The SOGG Learning centres of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung have been in function for more than a decade. The Open Learning and Information centres are used not only by the students but the community as a whole for various productive purposes. For awareness programs, training sessions, health camps, etc- these centres act as the main venue- where beneficiaries gather under one roof and a host of activities are organized.

For the smooth and efficient functioning of the centres, maintenance is deemed necessary. GFF Helps India has been on the forefront for the upkeep of the centres. In the month of August, SOGG learning centres of Bong and Chibbo received support from GFF Helps India for maintenance work- plastering of the centre walls as well as repair of main gate. The staff of respective SOGG learning centres volunteered in the process that has helped to achieve good results, which is a reflection of strong team work and good coordination among the beneficiaries. It has also helped instill a sense of ownership- that will help in the proper use of the centres and the resources.


On the 5th of September, every year in India, Teacher’s Day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and therefore to appreciate the contribution made by teachers to society. Dr. Radhakrishnan was a renowned scholar, recipient of Bharat Ratna Award, first Vice-President, and second President of independent India. On the occasion of Teacher’s day, the students of SOGG Learning centres of Bong, Chibbo & Pudung honored their respective teachers by putting up a cultural performance, offering Khadas or traditional scarf and presenting a token of appreciation.

GFF Helps India representatives happened to be in Pudung for Mobile Library project, and they too were felicitated by the students. The sight of senior students guiding the juniors, team work and their contribution in the program is a marker of good guidance and teachings.


IL&FS is one of the largest talent development centres that attract young talent from the rural areas of Northeast India. The main aim of the centre has been to provide local people with skills development and employment opportunities. GFF Helps has been working in collaboration with IL&FS for many years- organizing awareness programs for the beneficiaries of SOGG Learning centres of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung. These programs help in empowering women, providing job security to young adults and employment opportunities in various sectors.

On the 9th of September, an awareness program under the leadership of Ms. Mamta Chettri of IL&FS was held, wherein more than 35 women members of different Self Help Groups took active part. Information on Nursing, Tailoring, Health and Wellness were covered and disseminated.

The participants of the session were keen on the training program offered by IL&FS. As a follow up of the session, the coordinatior of Chibbo Learning Centre will be further coordinating with the staff of IL&FS.


Although Kalimpong is a picturesque hill station, it is not devoid of social evils. To educate the local residents, a legal literacy program was held in Bong village on the 9th of September. The aim of the session has been to empower the poor and disadvantaged sections of society to seek and demand justice services. The key resource person of the program was Mr. Bishal Mangrati, Secretary of District Legal Services Authority. More than 40 local residents of Deorali, Bong took part in the session wherein many of their doubts were clarified.

Through this program, we hope the participants of the program can demand accountability, justice and effective remedies at all levels in unforeseen circumstances. Such useful information will help realize their problems and can thus procure justice through legal means.

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GFF Helps India engages with Education, Cleanliness and


GFF Helps India in collaboration with the Partner Organization (PO) SOGG L&I Centre started the Newspaper Project on the 1st of August 2022, in SOGG L&I Centre, Bong & Pudung Village and on the 18th of August in SOGG L&I Centre, Chibbo. Keeping in mind one of the main aims of the PO i.e. to provide information to the community, the newspaper project was started. There are two newspapers issued every day, The Telegraph (National) in English and Himalaya Darpan (Local) in Nepali. This project not only targets the students of the centres but also the community at large.

People have already started to benefit from the project. Students read the newspapers after their school while the elderly people read during the day time. The local and national news and information has now reached the Centres and is available to all.

“Gives students the power to express themselves through multi- literacy modes.”


During the monsoon season, plants & weeds tend to grow in a faster pace. Timely maintenance needs to be done in order to keep the environment clean and safe for children from insects and snakes. Hence, GFF Helps India Team in collaboration with SOGG Chibbo organized a cleanliness drive on the 13th of August, in SOGG Centre Chibbo.

Cleanliness drives are held regularly in all the SOGG centres. The students and parents have been aware of the importance of keeping the centre premises clean. Therefore the parents and students themselves volunteer to clean and make the drive successful every time. This kind of community involvement has built attachment towards the Centre and GFF.


India celebrated its 75th Independence Day on 15th August 2022. Like every year this year too, GFF Helps India in collaboration with SOGG Centres celebrated the occasion in the respective Centres. In Pudung, students and teachers along with the Centre Incharge and the Coordinator gathered in the Centre early morning and hoisted the National flag. National Anthem “Jana gana…” was sung. The teachers of the centre shared information about the special day. At the end the students were distributed sweets to remark a happy and a proud day. Similarly in the other Centres as well the Independence Day was celebrated. This way the students have been able to learn and gain knowledge.


With the increase in use of technology in every sphere of life and to cope up with the digital era, the need of internet connection and digital library in the Centres was felt. On the same day of the 75th Independence Day, the Digital Library Project was inaugurated by GFF Helps India in SOGG Centre, Chibbo. Digital libraries provide the students with the convenience of learning at their own comfort. Children and students of our villages do not own computers and laptops at an individual level. With the increase of school assignment, forms and other information that can only be found in the internet, it is necessary that we provide the facility at the Centres. The facility can be benefited by everyone in the village. We will be also brining a teacher who will guide the student in learning how to use computer and internet. Hence, we are now towards making our partner organization well equipped not only for the students but for the whole community.

Joe FisherGFF Helps India engages with Education, Cleanliness and
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Students of Bong showing their Art and Craft

On 5th June, students from BalKumari community school gathered on the occasion of ‘World Environment Day’. Several activities observing this special occasion, was conducted, such as: Clean-up campaign and group art work. Valuing the importance of the children’s educational classes in school, the sessions were conducted on two separate days one for each event. The excitement to both work and learn outside the classroom has always kept children interested and they have valued it.

“I really enjoyed doing the activity”.
SDG Sewing Project
Kritika Pradhan

Fish made with dried leaves and paint
Butterfly made out of dried leaves and paint
Group of students sharing their stories based in Environment Day
Students of Bong making their Crafts
Students of Chibbo doing Art on Environment Day
A student of Bong with her art





In order to keep the local stories alive Ms. Minket has been sharing stories based on nature and culture. During the CoVID19 pandemic, GFF Helps India along with her (GFF Helps Nepal Volunteer) conducted online storytelling sessions for the children of India and Nepal. For the first time children of Kalimpong got the opportunity to hear her stories in person. The session was held in all the 3 SOGG centres namely Deorali, Chibbo, Pudung and sub centre Kameshi. There she shared a story on Totola (medicinal flower) and Yeti. Along with the story, activities were also conducted based on meditation, self reflection and gratitude towards nature. A total of 60 students participated. The sessions were held in the evening time after the school hours. After the 2 hour session, children were happy to have learnt about a new story about their locally found Totola. Children were happier when they received a Totola flower from Ms. Minket as a gift of nature. 


“Stories tend to die if not shared with the upcoming generations”

Minket Lepcha
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Stories braiding through Nepal, India and Philippines

The online storytelling session is a collaborative project of GFF Helps Nepal and India since 2020. The former volunteer of GFF Helps Nepal introduced this project during the CoVID19 lockdown keeping in mind children’s mental health. Children from different places of India and Nepal attended the sessions. The 2nd season of the online storytelling session began in June 2021. Since then both the teams of India and Nepal has been conducting the sessions alternatively. The storytelling sessions include important lessons and activities apart from storytelling. In India a school counselor Ms. Prashanna Sherpa has volunteered to conduct the sessions. She mostly engages children with fun activities. Children look forward to her fun session every weekend.

“Gain knowledge through mindfulness and active learning”.

Counselor and and children during the session.

Ms. Prashanna conducting the online storytelling session.

Ms. Prashanna Sherpa interacting with the children during a session.

A group of children from India and Nepal team became a part of  group storytelling in the month of November. The session focused on enhancing children’s capacity speak in a second language (English). The storytelling session allows children to use their imagination and widen it’s scope. Children have been both avid listeners and fantastic storytellers’, as children from both countries meet and interact virtually on Saturdays’ a bond of friendship and connectedness has been another special thing about the storytelling sessions.

Group Storytelling Session

Young Storytellers

Widening the scope for imagination

Children from India and Nepal participate in a group storytelling. Using their creative imagination, they engage virtually but, connect through stories of their own.

GFF Helps Intern- Ms. Asbina Rai engages in the storytelling session with the children.


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GFF Helps India supporting, creating awareness and spreading joy

Workshop on healthcare by Dr. Sonali Vaid in Bong, Chibbo and Pudung villages

Covid 19 awareness and basic healthcare

Dr. Sonali interacting answering to the participants.

GFF Helps India Reps going to the field location for Dr. Sonali’s workshop in Chibbo village

Dr. Sonali Vaid, a Public Health specialist has been volunteering to spreadawareness and knowledge on CoVID19 and basic healthcare. During her visit to Kalimpong, GFF Helps India representatives met Dr. Sonali who volunteered to visit Bong, Chibbo and Pudung. It was a good opportunity for the India team to take her to the villages and educate people on basic healthcare and CoVID19.

Joe FisherGFF Helps India supporting, creating awareness and spreading joy
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Coach Ujjwal from Share FC interacting with participants during a session

GFF Helps India has been working in the area of sports for children and youths since its inception. Mr. Joe Fisher, the former GFF Helps India Representative during 2018 coached some young people of Chibbo village on Football. Last year when the pandemic hit the world and there were lockdowns everywhere, Joe came forward to encourage the children and young football enthusiasts of Kalimpong through online sessions.

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21ST JULY 2021 & 2nd AUGUST 2021

The Kalimpong NGO Network (KANGON) which is a consort of all the NGOs registered in Kalimpong, organized a private paid vaccination camp on the 21st of July and 2nd August 2021, for the concerned residents of Kalimpong town. This vaccination drive was organized by Kalimpong Covid 19 Support Team (of KANGON) in association with Medica North Bengal clinic. This camp was held in Rockvale Academy, 9th mile Kalimpong and was inaugurated by the Superintendent of Police Mr. Pai.

The superintendent of Police visiting the registration counter

The registrants noting down the required details







The drive commenced a week in advance with the registration process with the setting up of 4 registration counters. In order to provide ease, the first 300 registrants were given a subsidy of Rs. 180 by Kalimpong Covid 19 Support Team, while the rest had to pay the full amount of Rs. 780.

In total, 640 individuals from Kalimpong above 18 years were vaccinated by 10 professional nurses of Medica North Bengal Clinic. While majority of the individuals received their first jab of Covishield, there were few who had come for their second vaccination.

Elderly citizens were jabbed in their respective cars

After receiving the jab, the individuals were taken to an observation room








Most of the NGOs took active part in the vaccination drive and were assigned duties, which ensured smooth implementation of the programme. GFF Helps India Representatives took the charge of the registration process while the members of SOGG Bong, Chibbo and Pudung villages actively volunteered in logistics and photo documentation.

Volunteers from SOGG Bong, Chibbo and Pudung taking the concerned individuals for the vaccination.

Several booths were set up to ensure the safety of everyone


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Vegetable Garden Project: Prize Distribution

Vegetable Garden Project: Prize Distribution
It’s been a year since the virus has blanketed the world. Covid-19 has affected individuals of every race, class, color, religion, gender and the like. While we await the development of an efficacious vaccine, it is important to boost the immune system- an important option to tackle the disease. Studies have shown that people who eat well balanced diet tend to be healthier. More than 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Consuming fruits and vegetables that are loaded with vitamins, minerals and other compounds puts one at lower risk of chronic illness and infectious diseases. Maintaining good nutritional status can help fight against the virus. Immune health can be obtained and maintained by following a healthy diet as well as regular exercise.

Willyn CarrascalVegetable Garden Project: Prize Distribution
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Basic First-aid Training in India

The knowledge of basic first aid is crucial as it helps to save lives while promoting healthy, secure and safer environment. We never know when an injury may happen to us or the people around us. Knowledge about basic first aid is thus very helpful to take care of critical situations. This training session will be useful to not only the trainees but the society as well.

Willyn CarrascalBasic First-aid Training in India
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Warm greetings from GFF Helps India!

It gives us an immense pleasure to share with you an overview of the GFF Helps Project India in the year 2020. This year has been an unusual one for the entire world and I believe we are all being able to adapt the new normal. As Sir Owen wrote in one of the key mission statements “To give hope where there is despair”, we GFF HELPS India team, have been putting our best foot forward to help the individuals and communities at large in this time of turmoil we all have been in, with the pandemic taking its toll all around the world.

Willyn Carrascal2020 END OF THE YEAR REVIEW – GFF HELPS India
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