Project Help India October News
It's the end of October and I feel like there is so much to share with you. I returned from India 2 weeks ago, and I was so encouraged by the ongoing progress of our various projects. Our 'Annual Function' was certainly a highlight with so many children, parents and members of the community attending.
It was a very special moment when we blessed the children who attend our new Disability Centre. Each child received a certificate and small prize, just like at a school Speech Day. The smiles and tears were priceless, and the spontaneous standing ovation of the audience will be a memory that I treasure for life.
Following the event and reinforced by a piece in the local paper, we have had other parents come to our Centre to ask if their children can be enrolled in the Disability Centre. After interviews, we have taken three new enrolments. So meet Sia, Jayesh and Himmat. Moving forward I will be working with some friends of mine who are experts in Special Education, and we will be working to develop Individualised Learning Plans for each of the 6 children who attend our Centre. I am very grateful for this help, and I am confident that we will make a significant difference in these kid's life, which will also impact their parents, siblings and other family members. When a family lives in poverty the impact of a child with a disability is huge. It is very common for siblings to have to leave school to earn money, and/or remain at home to care for their family. Our social workers will support the families of these children to develop a holistic care plan for the entire family.
Sia is 12 years old and her name means ‘one who brings joy’. Sia cannot speak. She loves coming to school. We are working closely with Sia’s parents who have never received any help or guidance in how to best care and respond to her many needs.
Jayesh is 3 years old. When he first started to attend our Centre he was quite malnourished. He loves sitting on chairs, playing with toys and singing along with action songs. Jayesh means 'victory' and this is what we pray his life will be filled with.
Himmat is 17 years old. He has never been to school and as a result, he has so much to learn in all aspects of his growth and development. His name means ‘courage’. We see him as a courageous young man because he has never socialised before, nor has he had the opportunity to venture out of his house. His journey over the days ahead will be a huge challenge but we believe that with the love he gets from the Project Help India Team, he can have an optimistic and happy future.
A New School?
It's early days, but I was invited to visit a school located on the edge of the jungle outside of Kotdwara (a 15 minute drive). Project Help India has been asked to completely take over this school. It is registered with the government and we are very excited about the possibilities. We will have options for a either a long term lease or the purchase outright (for about $200 000). I would value your prayers as we make some decisions about this. In the mean time, we must look at the legal contracts and develop business plans to see if it's at all possible. Does anyone have a spare $200 000, or know anyone who does?
There is lots more that is happening for us. Please stay in touch. Thank you for your financial support. None of this would be possible without you. If you can make a further donation, please do so. AND please spread the word about PROJECT HELP INDIA and the many exciting things that we are achieving together.
Thank you for being part of this story - love Doug x