News and announcements

Calling all occupational therapists and speech therapists

Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, South India, special needs children

Does anyone fancy a holiday with a purpose in India?

HHi supports two special needs units in South India.  Asha Kiran Ashram, in the countryside of Tamil Nadu, is the longer established, having opened its doors to 15 children in 2010. It now caters for about 50 children with a variety of disabilities.  Following on from the success of this project, we now support a fledgeling special needs unit at Kalathara, near Nedumangad in Kerala, which is developing rapidly.  Both of these projects have asked us if we can help them by sending out occupational and speech therapists who can treat the children and share best practice with our Indian partners.

This would suit OT or speech therapy students wanting to practice their skills, someone recently retired, or anyone else with either of these skills who wants to make a difference where it will really be appreciated.  We can provide simple accommodation; living in India is cheap, but you would need to provide your own airfare.

For further information please contact the HHI Office (details on our Contacts page).


Disabled children around Nedumangad, Kerala

disabled children special needs Nedumangad Kerala India

Our regular readers will know about Asha Kiran Ashram, our special needs centre in Tamil Nadu.   This great success has inspired Philip Mathew to do domething similar in his part of Kerala.  He has been offering physiotherapy to disabled children from poor families for a few years, with great results. Recently this has expanded to include speech therapy.

Earlier this year the centre moved down the road into a larger building at Kalathara.  This has enabled the project to expand into a fully fledged special needs centre which will be a caring community for disabled children and their families, including special needs teaching and training, providing the children with essential life skills.  Tom and Philip have gone ahead in faith with this project, but without funding, and now some 30 children have regular classes with two special needs teachers and two assistants.  As the children are so disabled they also need transport - local supporters have provided a vehicle, but they need a driver.

We have been able to get some grant funding for this project from a charitable trust, for which we are very grateful, but this will cover only part of the cost.  A special needs teacher costs £100 a month, and an assistant £70.  Could you help Tom and Philip with this inspiring project, and so help them to show God's love to children who would otherwise be despised as a source of shame in their Hindu culture?

News from India

Hepatitis C, baby with heart problems, charity, Kerala, India

We have just had a letter from Tom Sutherland:-

The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus

I was sitting in the bus today when a young man nearby gave me a great smile.  He told me his name was Biju and that he was studying at a Bible College to become a pastor.  He was a member of Pastor Sam's congregation at Perookada.  He was born with a badly deformed heart and the doctors gave him a day or two to live.  Sam was a great man of prayer and fasting and everyone prayed and Biju survived.  HHI provided the funds for Biju to have a major operation in Bangalore while still 3 or 4 months old.  There was a wonderful doctor there - a wonderful man as well as a wonderful doctor - who was given the name "The operating machine".  He pioneered operations on newly born babies and at that time he had performed 4000 operations.  We arrived late in the day, there was a big crowd waiting to see him, but there was no tension, no problem, only a kindly consultation.  Now Biju is 100% well - such a fine young man.  We can only thank God for Sam and HHI.

Everyone here is thrilled at the news of Mother Theresa being proclaimed a saint and the first few pages of all the papers are taken up with the news.  And if the Hindu papers are less enthusiastic than the Times of India headline "Mother Theresa gets a halo, the world a saint", the articles that follow are all very sincere and moving.  How wonderfully God used this simple but extraordinary woman.  At a time when "missionary" was a dirty word she called her congregation "Missioners of Charity".  I had the privelege of meeting her; one of her co-workers told me, "When you are talking with Mother Theresa you are the only person in the world."

Asha Kiran Ashram

Special needs school, disabled children, Tamil Nadu, charity

When we built the main building for our special needs school in Tamil Nadu it was completed with an asbestos roof.  At the time that was considered perfectly adequate; but times have moved on, the health and safety of the children is paramount, and the government no longer considered that an asbestos roof was good enough.  We agreed that we would jointly fund a concrete roof with Pastor Santhosh providing about a third of the cost; the work went ahead, but Pastor Santhosh was unable to raise all his share of the money, so the work was left structurally complete but looking very untidy.  In addition, the water and electricity had been disrupted.

Earlier this year we were promised a share of the profits of the Round Strathaven 50 mile cycle ride (RS50), and in anticipation of this we sent out nearly £3,000 for the work to be completed.  This has now been done, and the building has been finished to a beautifully high standard.  And this week we received a cheque for £3,000 from the organisers of the RS50, for which we are very grateful.

Pastor Santhosh is in the process of renewing the registration of Asha Kiran with the state government, and this work has greatly helped the process.  It has been inspected by the Thasildar and other state government officials, and the process is proceeding well.  Santhosh asks that we pray that it will be completed soon, and that a government grant (to which the school is entitled, but has not yet received) will be forthcoming.

Mary Mainza: Update, August 2016

one of the chitenge outfits

As the eldest of seven children, Mary Mainza assumed responsibility for her four brothers and two sisters after the death of her parents.   Although a skilled tailor, Mary’s job was insecure and her employer did not pay her regularly.  And, when she was paid, her wages were low and as a result she was unable to meet her brothers’ school fees.  Fortunately, at that point, HHI was able to help with the education costs. Indeed, the support HHI was able to offer did not stop there.   

In 2013 Mary was given a sewing machine.  She became self-employed and because of her reputation as a seamstress, her customers followed her. 

 Carole Nzila, the senior HHZ administrator, picks up the story…

‘Currently, she supports her four younger brothers at Pemba Secondary School and her sisters who are both at primary school.  She is happy that her life has greatly improved since the time she benefited from being given a sewing machine. She is able to feed her two children aged 12 and 5 years old.  On the income generated from the outfits, which depends on the response from customers, she is proud to state that in a month, she is able to make between K500.00 and K800.00.

The outfits that she makes include office attire, chitenge outfits for women and men -suitable for kitchen parties and wedding ceremonies, working suits, children’s wear, and much more.

She is very thankful to HHI for coming to her aid and is appealing for more support for other people who are currently in the situation she was before she was helped.’




A Stitch in Time??? No problem!

Muumba Sch pupils Uniforms sewed by Prisca Hatembo

Container departure: New spring date!

We have finally had the information you have been asking for!  At last we have heard that the colour for Muumba Community School uniform is to be grey.  So, we are looking for grey jumpers and cardigans suitable for children between the ages of 5 and 12 years.   (Don’t forget, we are still supplying uniforms and knitwear to other schools too!)

The challenge is… can we send enough knitwear on our autumn container to kit out the children who attend Muumba school?  Will our ever-ready army of knitters be able to click the pins against the clock?   The answer is YES!

When our container is sent to Zambia it is always brim-full with much needed items for the needy and vulnerable in Monze and beyond.  As there is still some space to fill we are looking to arrange a date in early 2017 for its departure.

We look forward to hearing from you soon and if anyone has a spare operating table they need to pass on ….


Chiyobola honey jars

Jonah Sialumano has updated us on the success of the bee keeping projects in Zambia. He writes

‘A joint team from HHZ, Community Development and Forest Department had a monitoring programme in Kazungula and Chiyobola bee keeping projects.

So far there is good progress as both projects produced good results. With Chiyobola, 32.5 litres of honey were produced while Kazungula produced about 30 litres of honey.

With Chiyobola, their aim is to produce about 65 litres of honey next year with the hope that all the beehives will be filled in with bees. Chiyobola is expected to raise about k900.00 from the produced honey.’

Well done Kazungula and Chiyobola!


More photos can be seen in the gallery.

Florence Chipunza


Our Disabilities Affairs Manager, Jonah Sialumano, has sent us this news about Florence Chipunza who has recently completed her knitting machine training at the HHZ and has been given the machine she has been trained to use.

 ‘Florence is physically disabled and vulnerable.  Her father and her two sisters and physically disabled too. To make the matter worse, the child of Florence is also physically disabled.  The knitting machine will easy her life as she has now been empowered.  There is need to empower with cones of wool so that she starts producing jerseys, baby ware etc.’

Every knitting machine and every cone of wool we have been given makes such a difference not only to the lives of those we seek to support but also to the lives of their dependants.  Thank you.

Muumba Community School - Teaching staff and volunteer teachers

Muumba Community School Teachers

Muumba Community School

Teaching staff and volunteer teachers

1. Mr Bruce Bbilika -  Head Teacher

2. Bertha Kabunda Bbilika - deputy Head teacher

3. Kennedy Nchimunya

4. Prisca Hatembo

5. Tammie musako

6. Chipo Naampwa

The more observant among you will glimpse a bit of the hand washing station jutting out at the side of the pillar on the left. We're glad to see it's still in use.

Welcome to the world, Kumamela

Baby Kumamela

Jonah Sialumano is a key worker at Health Help International in Monze, Zambia.  As Disability Affairs Manager he deals with both individuals and organisations and also coordinates projects which support disabled people living in and around Monze and the wider community.

At the age of three Jonah contracted polio and as a result he uses crutches so understands first-hand the difficulties facing disabled people in Zambia.   However, it is not just the challenge of mobility in an inhospitable terrain or the poor prospects of employment for a disabled person which are an issue.  The question of expectation and attitude also need to be considered. 

Last year, along with his wife Prisca, a special needs teacher, and his two sons, Jonah visited Masongozi where he had been raised by his grandmother.  The villagers were genuinely amazed to see Jonah.  They could not believe that the young disabled boy they remembered was married and had a family. The prospects they had envisaged for him were a world away from the reality of Jonah, the champion of disability and international speaker.

It seems that Jonah is also quite good at keeping secrets.  When he visited Wales in December 2015, a guest of Disability Wales Africa, he made no mention of the fact that his wife Prisca was pregnant.  So, it was a lovely surprise for us to learn that Kumamela, whose name means ‘taking care’, had arrived on 25th May.  We send our very best wishes to Jonah, Prisca and their sons Kayabu and Sishemo who, according to Jonah, ’are very happy and busy watching the baby in most of the time’.

See a further picture in the 'Gallery'.