10 weeks until Poonam attends our SHINE Conference

Anjali with her mother and father

Anjali with her mother and father

With just 10 weeks to go, anticipation is growing as ‘Project Help India’ prepares for the annual SHINE Conference in April. Our conference aims to educate and empower women and in doing so, raise a new generation of women whose dignity, individual strengths, talents and purpose will create a strong, happy and healthy India. 

Through our work at Project Help India we are providing hope through education and opportunities that many girls and women living in poverty, would never have thought possible. Prior to attending our classes, Anjali was a victim of childhood labour. Now, she is achieving well in her studies and she is also enjoying success as a soccer player. Who said that sport is just for boys! 

Anjali's mother Poonam will have the opportunity to attend our SHINE Conference in April. Poonam's life is about to be impacted, and her influence in her slum community is going to be far reaching, as mindsets are altered regarding the role of women in the community.

Can you sponsor a woman like Poonam? We need your help to make it possible for them to attend SHINE. Please consider making a special one-off donation. It’s easy to calculate @$10 per delegate.

$50 = 5 women 

$100 = 10 women

$250 = 25 women 

$1000 = 100 women
BSB: 062 230 (Commonwealth Bank Randwick) 

Account: 1134 1909

Account Name: Project Help India

Reference: SHINE19

OR donate directly at www.projecthelpindia.co

If you care to read on, here is the story (written by staff in Kotdwara) of Anjali and her mother Poonam, whose lives and family circumstances have already been impacted by ‘Project Help India’. Wonderful stories like this are only possible because of the generosity of our Australian supporters. Many women from Poonam's slum community will be attending SHINE19. 

Thank you if you have recently made a donation.

Meet Anjali and her mother Poonam

Today we visit Anjali’s home; she is one of the student in our city center. There we talk with her mother named Poonam. She said, It’s a big thing that our children are studying in Center without paying fee. Our girls are learning computer also here. A year ago before our children coming to Project help, my daughter used to roam around. She couldn’t read or write. But within 5-6 days of coming Education Center, she started to like it. When I asked to my daughter how you feel there? She replied I like studying through activities. Today my daughter can read Hindi as well as English.

Through the Project Help we knew that it’s illegal for children below 18 years of age to work and they also have the right to education.  Amit sir also helped some children who were working as children labor at a very young age. He helped them and get admission in City Center. Amit sir said, the student who have dropped out, we work to re- enroll them through RTE act. Children must have the right to education. Earlier Parents wouldn’t send their daughters out of the house. We mobilized them, called them over at Project Help and spoke to them. When the meeting happened face to face, they saw how confident their kids and how much they wanted to play and study.

Anjali’s Parents also agreed to let her play game. Anjali said, now I am playing the match against the boy. I was proud as I was coming after winning the match.

Anjali’s mother said; "when I saw my own daughter playing and offer them congratulation on their victory, it felt us both happy and sad. I realised that we were restricting our daughters on something that other people were actually praising her for game. I and husband finally felt so proud for her."

Mr. Amit sir said,The society has enforced so many rules for girls you can’t go out, you can’t go anywhere. Why? Girls should have the same rights that everyone else has. Anjali mother said that Project Help is changing people's negative thinking and that they also can now move forward in life. And in our area, I and many other families are starting to bring our daughters forward on their own. At Project Help we are working hard to improve children's life and future.


We are getting ready to SHINE - empowering and equipping women

Soniya and her mum Kanti Devi will be delegates at our April SHINE Conference. Both women have had their lives and family circumstances changed thanks to the work of 'Project Help India' - thank you for being a part of their story.

Soniya and her mum Kanti Devi will be delegates at our April SHINE Conference. Both women have had their lives and family circumstances changed thanks to the work of 'Project Help India' - thank you for being a part of their story.

With just 11 weeks to go, anticipation is growing as ‘Project Help India’ prepares for the annual SHINE Conference in April. Our conference aims to educate and empower women and in doing so, raise a new generation of women whose dignity, individual strengths, talents and purpose will create a strong, happy and healthy India.

We held our first conference in 2018 with close to 500 women attending and due to its success, this year we expect 850 women, who over two days will be joining us for SHINE19. For the past 12 months, many women have not stopped talking about SHINE 18 – which was nothing like any had ever experienced before. They simply can’t wait to do it all again. The word is out about SHINE19 and the excitement is building.

Gender equality is an important priority for the Indian government. Many schemes have been launched to ensure that women, across all spheres of the society, have equal access to education and resources, that they are valued, treated with dignity and are equipped to contribute to their families and community. Project Help India is working hard to promote women’s equality in Kotdwara and Bijnor through access to education, training, parent programs, social work, and of course through SHINE Conference.

Our SHINE19 venue has been secured, and preparations are in full swing. Buses have been booked to transport women from a number of towns, villages and slum communities. Registration for delegates is also underway, and while the conference is free to attend, 'Project Help India' covers all costs.

At this point in time we anticipate that SHINE19 will cost approximately $8500 (AUS) in total - that’s $10 per delegate. We would be delighted if you could sponsor some delegates. For every woman who attends, there will be a powerful story of the impact of SHINE19 extending to her children, her family and community – not to mention providing her with the experience of being blessed, pampered, enjoying a delicious meal, having a day of fun, dancing and celebrating with the girls. The memories are sure to last a lifetime. Through this, your story will connect with her story.

We need your help to make this possible. Please consider making a special one-off donation. It’s easy to calculate @$10 per delegate.

$50 = 5 women  $100 = 10 women $250 = 25 women  $1000 = 100 women

BSB: 062 230 (Commonwealth Bank Randwick) 

Account: 1134 1909

Account Name: Project Help India

Reference: SHINE19

OR donate directly at www.projecthelpindia.co

If you care to read on, here is the story of Soniya and her mum, whose lives and family circumstances have already been impacted by ‘Project Help India’. Wonderful stories like this are only possible because of the generosity of our Australian supporters. Soniya and her mother, Kanti Devi, will be attending SHINE19. 

Soniya’s story - A family in poverty changed and empowered through education

Soniya is a student in our city center. Today we visit in her house. There we met her mother. She said, my name is Kanti Devi. My husband is a daily wage labor. We are very thankful to the Project Help that they enroll my daughter to the computer class and tuition class. One day Soniya told me that she want to learn computer but my husband denied this because My husband thought that girls will marry and go away to another house. All the money we spent in sending her to computer center will only benefit an outside family. I was hopeless because I could’nt help my Soniya. Then a Project Help teacher, Naomi madam came to survey at our area there she talk to me and told me about PROJECT HELP. She helped my daughter. Now my daughter runs the computer. I feel so proud. I always said to my husband that it’s the girl who will take care of their family. Soniya said, if I study, my family will not be poor anymore.

Thank you  x

17th February 2019

When you live in a slum, what's the cost when your house burns down?

Deepak at “Project help India’ receiving some blankets and mattresses

Deepak at “Project help India’ receiving some blankets and mattresses

Yesterday morning, we received the news that one of the families we care for in the Kotdwara slums is in crisis and requires emergency help. At about 11am Friday morning, their entire 'house' burnt down. The impact of the fire was devastating, destroying absolutely everything. After trying to save some household items from the flames, Deepak, the father was rushed to hospital with burns to his hands. Thankfully the other members of his household are okay. Deepak is a single dad with an 8 year old son, Anukul, who attends our Riverside Slum School. Deepak’s older brother Sharma, also lives with them.

Amit, the Director of ‘Project Help India’ was immediately called to help. He was one of the only people who Deepak could turn to. In the video that is attached to this email, you will see Amit describe the impact of the damage. This incident made the local television evening news, and if you watch the second video (even if you can’t understand Hindi), you will see Amit being interviewed.

‘Project Help India’ has provided counselling, guidance, and some basic items such as mattresses and food. BUT we are confident that we can do more.

By the end of this week (if not sooner), we hope to raise $400AUD (20 000 Indian rupees) which will pay for the reconstruction of Deepak’s entire house, as well as the replacement of all their essential belongings. $400 equates to approximately 75% of Deepak’s annual salary. Deepak, one of the poorest of the poor, is a reg-picker who collects old plastic off the streets and dried river beds for a living. He earns 50-70 rupees ($1- $1.40 AUS) a day with most of his income coming from selling door to door, old plastic items.

As we help this special family we will make a powerful statement about God’s love for people and the importance of us playing our part to help the needy. Our witness to the wider community will also be powerful. Deepak and his family will have their lives put back on track thanks to your compassion and generous support.

If it’s possible for you to make a small donation we would be very grateful. 

Lighting up the way for a bright 2019

Our jungle village kids are now able to study and do their homework at night.

Our jungle village kids are now able to study and do their homework at night.

Happy New Year from the team at ‘Project Help India’. We are incredibly excited about 2019 and we are thankful for your interest, help and support. Our prayers are with you for all that you hope to do and achieve this year.

2019 is shaping up to be another big year in the life of 'Project Help India'. We have many goals and we are ambitious and intentional about all we are seeking to achieve. We will be guided by our vision and mission and have a clear sense of purpose and strategy.

A reminder of what is our big picture

The mission of ‘Project Help India’ is to bring love, hope, dignity and purpose to the poor. Our vision is to focus on education, nutrition, health and ultimately human rights, so that individual lives are impacted, empowered and restored. ‘Project Help India’ seeks to bring about community change and generational transformation. ‘Project Help India’ seeks to grow in its impact and influence in the lives of people and communities, with a goal to ultimately expand into other towns and places of need.

Some of our 2019 resolutions are to;

 -       hold our second ‘SHINE’ Women’s Empowerment Conference in April. We are anticipating 900 delegates over 2 days!

-       develop individualised programs for each of the high needs students who attend our Disability Centre in the Kotdwara City Centre

-       improve the quality of education in each of our centres through ongoing teacher training

-       continue to investigate and develop a strategy how we can purchase a property in the heart of Kotdwara (for our HQ)

-       continue to investigate the feasibility of purchasing (or long-term lease) for a jungle school

-       provide quality educational resources to assist the Kotdwara anti-human trafficking police team

-       register ‘Project Help India’ with the ACNC (Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission)

-       develop policies to ensure for excellence in all aspects of our operations and compliance

-       be able to provide tax deductibility for our donors

 Our efforts to achieve this (and so much more) spring-board off some fantastic things that have just happened in December.

 Christmas Celebrations

Our team in India were delighted to describe the many wonderful Christmas celebrations across Kotdwara. Apparently, there was an incredible energy and enthusiasm for Christmas in the markets and churches in a way that has never been experienced before. Each one of our 260 students received a warm jumper as a Christmas present, which was well received given that it has been a particularly cold winter this year. Thank you to the students of Claremont College in Sydney, and a good number of others too, who raised the money to make this possible.

Bringing solar powered lights to the homes of 180 of our students

In December we were delighted to connect with another NGO, the ‘CBN Foundation’ www.cbn.in which heard about our projects. Through this, 180 of our students in slums and jungle villages had a bonus Christmas blessing of receiving a solar light to assist them with their work at night. Our Project Officer in Kotdwara wrote;

“The Jungle people were very happy. They said that these solar lights will help our kids to study at night. Now these kids are using the lights in night for their studies.”

We are thrilled that the CBN Foundation would like to continue to work with us with the goal of looking into the possibility of installing a water plant in the jungle villages, which will improve the quality of their drinking water.

We are very thankful for the generosity and heart of the CBN Foundation and look forward to further joint ventures and achievements in 2019. You can check the full report on our website at http://projecthelpindia.co/blog/

A Documentary on National Television

A national Indian Broadcasting Network, the ‘Colour Channel’ has produced a documentary about the story of Manisha, a young girl who is one of our students in the City Centre’. This will be aired later in January and we will send a link to you as soon as it becomes available.

What is your New Year Resolution?

Whether you agree with the concept of new year’s resolutions or not, might you resolve to be committed to supporting ‘Project Help India’ in 2019? We are an organisation that really is committed to making a difference in the lives of people, and I hope to can see that we operate with great intentionality and integrity. Your donation goes directly to our projects with minimal admin fees.

It is important to us that you feel connected to our story, so that the stories of lives of people impacted by poverty in India, intersect with your story too.

As we bring love, hope, dignity and purpose to these beautiful people, your life will be changed too.

Your regular donation will assist in bringing light to the poorest of the poor in 2019.

BSB: 062 230 (Commonwealth Bank Randwick, Sydney) 

Account: 1134 1909

Account Name: Project Help India

OR donate directly at 

www.projecthelpindia.co

Thank you for being a part of our story.

Bless you,

Doug and Rowena (in Sydney) & Amit and Daisy (in India)

Thank you CBN Foundation

A report from our Kotdwara Project Officer

Through the director of Hope Society Mr. Rohit Massih we introduced with CBN foundation.  Amit Sir had talk to Project officer of C.B.N foundation Mrs. Mamta Sing. She was exited to know about Project help and want to help us. Mr. Amit sir talk to her on phone, she was really impressed to know about our work then after one week she came with C.B.N Team in our city kotdwara. Mamta Sing and her entire team visited with Amit sir to our entire education center. By seeing Jungle village people livelihood she asked Amit sir that how we can help to these kids.

Amit sir told them about the condition of village. He told Her about the electricity problem, that how kids are suffering in their studies because of no good electicity source. Than  Mamta Sing said we want to help them by distributing Solar light to the all kids in Jungle Centers. So after some time before Christmas C.B.N Distributed Solar Lights to 180 Kids in Jungle Centers and Slums too. Jungle people were very happy. They said that these solar lights will help our kids to study at night. Now these kids are using the Lights in night for their studys.

Mrs. Mamta Sing also requested to Amit sir for making a movie on one of the student in our education center to show it in their program which is run on Colors TV Channel. Amit sir agreed and then we gave them Manisha’s story from City center, they make movie clip on her story. On 26 January, Manisha’s story will be Broadcast on Colors channel at morning 6: 30 A.m. It’s really a big achievement for our Organization that through CBN team our work has famous internationally. Mrs. Mamta Sing is very happy to help more in future to our work. She said, my future planning is to setup water plant in jungle village, and I’ll try for it my bests. 

(dated 9th January)

Bringing joy and help this Christmas

VillageBagnalaNov18.JPG

Would you consider making a special Christmas donation to the 260 beautiful children we help and work with through 'Project Help India'. As the Christmas season commences we have the wonderful privilege of bringing a special blessing to these remarkable little people.

In Bijnor City, where earlier this year we started an education centre, 40 children will hear the Christmas story, and receive a present for the very first time in their lives. Just imagine the wonder, surprise and happiness of it all!

In Village Bagnala (seen in the photo), where we have now been working for 5 years, the children eagerly wait in anticipation for this time of the year. Why? They love to receive their Christmas present.

These children tell us stories about their lives and circumstances. Zainab, for example, mentions how happy she was to receive her “first ever gift”, a woollen sweater from 'Project Help'. This gift was kindly donated by the kids at my school in Sydney.

Christmas is a time of giving and through our work at ‘Project Help’, we would be so grateful to receive your donation – so that we can share a little piece of joy, in the lives of kids who are really doing it tough. Consider the money we all spend each year on Christmas - will you really notice another $20, $50 or $100 not in your purse or wallet at this time of the year? 

We share with you below, some of the stories of Shiva, Roshni and Anisha, three children whose lives you will be blessing this Christmas.

Shiva is blessed to now be at a school where his teacher actually cares for his learning. He is very clever and has a bright future. He is so proud of going to school!

Roshni aged 12 is being taught and supported to deal with the terrible domestic violence that impacts her family each and every day. 

Anisha’s mother has a mental illness and self harms, her father is an alcoholic. She has a dream of becoming a teacher, so that she can help girls like her. Christmas brings a special moment of joy for her. 

This year our goal is to distribute 260 woollen sweaters plus a sneaky bar of chocolate to each child in this very remote part of the world, the foothills of the Himalayas where it gets to below zero degrees in Winter. We will also be giving gifts to out 15 teachers and staff who work so incredibly hard. Amit will be travelling 6 hours each way to Delhi just to buy everything as cheaply as possible.

Through your donation we will be connecting your love with these people this Christmas. Please do not underestimate how much your generosity will make a difference. 

You can make a donation directly on this website.

With love and thanks from the ‘Project Help India’ Team.

Opportunity to help 3 beautiful people and a possible new school

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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

Our 2018 Annual Event - A huge success!

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A huge crowd of close to 350 people last night (Sunday 7th October 2018) attended our ‘Annual Function’ last night in Kotdwara. It was a really exciting occasion filled with music, dancing, speeches, awards and opportunities to honour and recognise to efforts of many people in our projects and local community.

The girls from our Technology Centre performed a number of dances, as did the younger kids from our City Centre School. The boys once again, proved to be a huge hit with their military dance.

For me there were a number of significant highlights;

 -       I love it when we get to ‘honour’ many people, especially leaders from the local community. We thanked and blessed police inspectors, the anti-human trafficking team, politicians, doctors, social workers, teachers, a women’s rights lawyer and advocate, church pastors and even some of the local press.

-       I was crying when 5 kids with significant disabilities, parents by their side, came to the front to be appreciated and to be given a certificate and prize (a box of chocolates) for attending school…their first ever school! This has been a dream of mine, to start a Disability Centre, and the dream is coming alive right before my eyes. What I did not expect, was to have the entire auditorium stand to their feet, in spontaneous applause, as we cheered the students and their parents.

-  We were blessed to have a Bollywood singer and TV host, Sonia Anand as our special guest for the night. I have to say that I was a little star struck myself. She was beautiful in all ways, and she spoke with great passion for our work. Sonia has offered her ongoing support of Project Help and she says she will be back for SHINE 19. She closed the night with a song and it was fabulous.

 -       I was humbled to also have the crowd stand on their feet to thank me for my work in Kotdwara. I really was surrounded by many wonderful friends, many who are now like family to me. Kotdwara has become my second home and I will be very sad to be leaving at the end of the week.

We are expecting that our Annual Event will get some news attention in this week’s newspapers and television. This is really exciting as we keep promoting the work of Project Help India, as we generate support, and continue to build trust and earn the respect of the community. Last night reminded me that our influence is growing and impacting the lives of not just the poor. The leaders of this town are saying that they are blessed and supported in their work, they have been equipped and greatly encouraged. It is such a privilege to be part of this and to see God working in such a powerful way.

I have 4 days left in this part of the world, before I head back to Sydney. Today I am off the look at the site for a potential long-term, more permanent school location. Later this week I will be working with the police, visiting the slums and our school projects, doing some teacher training and visiting a large disability school in another town called Dehradun. It’s all amazing and incredibly satisfying work. Thank you for your prayers and support. Your donations are making all of this possible and I thank you from the bottom of my heart, for your generosity. If you could only meet these people, you would understand why I am so in love with them, and why I am so passionate for this cause, and determined to help their situation.

Together we are really making a difference.