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The triumphant trio travel to Travancore

Today we went to Pastor Wilson's BGM on the shores of the Neyyar Dam, an especially beautiful spot.  It was good to meet up with him again and to compare notes - it is so much easier to talk to someone face to face than to be limited by email.  As usual he had a list of people who needed help, but our first priority was to see the craft work in action, and in particular to witness the tailoring training.  The tailoring is something that we are funding, but had not seen as it is a new venture - one which promises to release a good number of women from penury and destitution.  A first cohort of about thirty women has passed though, and a second similar group of women is now learning the tricks of the trade.  They usually come for a day or two each week, as other activities allow, but in between times they can practice at home.  Once they have finished their training they can sew clothing to order, or do embroidery as required.  There is a good demand for such work, and it is reasonably well paid as well as being something that the women can fit around other household work.

We then met a very poor family with four children.  Despite their poverty, they look after an orphaned man Manoj who is mentally limited and has a child's body.  Their only son Aravind is unable to go to school beacause of frequent fits.  Medication is available which is effective in controlling the fits, but it costs about Rs. 7,000 (GBP 80) a month, which the family cannot afford.  Jute had been given some money to bring out, and she gave the family enough for a month's medication as well as some money for food.  We hope to be able to provide the medication if we can raise the funds.

The tired trio travel to Travancore

It's time for the annual visit to see the wonderful work that our Indian partners are doing.  This year the team is three of us - Edmund, Jute and Kath.  Jute you will know; Kath is one of our faithful Strathaven supporters who has come to see the work here first hand.

Edmund came first, arriving on Tuesday and going with Philip for a few days in the Cochin area where Philip's family live - celebrating Philip's silver wedding anniversary with them, and seeing some of the tourist sights.  It was a new part of India for him, and a very enjoyable prelude to the main purose of the visit.

Then he was joined in the early hours of Saturday by Jute and Kath.  We gave them a gentle introduction to India, with a visit to the palace in Nedumangad.  Edmund had tried to visit it several times, but it had always been closed, but today - success - it was open.  We spent a very enjoyable hour looking round, learning a bit about local history and culture.

Crying the rain

This worrying report has just been received from our Health Help Zambia office in Monze, Southern Province, Zambia.  

Hunger and Rain Situation: The high level of hunger is still high.  Some people who live in far villages have shifted from villages to Monze town . They spend their nights at the market, railways and during the day, they go round residential houses and compounds, requesting work and food. They move around with their children. They also come to HHZ, and go to the District Commissioner’s Office requesting food and money to buy food. Many people go to sleep without food. In the past two weeks, we have had heavy rains resulting in damage to some bridges in some rural parts and some floods and lightning killing some people; in Monze High Compound a child was struck by lightning. The food relief given by World Food Programme was done in Eastern Province where people were affected with flood too. Even when there are calls by Civil Society  organizations and some other stakeholders to declare hunger as a national disaster, the government has refused to declare hunger as a National Disaster. On the other hand, due to over rains in some parts, some crops may be affected and in some parts where it rained well at the start and farmers immediately planted , the maize was affected and died. There are also army worms in some parts of the country attacking maize fields.  

Praying for rain

starvation Zambia Welsh charity helping global warming climate change drought

You may have heard about the serious drought that is afflicting parts of Africa including Zambia - there have been a couple of news articles about it recently on BBC news, here, and here from 41:00 to 45:50.  They mention that Southern Province, which is where we work, has been particularly hard hit.

We have responded by increasing the food support that we provide to Muumba School, the malnutrition ward at Monze Mission Hospital, and the disabled unit at Monze School.  As a result, Muumba School is still open for business, unlike many other schools in the area.

But we would like to do more.  We'll be discussing what we can do at our next Management Committee meeting, and also discussing with our  partners n Zambia.

And the good news is that the World Food Programme has now got involved.

We'll make sure that you are the first to know what we are doing, but in the meantime please pray for the rain that they so desparately need.

A Cracker of an Afternoon!

Christmas Coffee, Cakes and Crafts at Stow Park Church Centre.

On December 14th, HHI hosted an informal get together for our loyal supporters.  Teas, coffees and tasty Christmas goodies were available and alongside our usual craft items from India and Zambia other items, donated by friends of HHI for the purpose of fundraising, were on sale.  Not only did our Merthyr friends bring handmade greetings cards, crafts and lucky dip items to sell, they also gave a £300 donation raised at their Croeso (Welcome) Club.  

And, as a background to the friendly chatter, Jute had created an informative PowerPoint showing some of the highlights of her recent trip to Zambia.

In all, we had a very pleasant, relaxing and profitable afternoon. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make it a successful afternoon and to those who couldn’t make it… there’s always next year!

Nadolig Llawen i chi gyd!

Happy Christmas to you all!

UK news

There's a couple of things that you may like to know about - one recent and another not so recent.

The not so recent one is that we are now on Facebook.  We've got about 100 people who view our posts from around the world.  If you can, please follow us, like us and our posts, tell us how we can improve our posts (we're very much still trying to learn), and share them with all your friends - that way we can spread the word about what we're doing to a wider audience.

The recent one is that we can now take donations and payments by credit or debit card - including American Express.  All you need to do is phone us, email us or contact us by Facebook Messenger, tell us how much you would like to donate or pay, your card number, expiry date, and security code, and, if you would like a receipt, where to email or text it to - and we'll do the rest.

 

Another success story

A couple of months ago we received an email from Pastor Santhosh, one of our co-workers in India, telling us about a young woman who needed an emergency operation on her appendix.  But there would be a cost involved, and the family didn't have the money to pay.

We were able to send out Rs. 25,000 [just under £300], most of the cost of the operation.  The family has found the rest of the money somehow, and the operation went ahead.  So we were delighted to receive an email today from her father:

Respected Sir,

Greetings to you in the matchless name of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

I hope you are doing great in health. I am writing this letter to you so that I can inform you that my daughters’ surgery has been done successfully. It is all due your kind help and support of financially. Without this I cannot be able to afford this much money for my daughters’ treatment. Thank you very much.

Once again i thank you very much for your precious sacrificial offerings have been great blessings for us. I pray and believe that God multiply and bless you richly for that you have sacrificed for His kingdom and his people. I pray also that what you have planted will definitely bring forth rich harvest of souls in His kingdom.

Yours in the Love of Jesus

Srikant Patnaik

 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things : The Bible
If you love someone, don't tell it but show it. If you hate someone, tell it but don't show it: Abraham Lincoln

Asha Kiran Ashram

       HHI set up Asha Kiran Ashram about 10 years ago as a centre for helping disabled children in Tamil Nadu, India.  The latest Tidings tells the story of two children, but there are many others whose lives have been transformed by the centre.  One such is Ameerkhan.  Pastor Santhosh, the director, takes up the story:

       Ameerkhan joined in our ASHA KIRAN ASHRAM School on 13th March 2013. He is having a Disability of Cerebral Palsy. He got a lot of developments in his studies after coming to ASHA KIRAN ASHRAM. He got developments in Reading, Writing, Time, Money, and Number Concepts. He learned to write the names of his Mother and Father. He can correctly tell the time by watching Clock and wrist Watch.

       He got Vocational trainings like making Jewels with beads, Phenol making and also Poultry Training. Now he is able to start his own Poultry with 10 Chicks and also he is rearing 2 Goats too. If we can help him to develop little more, it will be help for him to sustain his Family. We are indebted to HEALTH HELP INTERNATIONAL for the Rehabilitation of Ameerkhan so far.

        A youngster with Cerebral Palsy supporting his family?  Now, that is an achievement!

Make it Christmas for Chipata Hospital Children!

Our regular readers will remember that Jute visited Dr Martha Phiri, a children's doctor, in Chipata, Zambia on her last visit.  Dr Martha is married to Dr John Phiri, whom we at HHI have known for many years.  She reported on her visit here.  Her work is vital in saving the lives of babies and their mothers.

She has sent us a list of equipment that the hospital needs desparately, in order of priority.  Two are at the top of the list:

1.  A CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine - this keeps airways open, and prevents a patient from suffocating.  We have sourced one that is specifically designed for use in the developing world - simple and robust.  The total cost, including shipping to the hospital, is £1055 if we order it before the end of the year.  If we wait until next year then the price will go up.

2.  A hand-held scanner that will detect jaundice in a new-born baby, without needing a blood sample to be taken.  The same company will provide one for £1300 including delivery to the hospital.

And if we order both, we may be able to negotiate a discount!

Can you help us to raise this money?

 

Raising the roof!

HHI Health Help International Welsh Charity Newport volunteer run ultra-efficient

As promised, the roof was put on the dining block at Naanga Special School before the rains arrived!  This has been funded entirely by HHI supporters like you.

The new building houses a dining room, store room and kitchen and if you look closely it’s possible to catch a glimpse of the old cooking area next to the newly erected kitchen / dining room.  The head teacher is now talking about the new room doubling as a recreation area.  At this end we are already exploring some possibilities as to how we can help.

So, having dangled that carrot and whetted your appetite, we now say…

Watch this space!!