News and announcements

Beulah's story

Beulah

Beulah is 8 years old and apart from a short break in 2014, has been at Asha Kiran Ashram since 2012.  Those of you who attend our Supporters’ Evenings will already be captivated by the delightful Beulah and moved by her irrepressible joy for life. 

During her mother's pregnancy Beulah’s father met with an accident which severed his legs.  As the family breadwinner was no longer earning money they decided that the pregnancy should not continue and that the expectant mother would take an abortifacient.  This was done, but it failed to terminate the pregnancy.  Instead, Beulah was born seriously disabled: in a cruel twist of fate, she has only short stumps of legs, and also one hand has just one finger and a thumb, whilst the other hand has no thumb, one good finger, and two other fingers fused together in a single member.  Despite this, she is a happy intelligent child who joins in with everything enthusiastically - even dancing with the other children.

The plan is to get Beulah prosthetic legs.  She has had one visit to Chennai to have the necessary measurements taken, and we are expecting to hear any day of her having returned to have the legs fitted.  The cost of this is estimated to be Rs. 35,000 (£450). 

However, this is just the beginning. The process will need to be repeated annually.  Obviously, as she grows she will need bigger legs.  When she is 18 she can be fitted with legs that will last her for the foreseeable future - but this will be much more expensive as the legs will have to be far more durable. The total budget is therefore about £6,000 over 10 years and HHI has committed to this. 

The £900 raised on a single Saturday at the Strathaven Bridge Drive has given this initiative a tremendous start.  Thank you to our fantastic SFHHI supporters and friends.   We’re looking forward to news of Beulah and we’ll keep you posted on her progress. 

The Proof is in the Picture

Indian children with the dolls

Sometimes I wonder if it is possible to find the right words to describe the feeling of total joy.   And then, as I look at the pictures of the Children in Tamil Nadu receiving the gift of an Indian dolly from Edmund, I realise that words are unnecessary.  These wonderful pictures taken recently in India say it all.  

These dollies are made by Liz Gittens, a retired teacher, who lives in the idyllic Worcestershire countryside and who feels privileged to be in good health and living in such beautiful surroundings. Liz is a keen supporter of HHI and a fine seamstress. She has sewn, by hand, dollies for sick and disabled children in India and Zambia.   Each dolly is an individual boy or girl with appropriate dress and hair. They are a delight and, as you can see, are really appreciated by the children. 

Thank you Liz. 

You can see more photos of the happy chhildren in the 'Gallery - Dollies'.

Letter from India

Charity medical aid India

Tom Sutherland writes

Dear Edmund

As always, there is good news and some news that is not so good.  Let us start with the good news, and it is very good news.  During the two months since I've been back Shibu hasn't drunk alcohol, or smoked - he was always a heavy smoker also, and he's looking so well and happy and neatly dressed and shaved - when we meet different ones they all comment on the difference and Shibu is so happy to hear them say so.  And he's eating well and putting on weight - in the past he was pretty skeletal.  I think you would have noticed the difference when you came.  I know many people are praying for him and surely God has answered our prayers.  In the past he has been off it for shorter times and has slipped back so let us keep up our prayers to Jesus. I've heard that it's one of the most difficult addictions to completely get over.

Final (?) letter from India

We are now coming to the end of our visit to India.  It’s been a great time, seeing all the people who you have helped and are helping though your incredible generosity.


One such is Biju, a 31-year-old man who we found bedridden with polio in a small house that he shares with his family.  His mother is a woman of incredible energy and determination, who wanted a wheelchair for him, so that he could go out to the nearby cross-roads and sell lottery tickets – a common way that disabled people have of scraping a living in this part of India.  However, there was a problem – the house was at the top of a narrow rough winding path that we struggled to walk up – totally unsuitable for a wheelchair.  So, rather than turn them down, we said that they would need to build a suitable track for the wheelchair, and went on our way confident that this was the last that we would hear of the matter.  Imagine our surprise when, a week later, we had a phone call – the path had been built.  We went with a wheelchair to demonstrate just how impossible this was – and there was a freshly made concrete path up the side of the hill! The family were delighted with the wheelchair, and Biju can now look forward to a more meaningful life, making a contribution to his family.

Asha Kiran Ashram

Asha Kiran Ashram,our special needs centre in Tamil Nadu, is always a highlight of our visit and this year has proved to be no exception.  The children were as excited as ever to see us, and enjoyed singing songs with us.  We had bought a lot of simple musical instruments in Trivandrum, which we distributed to them all - what a cacophony!  Not at all the usual rather formal meeting, and much better.  We were also able to give them a huge pile of colouring books, crayons, excercide books, pencils and so on, as well as a lot of educational toys that we had brought from the UK or bought in India.  And there has been a great deal of development in the children - children who could only crawl can now walk, week limbs have been strengthened, and children who could do nothing are now enabled to do simple tasks.  It is all hugely encouraging and rewarding, and parents are marvellously enthusiastic - one drove for an hour to tell us! 

Another encouragement is the way that local people are supporting Asha Kiran Ashram.  Last night we collected a television for the children, along with a substatntial gift, from a family who have already supported Asha Kiran generously in the past; today a widow gave the lunch-time food (and enough left over for dinner as well) for all the children, this being in memory of her husband who died ten years ago.  This local sujpport, along with the givernment grant that Santhosh is getting now, is becoming increasingly important as Asha Kiran expands, well beyond our ability to support it.

News from India 2

We have now got a short time to access the internet at Asha Kiran Ashram. We travelled over this morning, about 4 hours journey time. Before talking about the school, here is an update on some of the things Edmund and I have done so far. We met Shibu at the Medical College Hospital and he took us around to see his patients, acting as their bystander. He does great work on behalf of HHI. His patients are 'unknowns', often admitted due to road traffic accidents and with no means to pay for their treatment. We also saw Shiju who we had visited earlier in the week. He was admitted for a heart operation and thankfully, an answer to prayer, he received the necessary funding from a charitable trust so the operation can go ahead. We have also visited many homes to see how your support for HHI can bring hope to those who need help. Sindhu, a young mother whose both kidneys have failed is unable to pay for the necessary dialysis, we were able to pay for three sessions this month which will make all the difference. Another was Gidija, a widow with ovarian cancer. She had just completed six sessions of chemotherapy and needs an operation but her thyroid is overactive. She is unable to take the necessary medicines because she cannot afford a proper diet. Your support has enabled us to promise her enough money to provide her with a good diet for three months which will solve the problem.

Because there is a water shortage at the Banyan Tree where we normally stay during these trips we have moved into Philp's Special Therapy Centre, which we help to fund. In the mornings we see the children arrive with beaming smiles and are very excited to be there. Clearly a loving and caring environment for the children who have some disability and come from very poor homes.

Visit to India 2017

Tuition group awards

Hello from India.


Edmund and I (Chris) arrived safely this morning for one of our regular trips to monitor HHI work in India and Zambia. We will also take the opportunity to listen out for new opportunities to help and to encourage Tom and Philip. We have a full itinerary over the next two weeks,  including a visit to Thanal House, Asha Kiran Ashram and Trivandrum Teaching Hospital where we will meet Shibu, our bystander. We would normally stay at the Banyan Tree but the well is running low and we can draw only muddy water. So, tomorrow we will move to the Therapy centre and stay there.This project is mostly funded by HHI and offers various forms  of therapy to those who need it but cannot afford to pay for it. There is fresh water there but no internet access so future news maybe irregular but we will try. Today, Thursday, we exchanged our money, including many generour gifts from Scottish supporters in Strathaven and from Rivertown URC in North Wales.We will look for opportunities to spend these donations wisely to meet the needs of the poor, disadvantagedand disabled. Our only visit so far is to the Panacode tuition group. It was their prize givingand we enjoyed that and excellent, traditional entertainment from the children.

As is always the case, we have paid for the trip ourselves so we can maintain the promise that all your kind donations go to those who need it most.
  

How will you celebrate your 80th birthday?

Guests climbing

If you are Iain Park, our HHI trustee and committee member, you spend it climbing one of the many beautiful Scottish hills and you invite your friends and family to join you. You then give them a wonderful memory of the climb in the form of a book called ‘Eye to the Hills’ inviting donations to HHI.

Iain has been climbing for over 60 years and for those who understand climbing he has climbed each Munro at least 3 times. (A Munro is a hill in Scotland over 3000 ft and there are 282 of them!) Needless to say he is fit and extremely knowledgeable on Scottish geography. I was one of the privileged guests to join him on January 14th in the snow and ice and managed to reach the summit of Ben Venue (Stirlingshire). The views were breath taking!

The next day, Sunday Jan 15th, following a church service in the East Kirk, Strathaven, sixty guests were treated to a delicious meal in the Strathaven Hotel. Everyone received a copy of Iain’s book Eye to the Hills.  Iain has been working on this epic book for the last 3-4 years. Each page describes one of his climbs, the people who accompanied him, the difficulties, the weather and how many times Iain himself has climbed it. The pictures are stunning. The book has received a glowing review by Keith Roberts (Keith is a freelance writer and tax consultant who lives with Gillian and their two school age children, Eilidh and Bruce, in a remote cottage five miles from Strathaven. Keith enjoys sport and country living, and has a keen interest in politics), and as a result Iain has been invited to speak at the prestigious Munro Society about his publication.

Iain is an inspirational fund raiser and ‘Eye to the Hills’ is already bringing in generous donations for HHI.

Muumba School is growing!

Muumba Pre school under construction

With the two classrooms full in both morning and afternoon sessions, it became clear that a covered area was needed in order to accommodate the youngest pupils.  

Stand by Hope and Market Square Uniting Church Toddler Group in Merthyr Tydfil!                                               

With a keen eye on developments at Muumba School, funds were quickly set aside by the group to provide materials for this kindergarden shelter.

However, as the photo shows, thoughts of a basic shelter were soon set aside.  Bricks which were left over from the building of the school wall were used to begin work on a third classroom. 

So, a big thank you to the builders for making use of surplus materials and a huge thank you to our Merthyr Hope and Market Square Church toddler group for your continuing support.

Diolch yn fawr iawn!

Recycle 4 charity

The following is an email received in the office the other day, and in our turn we too would like to thank our supporters for the way you remember us when your cartridges come to the end of their ink-life.

 

"Thank you for recycling your printer cartridges and mobiles phones with recycle4charity.co.uk.

Since your last payment, £57.73 has been raised by you and your supporters through our recycling programme during the period of 1/4/2016 - 30/6/2016, quarter 2.

I am sending you (the account holder) this email as confirmation that an automated payment, for the above amount, will be made to your nominated account on the 26/07/2016 with the reference: Recycle4Charity.

 

Recycle4charity.co.uk aids over £1,000,000 in donations

Thank you everyone, we have now aided in the donation of over £1 million to good causes whilst keeping over 390 ton out of landfill. Why not take this opportunity to raise further awareness among your supporters of the recycling service we offer, how your charity has benefitted, and how they can get involved to help you raise more funds! We are promoting the service and milestone and invite you to do the same through the use of your intelligent link via your social media pages and digital communications to help us all reach the new goal, of £2 million pounds donated through recycling printer cartridges and mobiles together.

 

Intelligent Recycling Link