News and announcements

Hello from India

All things work together for good.  UK charity.  Trivandrum Thiruvananthapuram Kerala India hospital

The annual HHI visit to India is under way.  I (Edmund) arrived Thursday morning, and Iain will join me tomorrow (Saturday).  I was greeted at the airport by Tom and Philip, and Sebastian who is a volunteer with the Banyan Tree for a year - he is an Indian who was brought up in the USA but has gone back to his roots.  A graduate in business studies, he is making a great contribution to the work of the Banyan Tree.

From there we went to see Shibu in the hospital.  Shibu is now looking after some 11 patients (a normal bystander looks after just one) - all aged about 60, all brought in unconscious and without adequate identification ("unknowns"), and all victims of traffic accidents.  Most are incontinent.  Shibu seems to thrive on the pressure and the work.  Tomorrow we are hoping to get three of them discharged and we will take them to the Bethany brothers who will nurse them back to full health.  Otherwise they may be kept in hospital, in pretty awful conditions, for up to three months.  It is only your generosity that makes all this possible.  With such large numbers, budgets are being exceeded, which is causing problems that we will need to address.

An encouraging story is of one of these patients.  He had left home 28 years ago, and had had no contact with his family, who had given him up for dead.  Shibu found a name and address amongst his possessions, which turned out to be his mother.  She was delighted to be reunited with her long lost son and has come to look after him.

And outside we were able to meet Muniyanda, a former patient of Shibu who was returning for a check-up.  He is making a good recovery, and is very grateful for what Shibu did for him.

Email from Moscow in Zambia

Zambia, Moscow, HHI, HHZ, Health Help International Zambia, albino, discrimination, medical, clinical officer, career, disability

It’s Good to Catch Up!!

No, we are not geographically challenged!
Tidings : July 2016.   Do you remember reading this?
‘Moscow is a talented Zambian. He is also an albino. As well as all the health difficulties this leads to in a hot sunny climate, he has also had to face prejudice and antagonism from his local community. HHI was able to help him by supporting his education and training at Chainama College of Health Sciences. Now he is in charge of a Rural Health Centre in Mazabuka District and because of his position he is respected in his community. He is also married and has a child. He is an example of how determination combined with timely help from HHI can overcome disadvantage.’ 
Well, we have just received this very welcome email from Moscow.  He writes…
‘I would like to thank HHI Zambia for the support they gave me and sponsorship through Jute Williams and Pat Cairn . I hope one day we will meet. I am now married with a daughter.’

Letter from India (Tom Sutherland)

Bystander Trivandrum Tiruvananthapuram Kerala India Health Help International UK charity low overheads

Dear Edmund,

The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus.  

It's Saturday morning and I've managed the kidney medicines distribution alone, and without strain, so things are looking up.  Shibu has just arrived so I'll get a few stories and then we go and send a couple of pictures.

Ajayan, 48, is from Changanoor (with Shibu, right leg bandaged).  He was a heavy drinker,  and, crossing the road, he was hit by a vehicle.  He can't remember anything. Because of his addiction, his family won't have anything to do with him.  He will need an operation [which HHI will probably need to pay for].  Shibu is doing all that is needed.

Mariyandi  Marthandum - from Tamil Nadu (on bed with Shibu behind - left leg in plaster).  Crossing the road, he was hit by car.  Police brought him to the hospital.  His leg has been set in plaster. An operation is not necessary. Shibu has been looking after him for 3 weeks.  He will soon be discharged - but he has nowhere to go.  We are searching for a place.

Thampi (Kerala) was walking beside the railway line and was hit by a train.  Both legs were severed.  Shibu has been looking after him for one month.  Nobody has come.

Unknown (with oxygen mask.  Shibu by bed).  Only today, after two weeks, has he regained a little consciousness.  He is feeding by rice tube.  We don't know anything about him.  Yesterday our church prayed for him, at Shibu's especial request, and Shibu is so happy that today he is rather better.

Happy Christmas to all our supporters

May we of the Management and Trustees Committees wish all our loyal and faithful supporters a very happy and joyful Christmas, as we remember our Saviour's birth; and also a very peaceful and prosperous New Year, and ask for your continued support as we move into 2018 and beyond.

News from Zambia about Bibian

Disabled schoolgirl Zambia Monze UK charity HHI Health Help International

Bibian Update

For many years our supporters have been aware of Bibian’s condition, generously supported her treatments and ask regularly for updates about her situation.
We have received this report from Jonah Sialuman Coordinator - Charitable Works and Disability Affairs :                                                                                                                       

‘On 31st October, 2017, Jonah, Carole,  Tabo Maheritona  and Dr Nkonjera visited Bibian.   Dr Nkonjera confirmed that Bibian is suffering from elephantiasis caused by lymph hefilariasis which is due to an infection with nematodes (round worms). They are thread like parasite worms. It is a disease which is characterised by thickening skin and body infections. At this stage Bibian is in a chronic state and is experiencing the following:
1. Tumours (uncontrolled growth)
2. Water inside the affected leg.
3. Infection of the urinary tract area
4. Dry Cough
5. Difficulty breathing
6. Eye infection
7. Wounds around the nose
8. Loss of appetite
9. Enlargement of liver

The following services needs to be carried out urgently

1.  Small operation under the foot to remove infections                                                                               

2.  Removing the debris around the foot                                                                                         

3.  Treating of the facial wounds

The following are required: creams to use for medication to prevent the spread of infections, anti-fungal and anti-bacteria creams.    

One for the girls!

Girls' education, periods, menstruation, UK charity, Zambia, Monze


The lack of proper facilities and essential sanitary items for older girls meant that they regularly missed days in school and this fact struck a chord with many - hence the very positive response to our ‘Menstrual Hygiene Management’ initiative.  
The initiative was very enthusiastically supported by many loyal individuals, small groups and also larger Churches such as Mount Pleasant in Ebbw Vale and St Augustine’s in Rhymney Cardiff.  They provided the essential items necessary for the preparation of the packs to be distributed to the girls in schools, both  mainstream and special needs, in and around Monze, Zambia.
 Primeldah and Alasdair, the sewing and knitting department ladies, were delighted to receive the materials and eager to put the packs together, but, more than that, they understood the necessity of the project and were keen to visit schools and talk to the girls about menstrual hygiene management.  
We have received photos of the ladies talking to the older girls in Muumba school, Monze, and they will soon be travelling to Naanga Special Needs school where the children board.  The headteachers at both schools are keen to improve the attendance of girls and welcomed the initiative. 
On behalf of everyone at HHI and HHZ, Primeldah and Alasdair - who now have a new and exciting aspect to their work – and especially the girls whose chances of a better education have increased, may we say a huge ‘Thank you’!


Update from India

Philip Mathew has sent us a report on the special needs centre that he oversees at Kalathara, a village near to Kulappada.

With a regular staff of 7 (two teachers, two therapists and 3 other
supporting staff), we instruct on a daily basis about 10 (of 18
registered) special needs kids plus about 8 therapy-only kids that
arrive on designated days. We currently have to use two vehicles to
pick up kids from 7 neighboring towns to attend our school.  The
school’s focus is to teach these forgotten kids some basic academics
along with self-maintenance and life skills in a hands-on interactive
environment. With an additional teacher and more publicity, we are
hoping we can double our daily attendance.

From Hachanga to Abergavenny

Newport UK charity India Zambia crafts Abergavenny world fair trade

Wales Fair Trade Fair 2017

The most recent addition to our craft store is the collection of hand woven baskets from Hachanga, Zambia. (See article 26. 08 2017).  At the Wales Fair Trade Fair in Abergavenny, on Sunday 8th October 2017, many people commented on the intricate designs woven into the baskets and were interested in the Hachanga story.  Of course, we took the opportunity to explain what life is like in Hachanga and also that the water tank desperately needs to be replaced.

Of course the needs in Hachanga weren’t the only things we could chat about.  We were able to tell people about the work of the Banyan Tree in India, and in particular that the cards and leaf paintings had been produced by mothers desperate to support their families.  Having ‘been and seen’, we were able to add detail to the queries about the range of Indian and Zambian crafts on display and also the people and places which benefit from the efforts of everyone who supports HHI.

Tom Sutherland

HHI, Newport charity, Kerala, India, Nedumangad, Kulappada, Trivandrum, Thiruvananthapuram, Kalathara

Recent weeks have seen a flurry of emails going back and forth between us here in the UK and our partners in India.  Some time ago Tom had a small carcinoma under his left eye (just visible in the photo).  He had radiation treatment for it, which was successful, but it left him very weak and tired.  He was told to rest and take it easy; but Tom, being Tom, did too much and ended up having a relapse which necessitated a couple of weeks in hospital.  The good news is that he is back out of hospital, and gradually recovering.  But your prayers for him would be appreciated.  I spoke to him yesterday, and he does seem to be taking it a lot easier now - he enjoys playing with the children at our Special Needs centre at Kalathara after lunch.

Another family lifted out of poverty by HHI

Pastor Wilson has dedicated his life to helping the poorest people living in his area of India - a beautiful part of the country by the Neyyar Dam.  Recently he asked us for help for a poverty stricken family.  Initially he asked for a cow for them, which would cost Rs. 48,000 - about £600.  However, the family then realised that, as their house had no water available, looking after the cow would be a lot of work.  But the wife is able to sew, and so they opted for a sewing machine instead.  The best sort for India is the treadle variety - this doesn't rely on electricity that is either not available or is unreliable, and leaves the hands free to guide the cloth, as well as giving the operator a bit of exercise as well.  And, from our point of view, it was a lot cheaper - just Rs. 8,000 (£100).  We are assured that it is getting good use!  The gift of a machine like this enables a whole family, and often the extended family, to lift themselves out of poverty.


(This is an update of our news item dated 8 September)