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.
Our monthly letter from Tom Sutherland has arrived. As always, there is a lot going on.
Salini, who now runs Thanal House, our home for destitute women, is engaged, and is hoping to get married in August. In India weddings are huge (and expensive) affairs, and she and Valsala are very excited about it.
A story from the hospital, where Shibu is our full-time bystander, illustrates just what a difference your contributions can make. The month had been relatively quiet, although Shibu had his usual quota of 6 to 8 patients to look after, some of them very demanding. Then there was a rush of four injured patients who needed surgical implants; they were unable to afford the implants, so the hospital was going to discharge them, sending them home with their injuries untreated. Fortunately our supporters' generosity meant that I was able to agree to pay for all the implants, and the patients have now had their operations, all of which were successful, and are now recuperating. The total cost to restore four people to health and strength? About £500.