Philippines progresses in learning, reading and farming

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

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

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

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

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

Joe FisherGFF Helps completes Phase III – Self Care Session under Psychosocial Intervention
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GFF Helps India’s October 2022 meaningful engagement

MOBILE LIBRARY

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

Computer Classes

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

WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY

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

MOBILE LIBRARY IN DEBANJAN SHARE GIRLS ACADEMY

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

AWARENESS PROGRAM BY IL&FS

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

REGULAR HEALTH CHECKUP IN THE VILLAGES

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

SOCIAL MEDIA WORKSHOP

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

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

Joe FisherGFF Helps India’s October 2022 meaningful engagement
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Storytelling Gala Session

It was during the pandemic that the storytelling session had begun and it was these stories that got us together. All respective representatives and volunteers got together and they started narrative storytelling sessions online in their respective countries. It has been two years that the pandemic has lessened but the relationships that we made during those times has got us really good bonds with children. Some of them stayed and some of them grew together with us. It was in the month of August that ‘A storytelling Gala session’ was organised where all the four countries came together along with their children and they shared stories of their culture wearing their traditional dresses. This was a perfect example of unity in diversity and they learned each other’s food, dress and songs.

GFF Helps India has been an active collaborator with the SOGG Learning centres of Bong, Chibbo & Pudung. They have been working in tandem on various thematic areas. Particularly in the field of education, GFF Helps India and GFF Helps Nepal have been organizing collaborative story telling session that targets the children of SOGG Learning centres since 2020. The main aim was to engage the children during the lockdown, when schools had been closed for a prolonged period of time. Other goals of the session have been to spark children’s imagination and stimulate curiosity, to help them build confidence and develop oratory & listening skills.

GFF Philippines have conducted storytelling sessions for their Philippino children and their sessions are always moral based and ends with an activity so that the children can remember the moral of the story. The children were very keen and excited to meet children from other countries.

GFF Sri Lanka is gradually going into the foray of telling stories through their English for Village Programme or Mobile Library. In the GFF HELPS Sri Lanka team, there were six students and they performed various kinds of performances. They wore Sri Lankan National costumes. Students have sung the Sinhalese song” Mage Ratata Dhalada Himi Saranai” Song (My country is the shadow of Dalada) and One student performed storytelling of the country song, another one delivered a speech about Srilanka, and there was a brief introduction about Sri Lanka. Finally one student played a Sri Lankan traditional music by using the traditional instrument in Sri Lanka.

On the 27th of August, a Grand Story Telling session was held online for the children of India, Nepal, Philippines and Sri Lanka, at the behest and guidance of a well known story teller- Ms. Minket. The aim of the session was to help children explore and understand the cultures of other participating countries, to inculcate the spirit of community and to help bring about positive influence inside the participant’s heart. 

The participants presented aspects of their respective cultures. Team India, represented by the children of Chibbo Learning centre performed a mime (guided by Mr. Raymond- an assistant teacher of SOGG centre Chibbo), a dance and made a short and succinct presentation on India. Mr. Jimmy, Ms. Priya & Ms. Vanessa (Freight System), Mr. Saom attended the session and . The curiosity filled and the occasion was graced by Sir James Keir, Ms. Priya and Ms. Vanessa (Freight System). Mr. Saom opened the session and gave a brief introduction about the storytelling while Miss Minket Lepcha moderated the session. They all appreciated the children’s efforts. The session was full of fan fare and excitement. As a marker of appreciation, the children were given a certificate of participation. 

Sessions like story telling have been a useful marker to assess the children’s progress and over the years, the children have learned about team work, polished their presentation skills, language skills which was evident on the grand story telling session. We hope to organize similar events for the children that will lead to their intellectual growth and help them develop social skills. 

GFF PHILIPPINES WITH THEIR CHILDREN

GFF INDIA WITH THEIR CHILDREN

GFF SRI LANKA WITH THEIR CHILDREN

Joe FisherStorytelling Gala Session
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EMOTIONAL LEARNING- ASSEMBLY ON CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH

One step at a time, to empower the younger generations from community schools into becoming conscious of their emotional health. The assembly on Children’s Mental Health took place on 26th August, 2022 the audience present at the site were the entire school students and staff from Bal Kumari school. These students who are in-fact beneficiaries of ESL- educational project under GFF Helps Nepal, took the lead on sharing awareness on Children’s Mental Health and why it matters? The assembly aimed at improving the students in both public speaking and pronunciation in English Language. While, supporting the overall objective to spread knowledge Students from class VI perform an assembly on Children’s Mental Health Matters on mental health with the entire school. The use of posters illustrating imageries such as: An Ice-Berg (on the surface and within water displays actions and emotions respectively); two minds one filled with a beautiful garden , while the other filled with thunderstorms; posters that shows a cartoon boy with a message saying: It is okay to be sad, anxious, worried, confused, angry; the final poster shared the message on using words that are loving, healing, kind, caring and life giving. The ESL (English as a Second Language) and mental health sessions are inter-related focusing on both of GFF Helps Nepal -Education and Emotional Learning Projects.

Joe FisherEMOTIONAL LEARNING- ASSEMBLY ON CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH
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Eco Brick- Environmental Project with Schools and Children’s Home

Conducting session on Eco Brick with the students of class XII in Tri – Jyoti School

Session on Eco Brick with the children of Bourgandi Nepal Children Home

Most of the localities in Kathmandu is seen littered with plastic and all other types of waste. This is due to the poor waste management system and lack of awareness. GFF Helps has been conducting sessions on plastic waste

management with the children of Shree Bal Kumari Basic school, Tri -Jyoti School and Bourgandi Nepal children home in order to generate awareness and intending that the children learn from these sessions and pass on the knowledge to their peers and parents. Children have been engaged in making Eco Bricks from the discarded plastic waste in order to turn into something useful later on.

With the help of such sessions, children have been able to understand how to focus on reducing waste, reuse bags in order to avoid single use plastics and not to burn plastic in the open roads which in turn results in damaging effect on human health. The children have been able to understand how plastic has affected us in everyday life. In order to stay healthy and live a long life, it is necessary to take care of our environment which in turn affects the whole ecosystem.

 

Joe FisherEco Brick- Environmental Project with Schools and Children’s Home
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GFF Helps India Celebrates Achievers

FELICITATION OF OUTSTANDING STUDENTS OF SOGG LEARNING CENTRES

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Student_s felicitation 1

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I am really happy that I got 83% in my board examination. Had it not been for the teacher’s guidance and dedication, I would not have scored well.’
Smriti Rai,
Bong.

‘It is important to hold such felicitation programs, because it will encourage not only the students but also parents. They will know the value of education and in this way, there will be zero drop-out rates. Thank you for recognizing the hard work of children and teachers.’

Yugen Lepcha, coordinator, SOGG Learning Centre, Bong

GFF Helps India has been working in tandem with the SOGG Open Learning and Information centres of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung since the past two years. The areas of collaboration have been in the field of education, health, sports, livelihood, providing awareness among many others. In the field of education, the SOGG Learning centres provide free tuition classes to students with the aim of reducing drop-out rates in the villages.

Every year, the students of class 10 and 12 appear for board examinations- The scores achieved in these exams are considered very important for getting into universities, professional courses or training programs and other occupations. The teachers of the respective centres guide the students in preparing for the examination for a minimum period of one year.

This year, the students who had appeared for the board examination from SOGG Learning centres of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung did excellently well. Most of the students are first generation learners. Despite the challenges of attending classes online; their hard work, teacher’s dedication and parent’s support have reaped good fruits. Thus, to acknowledge and honour the students for their outstanding academic performance, GFF Helps Representative in collaboration with the staff of SOGG centres felicitated the students in the presence of the parents as well as executive members of managing committee of their respective villages.

As a follow up of the felicitation program and based on need assessment, GFF Helps representatives- Melissa & Nikita will thus be organizing a career guidance program/ career counseling session for the students in the forthcoming days.

Joe FisherGFF Helps India Celebrates Achievers
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Outreach, connect, learn and grow – PHILIPPINES

OUTREACH PROGRAM FOR THE ATI VILLAGE IN MALAY, AKLAN

The level of sanitation and good hygiene practices among indigenous people is low. They survive through the old ways of living that may not be effective today. Red Cross Philippines in coordination with the Aklan Trekkers spearheaded a program about hygiene that will help the indigenous people of Aklan called Atis or Aetas. GFF HELPS PH Team was invited to join the program. We travelled for four hours from Kalibo town to reach the headquarters of Aklan Trekkers in Malay town. We met more volunteers from other groups and helped them prepare the groceries and hygiene kits. The Aetas of Malay, Aklan is thriving in its mountainous part, so we have to trek for almost three hours back and forth. These hardworking people helped us with our loads. They listened intently to the lecture of Red Cross Representatives and received hygiene kits after. They also ate the foods that the volunteers prepared for them. We are so happy to see the smiling faces of the Aetas. Their gratitude and warm welcome were enough for us. These programs made them feel that they are not forgotten.

“Improving the well-being of indigenous people by teaching good hygiene  practices.”
 

 

 

GFF HELPS PH Team with the volunteers and some members of the Aklan Trekkers and Red Cross Philippines.
Some Aeta youths in the village.
GFF HELPS PH Team with Aeta youths in the village.

Online Storytelling

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

“Oh no! There are two monsters already!” one of the kids gasped after reading the passage. They enthusiastically participated in the alternate reading of passages. They are also fascinated with the pictures. They learned that usual fights with siblings will always be resolve with empathy and good conversation. It is not the first time that they relate with the story. Our stories were carefully chosen to suit the age of the kids. We always make sure that it is relatable and fun. At the end of each session, we always have a recap of the story and reiterate the good values portrayed.

The kids relate to the story “How to Tame a Monster?” which talked about a usual fight between siblings and how it was resolved.

Reading Workshop & Mobile Library

Stifhany and LP together with Barrera siblings and their cousins holding their worksheets.

We started the first session of the Reading Workshop with Barrera siblings and their cousins. This small group of kids was gathered by Mrs. Karen De Juan, an association member. Two of these kids were her sons. All of them are preschoolers and need an ample amount of guidance and patience. During our next visit, we prepared printed worksheets from educational websites. The worksheets target the writing and artistic skills of the kids while learning about numbers and counting. Mrs. Karen and other mothers were grateful for the regular visit that we do for their kids. She said that it is a good break for the kids instead of playing outside the whole day.

“Enhancing the opportunity of access to library resources.”

“Engaging students in authentic reading experiences”

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Stifhany and LP together with Kalibo Bikers Rally doing the School Clean-up Drive and Vegetable Planting on June 13, 2022 in Sigcay Elementary School, Sigcay, Banga, Aklan

School Clean-up Drive and Vegetable Planting

The Brigada Eskwela (helping one another) is an activity led by the Department of Education (DepEd) where everyone in the school community works together to prepare schools for the opening of classes.
This led the GFF HELPS Philippines Team to initiate this Community Project: School Clean-up Drive and Vegetable Planting Program in Sigcay Elementary School, prepared all the necessary documents and other materials and collaborated with the officers and members of the Kalibo Bikers Rally (KBR) to maximize the work and cleaning activity. The said activity will later benefit the pupils of Sigcay Elementary School since the leafy vegetables called Sweet Potato Vines are rich in iron and fiber and will later bear nutritious root crops. This will later harvested by the pupils for the opening of school year.
Our gratitude to Kalibo Bikers Rally (KBR) for joining the GFF HELPS Philippine Team’s Community Project in Sigcay Elementary School, Sigcay, Banga, Aklan, Philippines.
As known to all, the Kalibo Bikers Rally (KBR) is a group of youth, government employees, government officials, professional and private individuals headed by the group’s President, Hon. Kobe Abet Magsisi, and Vice President, Mr. Phil Melgarejo, followed by the rest of the officers and members, who bike around the Panay Island – where Aklan is located – for physical health awareness, bike-touring, volunteering in charities and doing ride-for-a-cause programs and community projects.
It is good and advantageous in our part to communicate, gather different organizations, and involving them in these kinds of works to improve camaraderie and networks between the GFF HELPS Team and different organizations in Aklan.

“Doing charity works to schools to help the future Filipino children.”

Lady Peace
GFF Helps Representative

“Helping the community through networks and connections to organizations”

GFF Helps Philippines

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Joe FisherOutreach, connect, learn and grow – PHILIPPINES
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Mental Health needs to be addressed

ADDRESSING PARENT CHILD RELATIONSHIP & MENTAL HEALTH

BONG, CHIBBO & PUDUNG

KALIMPONG

The pandemic that lasted for more than 24 months has had dramatic changes in the lives of families- parents and children alike. GFF Helps representatives felt the need for a session that would help promote healthy socialization as well as support effective behavior of children and families. Ms. Dechen Y. Bhutia, a psychologist at Army Public School Kalimpong facilitated the session. The main aim of the session was: 

  • to help parents understand their own roles and responsibilities
  • to maximize positive outcome for children and their families
  • to help parents understand their children’s individual needs and development

The target group for the session were parents of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung villages, that was held on the 13th of May, 19th of May and 20th of May respectively. The session was rewarding as many doubts were cleared and clarifications made. 

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‘I thought I could control my child in every way possible, but this session opened my eye. I am truly grateful for attending this session.’

Prisca Rai
Bong Village.

Joe FisherMental Health needs to be addressed
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INTER CENTRE QUIZ COMPETITION IN CHIBBO

Inter Quiz Competition

 

“I really enjoyed guiding the students well and they have done well. We had a good exposure. Thank you for organizing the event.” Milan Bardewa, Coordinator and teacher, Team Chibbo.

An inter centre quiz competition was held in Chibbo for the students of Bong, Chibbo, Kameshi and Pudung in the month of March 2022. The aim of hosting the quiz competition was to evaluate the knowledge of the students- academic as well as beyond academics. Students from class 7, 8 and 9 took part in the competition- and their knowledge was tested from 4 fields namely- general knowledge, sports, history and geography.

Ms. Lisa and Mr. Anthony Thocker attended the event as Chief Guests

The participants had well prepared as they had been guided well by their respective centre teachers. The event was moderated by GFF Helps Representative Ms. Melissa Namchu and made the session interactive, so that the students are not intimidated but to further build their confidence. Questions about Kalimpong were also asked for the students know about their community and society. The first place was grabbed by Team Pudung, followed by Chibbo, while Bong and Kameshi were the second runner’s up. Ms. Lisa and Mr. Anthony Thocker attended the event as Chief Guests and were impressed by the knowledge that the students possessed. They also shared message to the students. This one day event was rewarding to the students as well as their mentors.

 

 

Prizes ready for distribution

“Our team thoroughly enjoyed the competition. Our teacher guided us well. Next time we will stand first!” Lyang Ong, Participant, Team Pudung.

 

 

 

 

Quiz competition preparation

With the finalists

Joe FisherINTER CENTRE QUIZ COMPETITION IN CHIBBO
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