Mental Health needs to be addressed




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. 

‘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 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

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English for Village Programme

English for Village Manager and Assistant Manager of the society

As the second phase of the English for Village
project we plan to conduct classes for school
children in Akiririyagala village. In 2019, the first
phase of the project, the classes were conducted by
undergraduates of SANASA campus. However, in the
first level of the second phase project, we are
planning to get support from a third person because
the face to face lectures are not started in the
SANASA campus yet. In the second level of the
project we plan to let undergraduates involved with
the project. It is beneficial for undergraduates as well
to improve their teaching and learning skills.
Classes can be held in the SANASA Cooperative
society building and they will help to find a resource
person to conduct the classes.


With Dr. W. Jayasundera, GFF Sri Lanka Representative Hasini Athauda visited Akiriyagala Sanasa Society and met the manager of the society to further discuss the project.

Joe FisherEnglish for Village Programme
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International Women’s Day Celebration with GFF Helps India

Paarticipants and GFF Helps India team in Kamshi, Kalimpong


On the 8th of March 2022, GFF Helps India organized International Women’s Day celebration in Bong, Kamshi, Pudung and Chibbo villages. The programs were held in collaboration with the SOGG L&I Centres in their premises. Women of the respective villages were felicitated by the staff of SOGG and GFF Helps. Cakes, sweets and snacks were provided to the participants. 

GFF Helps India team took part in the Bong and Kamshi village’s celebration. Apart from the informative session on International Women’s Day, a fun session for the women was organized where they sang and danced. The women were dressed up in saree (traditional outfit) especially for the occasion. Women of these four villages are mostly homemakers and engage in farm based activities. Their lives revolve around their children and family. They rarely have time to go out for their houses for leisure. Therefore this program provided them time and space to celebrate and rejuvenate themselves.  

The main aim of the program was to create a platform for women of the village to come together and celebrate womanhood and their contribution towards their society.  


Women of Chibbo interacting with each other during the Women’s Day Celebration

Women in Bong enjoying their dance session

One of the women participants in Bong village said that “Thank you so much for organizing the program and making this day special for us”.

Joe FisherInternational Women’s Day Celebration with GFF Helps India
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GFF Representative Mei Quie Sherpa interacts with children

Children homes in Kathmandu are filled with children with emotionally painful histories. Although their basic needs are met such as – food, water shelter,
clothing and education. A psychosocial support mechanism is seen to be missing in these helping homes. GFF Helps Nepal team Ms. Sulochana Thapa and Ms. Mei Quie Sherpa have been supporting the children from the child home in terms of their emotional development and upgrading them in terms of the character
development and educational sessions that help enhance their wellbeing.

Nurturing young minds
Learning with fun
Freedom of expression

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An online meeting, with Mr. Rampukar (Clinical Psychologist ( M.Phil.)Trained in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (NIMHANS, India) Consultant at Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Kanti Children Hospital). A step into planning and disussion for the psychosocial support and intervention and referral mechanisms mobilization for children with special needs.

Nepal is a sovereign nation that respects and promotes the rights of all, especially for individuals with special needs. This maybe true, however, the government of Nepal has not been able to identify and provide effective assistance and cost benefits to children in specific. The budget allocated for mental health under the health budget is said to be less than 1%. While, children in schools such as Srijanshil with both mental and physical disabilities are in dying need of interventions that can be a sustainable gateway in learning to become independent for children for years to come. Similarly, interventions that can help train both teachers and parents in learning to self-care.
A meeting was held virtually due to the increasing Covid cases in the same week. Mr. Rampukar (Clinical Psychologist) Shah from Nepal an expert in this field along with the school principal (Mr. Krishna) of Srijanshil School (for children with special needs) was held to consult the necessary interventions that can mend the lack of
awareness, skills and connections for the wellbeing of children with special needs.


Srijanshil School Intervention
Support to Srijanshil School (for special needs children)
1) Assessment
2) Tests of each child
3) Training to teachers &
4) Self Care Training
5)Advocacy& Lobbying
6) Follow-up sessions

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An awareness and motivation programme was held for the students of Dabling village on 12th February. The purpose of the programme was to inform the students about different postal schemes, vocational training programmes, information on health during emergencies and a motivation talk. The resource persons came from
different departments including Indian Postal Service, ILFS, Dr. Robin Rai representing Red Cross Association and Ms. Minket Lepcha. 34 students took active part in the session and thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the activities that were conducted as a part of the programme. The session ended by providing certificates to the
participants followed by lunch as some of the students had come from far off villages.

“Thank you for a lovely
session! We thoroughly
enjoyed. It was very
informative and just what
we needed.”
-Seath Lepcha, Dabling

Interactive session with Miss Minket Lepcha

Dr. Rai conducting sessions

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Webinar on “Financial Literacy: The Need for a Retirement Fund”

“Educating people on how to use their hard-earned money.”

Financial Literacy webinar bannerThe GFF HELPS Philippines Team had successfully hosted and aired its fifth free webinar about Financial Literacy: The Need For A Retirement Fund which was beautifully presented by Mrs. Remedios Saldivia-Macabate, a Licensed Financial Planner whose one of the managers in an International Life Insurance Company in the Philippines. The webinar was held on 29th of October, Friday at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, via ZOOM application and it was attended by more than 20 individuals together with their families who came from different parts of Aklan Province, Philippines.

During and until the end of the webinar proper, different ideas from the speaker, participants and the PH Team were shared to everyone. During the open forum, financial-related questions were also thrown by the participants and were professionally answered by our beloved speaker. As quoted from Mrs. Macabate, “The best time to start saving and investing your hard-earned money is NOW.”

The webinar had been livelier as ever as Mr. Saom Namchu, the GFF HELPS Asia Coordinator along with the other GFF HELPS Representatives and Volunteers were also there. This 2-hour webinar includes the introduction to the GFF HELPS founder, Sir Owen Glenn, and the International and Philippines Programmes which were hosted by the Philippine Team Representative, Lady Peace and the Philippine Team Volunteer, Stifhany Salvador.

Sewing Project 

“Making good use of what they have.”

The GFF Sewing Machines have been a great support to the five (5) Sewing Project Women since they have been using those in sewing and marketing their outputs to make a living. The PH Team  has been receiving their monthly payments for these machines since August 2021 with the receipts given to them as proof of payments. They had given them those machines 30% less from the original price to continue their livelihood and make good use of their sewing skills since most of them became Licensed Dressmakers through our Sewing Project Phase 1. They are hoping to embark with Sewing Project Phase 2 by next year to make another group of Licensed Dressmakers through this skill-sharing project.


Vegetable Garden Project – Phase II

“Continuing the “Healthy Meals: Healthy Bodies and Minds” aim

The Vegetable Garden Project beneficiaries from the different parts of Banga had finally able to plant almost all of the seeds that we had provided for them this summer year – for countless times, they were able to plant by batches considering the weather and all natural phenomenon – the planting and harvesting became continuous activity since most of the keen farmers were able to replant seeds out from the matured fruits that they had dried under the sun. The nutrients from the soil from the previous harvest was still there that’s why the replanting became possible due to the fertile soil/land. Since they have sold produce to their neighbors and local markets, they were able to save few money for their children’s schooling.

The ongoing projects were a year long projects and the participants for the webinar were from these projects. The webinar enhanced the participants to equip themselves with the financial literacy, an often not addressed topic for marginalized communities.

Joe FisherWebinar on “Financial Literacy: The Need for a Retirement Fund”
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Emotional Learning

GFF Helps Nepal and GFF Philippines works towards emotional learning with their creative ways of engaging with various partners who can create a better mental well being of the community.


Mrs. Ruth Shrestha conducts the Virtual Psychosocial Follow-Up Session

A Virtual Follow-up Session on School Psychosocial Support was conducted on – 17th November, 2021. The session time being 5:30pm- 6:30pm, was effectively conducted by Mrs. Ganesh Maya Ruth Shrestha (Counsellor Psychologist) on the virtual platform Zoom . The enthusiastic participation of teacher participants from community schools, was put into excellent engagement during the session.  excellent ability to engage our teachers and understanding their dedication towards their students was embraced by the participants.

A testimonial was shared by Mrs. Shanta Sharma, (teacher from Janaklyan Secondary School), on how after the workshop, the training was able to help her communicate with a young students going through a turmoil of emotions. The virtual session was a part of the project’s accountability and evaluation.

Ms. Rojina a nurse in a community school participates in the session

Ms. Sulochana Faciliates the session alongside Ms. Ruth


Effective Project Evaluation Session







Five Fruit Tree Saplings were selected for plantation. Namely_ POMEGRANATE, MANGO, GOOSEBERRY, GUAVA & PAPAYA.

Senior most students from Tri-Jyoti Higher Secondary School Participate in the tree plantation activity.

An awareness session on the Importance of Tree Plantation was conducted by GFF Helps at Tri- Jyoti School; Dated: 26th, October. This session was followed by a Tree Plantation Activity on 19th of November. A TREE PLANTATION ACTIVITY took place within the premises of Tri-Jyoti Higher Secondary School, Kapan. The senior most students participated in planting  over five fruit trees within the premises of the school. GFF Helps Nepal with the support of the school principal Mr. Ganesh Mishra and senior teacher Mr. D.B. Basnet, was successfully able to execute this project into action.


This activity also enhanced the mental well being of students as nature has always healed humans.

GFF Helps volunteers, students and school teachers, digging into mud intentionally to bear real fruits.

The plantation activity took place within the school premises.

School Principal Mr. Ganesh Mishra and senior teacher Mr. D.B. Basnet involve with the students as tree plantation takes place within the school premises.






Joe FisherEmotional Learning
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Broadening imagination with Mobile Library

A write only begins a book. A reader finishes it. Samuel Johnson

GFF Helps India and Philippines has been travelling with a bundle of books and reaching out to remote villages for the love of reading and seeding imagination in children’s mind.

A student of SOGG Pudung reading out a story

GFF Helps India team has been going for monthly visits to the SOGG Learning Centres of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung villages. The last visit was made on 29th & 30th October in Bong and Chibbo and 1st November in Pudung. On the day of our visit we exchange new set of books with the old ones and rotate it among the three centres. Since past few months we have been holding reading sessions along with the book distribution. Children were delighted to receive new set of books. Through this project children are developing their reading and explaining skills. However we have also felt the need of phonetics to be taught to the children for which we will be organizing a workshop in the near future.

Gff Helps Representatives with the participants of Bong

A student of SOGG Bong issuing a Mobile Library book.

Joe FisherBroadening imagination with Mobile Library
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