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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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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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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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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 




Joe FisherStorytelling Gala Session
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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.

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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


Student_s felicitation 1 (2)
Student_s felicitation 1 (3)
Student_s felicitation 1 (4)
Student_s felicitation 1 (5)
Student_s felicitation 1

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,

‘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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