News and announcements

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.

The Dorcas League

Grassroots article


For over 50 years, the dedicated ladies in Blaenafon, have knitted tirelessly in response to crises, (such as the 2004Tsunami) worldwide. And, of course, for a number of years, they have willingly and generously supported the work of HHI in Zambia.

So, it was with gratitude, tinged with sadness, that one chilly morning in December we collected more wonderful items of knitwear from Park Street Methodist Church. Why sad? Well, as Park Street Church closed its doors with a special celebration service on Monday December 12th, the Dorcas League decided that they, too, would call it a day.

However, in keeping with the Dorcas ethos and in true HHI supporter fashion, the ladies have decided that they will continue to knit for the needy and vulnerable people we work with in Zambia! We are delighted and look forward to continuing our special relationship with these very special ladies! Thank you!

You can read a report, above, from the Blaenavon section of Grassroots from the South Wales Argus.


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.

LENT 2017

An Act of Faith for the Future

Have you ever heard of a charity that doesn’t ask for money? Well, this Lent, that is exactly what we have done.  Instead of asking for money, we are asking for prayer. 

Our Lent literature consists of daily readings, reflections and prayers not solely aimed at HHI but with an eye to the wider world.  And we don’t ask for a penny!

But why not ask for financial support? Why ask for prayer? 

Well, we believe in the power of prayer.  We have faith that through prayer HHI will flourish in the future. We have faith that our supporters will continue to dig deep to support those whose stories have touched their hearts.  And, above all, we have faith that those we seek to serve can have a better future through our collective actions.

This Lent we invite you to pray for HHI; our workers, our supporters and, above all, those who depend on us. Take a look and download the lent literature.

Act in Faith for the Future!

Burns' Night 2017

Burns  night 2017

Health Help International continues to benefit from the annual grand shindig held in Strathaven.  The 2017 Burns' Night celebration was, yet again, a resounding success.  Our friends north of the border lead the field when it comes to raising money for a good cause while having a good time.

Alistair Ogilvie writes…

‘In Wright’s organisation of the music side, along with Ian, Kath and Helen (plus Ian and Chris) getting things organised from the settings and raffle side meant we all had a very enjoyable night.’

The total aigain for HHI this Burns' night was close to £1000.

On behalf of those in India and Africa whom we seek to serve, may we say a heartfelt ‘Thank you’!

A Great Idea!


Every year, St Julian’s Methodist Church in Newport chooses a charity to support and this year the Church has chosen Health Help International. (Good choice!)  Eira Richards, the charity coordinator, explained that this means that every part of the church selects an aspect of HHI’s work and is tackling a particular project. 

What caught the eye of the Ladies’ Group in the church was the issue of girls’ education, especially the education of girls in the special needs schools we work with.  As you know, the children have to board at these schools because many live in remote villages, too far away for them to travel to and from school every day.

The St Julian’s ladies came up with the idea of providing each girl with their own washbag at the start of the school year.  As you can see in the photograph, each snazzy bag is filled with essential items as well as some ‘luxury’ bits and pieces.  So far we have received in excess of 40 washbags from them…every one jam packed.

What a great idea! Thank you to all the very busy and generous ladies at St Julian’s Methodist! 

Thank You Le Bowke Logistics

Le Bowke demonstrating wrapping

Le Bowke Logistics, Mamhilad, has come to the rescue in the nick of time!

At the moment, our storage space is accessible only with great difficulty (the lift is out of commission) and the prospect of moving our Zambia bound cargo on ‘C Day’ (container day) was daunting. 

Our new allies, the very professional, friendly and helpful staff at Le Bowke, have stepped in.  Not only have they provided us with storage space, they have shown us how to pack our items securely on pallets, using industrial strength cling film. Once we have prepared the pallets they will bring them to ground floor level via a large hole in the floor (30 feet up!). They will also help load our container using their machinery when the big day comes.  

Thank you again Le Bowke Logistics!

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.