GFF India engages with children from remote village of Kalimpong, India


Melissa giving prize to one of the youngest participants From Chibbo- Ms Kashish Tirwa

In the month of May, Covid-19 cases in the country and the district had surged. Our team at GFF Helps India, was prepared for yet another lockdown and thus started planning activities for the children of Chibbo, Bong and Pudung villages. No sooner did the first week pass, than the state went under complete lockdown for three months. Our main objective was to keep the students engaged in an academic yet through non-traditional activities/method- to make learning fun.

Mr. Karan Rai with the calendar he made

The children were familiarise with the QWERTY keyboard. Mr. Sujit Tirwa of Chibbo Centre

Nikita and Melissa giving away prize to the best leader- Mr. Yugen Lepcha









Keeping abreast with one of the sustainable development goals, our focus was on education. We divided children into groups of 8, who were guided by a mentor. Each village had 4 groups, thus in sum, 12 groups comprising of 96 students took part in the 10 weeks activity. The children completed 2 activities in a week ranging from: mapping of countries, continents, oceans, drawing the flags of 10 countries, letter writing (formal and informal), germination of seed, making eco-bricks, learning a new language, extempore, arts and crafts, community mapping, news reporting, essay writing and drawing and coloring.

The mentors were assigned with the task of guiding their respective students and sending photo and video reports. Upon completion of all the activities, evaluation was done based on consistency, creativity, punctuality and effort. The leader was evaluated on punctuality and reporting.

‘I really enjoyed learning Portuguese. I did not know that we could do it online. Thank you dear Miss for giving us this opportunity. I want to have an in depth knowledge of Portuguese and will learn more in days to come.’

Anisha Rai, Bong centre.

Gff Helps Representatives with the participants of Pudung


Gff Helps Representatives with the participants of Chibbo

Based on the suggestion of the leaders, a winner for each category from every group was chosen. On the 13th of September, with prior notification, we visited Bong and Kameshi centres, Pudung centre on the 14th and Chibbo on the 20th of September to distribute prizes to the students, who were gathered in the centre. We interacted with the students and sought feedback for the activities. Some of them spoke in the language they had learned, while others read short paragraphs from the mobile library books. The children were excited to receive prizes and ensured their participation in future activities as well. To encourage participation of all the students, we provided small stationery gifts.


A student showing the seed she had germinated and observed over one week

Miss Anjela Rai of Kameshi with one of the crafts she had made


Ms. Dechen Yanki Bhutia conducting a session

The globe has gone under lockdown for more than 18 months now. It has crippled the everyday lives. We have been gradually adjusting to the new normal, where work from home, attending school/university lessons online has become the norm. Kalimpong remains no different to the effects of the pandemic. Our children have not attended formal school for more than a year. Their exposure to technology and time at home has only increased. To address the problems that may arise as a result of the lockdown, we at GFF Helps organized a webinar on 5th October, 2021- for the ‘good health and well being’ of our students as well as their parents/guardians. This was done in consultation with the coordinators and teachers of Chibbo, Bong and Pudung villages.

Ms. Dechen Yanki Bhutia conducting a session

We contacted Ms. Dechen Yanki Bhutia, a counsellor and psychologist at Army Public School Kalimpong and deliberated on the issues that could be touched upon in the webinar. To address the issues mentioned above, we zeroed on the topic, ‘Parenting and children’s psychological adjustments during covid-19 pandemic’.

Our target group was particularly parents/guardians of our centre students. Therefore, the session was conducted in Nepali for the ease of understanding and comprehension. In total, we had 22 active participants. Ms. Dechen provided guidance to parents on how to handle problems and issues (psychological) that the children could face as a result of the ‘new normal’. The webinar was conducted in a simple yet succinct manner, and was easy to grasp. As this webinar was held successfully, our team at GFF Helps India have been planning to organize a series of webinars that would lead to the good health and well being of all the beneficiaries.


Joe FisherGFF India engages with children from remote village of Kalimpong, India