFF PHILIPPINES JOURNEY TOWARDS FEBRUARY 2023

FREE COACHING ON PHILIPPINEs CIVIL SERVICE EXAMINATION

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

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

One of the participants, Tito, expresses his thankfulness

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

COMMUNITY PROJECT: Adopt-A-Village

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

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

REMEDIAL CLASSES

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

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

Sir Ronnie of Sigcay Elementary School

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

FREE BLOOD PRESSURE CHECK-UP AND WEIGHT MEASUREMENT

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

ARTS DAY

“Promotes Self-Esteem and Self-Expression.”

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

Joe FisherGFF PHILIPPINES JOURNEY TOWARDS FEBRUARY 2023
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SRI LANKA CONSISTENTLY WORKING HARD TO CREATE ACCESS TO EDUCATION

English for Village program – Ekiriyagala Village

Mobile Library and Donation Program

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

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

ICT Development program – SANASA CAMPUS

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

Health Awareness Program

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Sarmistha Thapa 43 years, Risheehat
Joe FisherMEGA HEALTH CAMP IN RISHEEHAT
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GFF India engages and empower with the community

PICKLE, VINEGAR AND SQUASH MAKING TRAINING

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

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

Mrs. S. Lepcha

CHILDREN’S DAY CELEBRATIONS- BONG LEARNING CENTRE

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

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

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

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

Anisha Rai Student, Bong Learning centre

HEALTH MONITORING- BONG & CHIBBO LEARNING CENTRE

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

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

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

 

 

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

Yugen Lepcha Coordinator, Bong Learning centre

DISTRIBUTION OF EXAM SUPPLIES

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

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

Sudeep Chettri Teacher, Pudung Learning centre

WORKSHOP ON CHILD RIGHTS AND PROTECTION

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

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Nepal continues to address social and emotional learning

English Grammar lessons for community school students

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

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

Emotional Learning at Children Homes Bourghandi

Social and Emotional Learning Project with Bal Kumari School

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

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

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

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