Have you ever used our alternative gift catalogue? If not then this story may encourage you to take a look and see how your help and choice of alternative gift makes a difference to someone who needs a helping hand - or in this case a goat! HHI provides funds to run several credit unions and they are now thriving in communities where we operate in India. Women in these communities got together to form credit unions; each have a chairperson, secretary and treasurer; HHI pays for the administration. Some women asked for a goat as a means of income support for their family. Pastor Wilson who oversees the credit unions and keeps us informed of progress asked HHI to buy 10 goats. When the goats have kids the first one will be passed on to another woman and her family - so from one goat many people will be helped. This is proving to be a welcome gift so we are expecting more requests for goats - and we also get requests for all the other items we have in the catalogue. Take a look at more photos and visit our catalogue.
The recent Bridge Drive organised by Strathaven Friends of HHI (SFHHI) was very successful event, as you can see from the picture the event was well attended.Over the years this has proven to be a very good fund raiser and this year was no exception. Other than the craft sales, the event made £640 from the contestants entry fees, £80 in donations, and £375 from a raffle. So a grand total of £1,095. There will be some costs to deduct, namely the hire of the hall at £100, but all in all a great effort from all concerned. Take a look at the photos from the night.
Our thanks to SFHHI for all their hard work and continued success in raising funds for our work.
Throughout the year many supporters and organisations such as hospitals and churches donate items for HHI to load onto a container bound for Zambia; and for the first time we received many continental quilts from a well known hotel chain. In addition to such 'one offs' we collect and store a wide variety of items – ranging from hospital beds and wheelchairs to pencils and knitted dolls. In fact in recent months we have received a large amount of knitted items – dolls, clothes and blankets from a number of individuals and knitting groups.
We also have news from Pastor Santhosh, the director of our special needs school and home in Tamil Nadu. This has developed continually since we first set it up in 2009, and now has about 40 children; 15 of them are residential, whilst the others are brought in daily. Education, physiotherapy and just a stimulating environment are enabling them to develop in ways that few people would have thought possible a few years ago.
The school is registered with the state (Tamil Nadu) government, and is inspected regularly. On the last inspection there were issues with the roof, which is made of asbestos sheeting, and also with security - the area is very open. In order to address these we have sent out money to replace the roof with concrete (this is the preferred material in India) and to build a high wall around the area in front of the school and home where the children live or arrive in the mornings. Work is in progress, as the photograph shows, and we are hoping that it will all be complete by the end of the month. In the meantime the wonderful work of Asha Kiran is continuing in the nearby church.
Our thanks to our friends in Scotland and elsewhere who have provided the money for this. Much of the money came from the Round Strathaven RS50 cycling event, as well as a generous supporter in Newport.