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Archive for the ‘Child Sponsorship India’ Category

HEAL children see their dreams become reality

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

THERE has been much excitement at the HEAL Children’s Village in Guntur recently.

The Annual Day Celebrations at Sri Venkateswara Bala Kuteer were greatly enjoyed as usual, with many HEAL children receiving prizes and participating in cultural programmes.

Annual Day Celebrations

Last year Mrs Rohini Kakani and Mr Srikanth, former students at the school, instituted cash awards for students finishing top of their class at the HEAL Village. Each of the award winners was presented with Rs1,000.

“We feel proud of our children,” said HEAL Village co-ordinator
Mrs Marudwathi. “Following our Annual Day Celebrations we had news of more susccess to share as we celebrated the birthday of HEAL founder Dr Satya Prasad in a joyful atmosphere.

Prizewinners with their awards

“Miss Mamatha, the first child at HEAL Village, is completing B.Tech within a few months with good scores.

“Miss Yasaswini, in her second year at Polytechnic studying electronics and communication engineering, stood at the top of her class for the second year running with 90% pass rate.

First HEAL child Mamatha

“Yasaswini came to HEAL along with her little sister after the death of their father. All through her studies she has been first in the class and scored 100% in maths in her 10th Board examinations. Her younger sister Sri Latha, who is completing 9th class this year, is also first in her class.

“Mr Harsha Vardhan came to HEAL along with his younger sister and widowed mother. He, also, has been first throughout his school study. We admitted him into a three-year civil engineering course at Polytechnic.

Successful student Harsha with Mrs Muradwathi and HEAL children

“He has been first in class in each of the three years – a wonderful achievement. He appeared for ECET (entrance into engineering) and got qualified with a good ranking.

“He gained admission into second year B.Tech in a reputed engineering college and at the end of his first semester he stood top with 93.7% among all the branches of his class in the college.

Yasaswini, who is top of her class in college

“We feel so proud of our kids. They tell us that their dreams have become a reality just because of the support of HEAL.

“And no doubt their successes will inspire all the HEAL children to dream for a brighter future and work hard to reach their goals.”

To learn more about how to bring hope and change to a child living in poverty by helping them achieve their full potential, please visit the Sponsor a Child page on the HEAL website.

Fundraiser focuses on further education

Monday, February 11th, 2013

HEAL founder Dr Satya Prasad Koneru was delighted to attend a special fundraising evening in Boston, Lincs, where all money raised will be used to sponsor a young person through their higher education in Andhra Pradesh.

Many of the children in HEAL’s care, who are growing up to become young students, would like to go on to further education in order to help secure their futures.

'World of Colours'

Teachers within the HEAL Children’s Village school at Guntur assess those pupils who they believe are capable of going on to successfully further their education.

For £48 per month a student’s education can be sponsored through HEAL for 1-3 years at a higher educational facility.

Geetha Ramana, who organised the fundraising event in her home town of Boston, was keen to get involved in this programme and has asked Dr Prasad to put the money raised, £1,500, towards a child’s higher education.

During the fundraiser, children participated in a ‘World of Colours’ display and an attractive silk painting was auctioned off.

Geetha Ramana and her husband auctioned a silk painting at their fundraiser

“Both of my children have gone to university now and I know how very important higher education is for those young people in India,” said Geetha, who moved with her husband from their Andhra Pradesh home to the UK 16 years ago.

“I first met Dr Prasad and became aware of HEAL about 11 years ago when I attended one of the charity’s India Nights in Peterborough and I have been going every year since then.

“When I heard all about the new HEAL Paradise project I decided I wanted to do more than merely attend India Night and so in 2011 we held an event for more than 150 people in Boston and raised £3,000.

“This year we raised another £1,500 and I have been discussing with friends how we can come together to sponsor a child for three years through their higher education.

Children helping needy children in India

“I am going back to India in February to visit my mum and dad in Hyderabad and when I return to Boston I am planning to hold a coffee morning.

“I want to keep doing these events every year and see this as a long-term commitment to HEAL and the children in its care.”

For more information on sponsoring a young person in higher education please visit http://www.heal.co.uk/sponsor-a-child.html

Festive fun at the HEAL Children’s Village

Friday, January 4th, 2013

THERE was a joyful atmosphere at the HEAL Children’s Village in Guntur as
Christmas and the New Year were celebrated in style.

Mrs Manga Devi delivers a Christmas message

The children had fun putting on a special nativity play as part of the Sri Venkateswara Bala Kuteer school celebrations.

As well as their drama depicting the birth of Jesus, the HEAL children sang hymns
at a special service at which Dr Manga Devi delivered a Christmas message.

The festive period is a particularly exciting time for the children, who cut
cakes, lit lamps and enjoyed ice creams, sweets and a festive dinner. There was
even a visit from Santa!

“There was a festive atmosphere everywhere,” said Children’s Village co-ordinator
Mrs Marudwathi. “We would like to thank the sponsors, supporters and everyone
associated with HEAL for showering such love and concern all these years. We wish
you all a very happy, prosperous and peaceful new year.”

Diwali brings extra sparkle for Gopi and friends

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

THERE was a great deal of excitement at the HEAL Children’s Village in Guntur as they celebrated the Diwali festival.

Popularly known as the ‘festival of lights’, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year in Andhra Pradesh and is widely celebrated by families, who perform traditional activities together in their homes.

Celebrations include decorating homes with lights, sharing sweets and gifts, as well as worship and religious rituals, but undoubtedly setting off festive fireworks is what the HEAL children look forward to most of all!

Gopi Nayak with his new clothes, thanks to the generosity of his sponsor

This Diwali festival was particularly special for one of the boys at the Village, Gopi Nayak, who received a gift of money from his child sponsor in the UK, Lynn Ashton.

The extra donation not only allowed Gopi to purchase several new items of clothing and some new shoes, but fireworks for him and his friends to join in the Diwali celebrations.

He was so pleased that he wrote a thank-you letter to his sponsor to say how much he and his friends enjoyed the festival.

Gopi's thank-you letter

Child sponsors urgently needed at Bhadrachalam

Monday, November 5th, 2012

CHILD SPONSORSHIP is a wonderful way to bring hope for a brighter future to a child living
in poverty.

One area of sponsorship urgently needed by HEAL is within its Poverty Trap Project, which
involves supporting existing schools to provide more children from very underprivileged
backgrounds with an education.

HEAL believes that only through education can future generations avoid the cruel cycle of
poverty in India.

“There are currently very few of our Poverty Trap children being sponsored, particularly
in Bhadrachalam, so we are keen to find new sponsors as quickly as possible,” says HEAL
founder Dr Satya Prasad Koneru.

For just £11 per month you can sponsor a child at one of our Poverty Trap projects in
Guntur and Bhadrachalam, a very poor and remote rural area of Andhra Pradesh where most
children come from extremly impoverished families.

Your regular donation will help pay for school fees, uniforms, books, stationary, a midday
meal, and a contribution towards the teaching staff for children from families who could
not otherwise afford it.

There are currently more than 200 of the most needy children at Bhadrachalam requiring
this level of support from HEAL.

HEAL agreed to take Bhadrachalam under its wing two years ago and our child sponsors are
already seeing the difference their money is making after wonderful news of examination
success during the summer.

Head teacher Annapurna Devi contacted Dr Prasad to inform him that the school had received
a 100 per cent pass rate in the SSC examinations, overseen by the Board of Intermediate
Education – a genuine cause for celebration.

HEAL is proud to play a part in helping these children, who live in the most challenging
of circumstances, gain a good education, and therefore a chance in life, through its
Poverty Trap Project.

Sponsors can help by contributing as little as £11 a month by clicking on the ‘Sponsor a
Child’ button on our website home page at heal.co.uk.

To read about one HEAL volunteer’s visit to Bhadrachalam school go to: http://amandainindia.edublogs.org/2011/11/11/bhadrachalam-children-in-the-poverty-trap/

Taking up the challenge for HEAL

Friday, October 12th, 2012

HEAL would like to thank and congratulate some of its intrepid supporters who have
recently completed challenging events to raise well over £4,000 to help hundreds
of disadvantaged children in India.

Our charity relies heavily on the support of people who invite family, friends and
work colleagues to donate to HEAL by way of sponsorship for an event or challenge.

Most do this by creating a fund-raising page online at justgiving.com, where the
addition of gift aid can greatly increase the value of donations to charities like
HEAL.

HEAL is gearing up again for Cycle India 2014

Of course, fund-raising can come in all shapes and sizes, and HEAL has benefitted
through everything from bedroom clear-out sales to biking across India over the
past 20 years.

Car washes and cake sales are great ways for young people to get involved, while
planning is already going ahead for HEAL’s next major Cycle India event early in
2014.

People do the most amazing things to raise money for the causes they love and
among the more adventurous over the summer months have been challenges undertaken
for HEAL by the likes of Yashu Shah, who embarked on a tracking adventure in
Nepal, and another trio of travellers who have incredible tales to tell of their
journey across northern India.

Back home in the UK, Karen Rhandawa successsfuly completed the Ealing Half
Marathon, while our good friends at private jet charter firm Air Charter Service
have once again been pushing themselves to the limit by competing in the Great
River Race on the Thames.

No Plane, No Gain - the ACS Great River Race team

“HEAL is in its 20th year of helping underprivileged children in Andhra Pradesh by
providing them with shelter, healthcare and an education and we are marking this
anniversary with our biggest project to date for which we are urgently seeking
funding,” says HEAL founder Dr Satya Prasad Koneru.

“HEAL already looks after hundreds of children in Guntur and elsewhere through our
poverty trap projects, but now work is already well under way on Paradise Village,
which will become home to another 1,000 severely disadvantaged children very
soon.

“So the efforts of our supporters who who help to raise money in whatever way they
can are more important to HEAL than ever.”

Yashu Shah, a patient at Dr Prasad’s clinic in Peterborough, said: “I have just
come back from my trip of a lifetime. I managed to climb up to 5,200 metres and
although it was very tough, the whole thing was a fantastic experience. Raising
money for HEAL along the way made it even more special.”

Tracking through Nepal

Karen Rhandawa admitted that the many donations to her justgiving page had kept
her going as she trained for her first half-marathon. “It was one of my most
challenging achievements. I was proud to run the Ealing Half marathon for HEAL
because they do such wonderful work in taking children out of poverty. And I made
it round in a good time of 2:13:27 too!”

And there is still time to sponsor medical student Amrit Dhadda, who this weekend
will run the Cardiff Half Marathon on behalf of HEAL. His justgiving page can be
found at www.justgiving/amrit-dhadda0

Thirteen of Air Charter Service’s fittest athletes, glorying in the name No Plane,
No Gain, took to the Thames to row a staggering 21 miles. Last year they managed
to raise £3,168 towards an IT classroom at the new HEAL Paradise Village. And they
are hoping to better that figure this year to pay for a library, with ACS
promising to match what their staff raise.

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to the ACS Great River Race team of Christine
Echeverria, Nakita Ogugua, Nicklas Danko, Oli Stravrakakis, Brendan Toomey, Joe
Gallimore, Joel Fenn, Chris Mansell, Ben Dinsdale, James Clark, Ella Melhuish, Amy
Irwin and Thea Goalen.

Last, but not least, well done to Chatty, Jamie and Olivia, whose attempts to
travel across India in a second-hand auto rickshaw may not quite have gone to
plan, but still benefitted their chosen charity, HEAL.

An Auto Rickshaw Across India

You can read about some of their adventures on their unusual 12-day trip,
including entries such as Stowaways on a Train and Sleeping on the Streets of
Pushkar, in their blog at www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/AnAutoRickshawAcrossIndia/

Child poverty motivates Cardiff student’s run for HEAL

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

A CARDIFF medical student says that every step he runs in next weekend’s Cardiff Half Marathon he will be thinking of the children who stand to benefit from him taking part.

Amrit Dhadda, a 20-year-old student at Cardiff University, completed last year’s half marathon in Wales’s capital city in around two hours and is looking to shave 20 minutes off his time from 12 months ago.

But his real motivation, he says, is raising funds for HEAL (Health and Education for All), after being inspired by the charity’s work in placing severely disadvantaged children in India into education for the past 20 years.

Amrit Dhadda, competing in last year's Cardiff Half Marathon

“HEAL’s mission is to give orphaned or underprivileged children shelter, healthcare and an all-important education, in an effort to break the vicious ‘poverty trap’ cycle,” says Amrit.

“More than a third of the world’s malnourished children live in India – and the UN has estimated every year more than two million children die before reaching the age of five – mostly from preventable childhood diseases.

“Living in the UK, it’s so easy to take for granted the opportunities that we are given, and to go through life encountering the problems which are thrown in our path which seem so huge whilst we’re going through them – when in reality many are so minor compared to the millions of underprivileged children living in places like India.

“All the money raised goes directly to projects in India as all staff involved in the administration of HEAL are volunteers.

“Running this Half Marathon is going to be tough – but it’s going to be incomparable to what millions of children in places like India are going through.

“I will be wearing a HEAL t-shirt during the run so I hope people will notice me and perhaps make a small donation – even if it’s not much it will do a lot to these children who have nothing.

“I am so honoured to run for such a worthwhile cause. When I came across HEAL I knew instantly that this was the charity I wanted to support and run for – the great work that the charity does is so inspiring and every step I run I will think of the children that will be better off.

“Doing the degree I do I understand how invaluable good healthcare is and how small interventions can make such a difference, as well as the fact that my heritage is from India, makes this charity personal for me.”

Donations to HEAL can be made through Amrit’s fund-raising page at www.justgiving.com/amrit-dhadda0.

India Night marks HEAL’s 20th anniversary

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

HEAL will celebrate two decades of transforming young lives through education when it holds its annual India Night get-together at The Cressett in Peterborough on October 6.

Dr Satya Prasad Koneru founded the charity Health and Education for All (HEAL) in 1992 with a mission to offer hope to needy children in his native India by equipping them with the tools to become masters of their own destiny.

Determined to break the seemingly constant cycle of poverty in his former home state of Andhra Pradesh, Dr Prasad has used HEAL to provide shelter, health care and an all-important education to hundreds of orphaned, abandoned and destitute children, knowing that this was the only way to make a lasting change in their lives.

And judging by recent success stories coming out of the Children’s Village in Guntur, HEAL’s supporters and sponsors are already seeing the fruits of their labour.

Children who came to HEAL from all manner of deprived backgrounds years ago are emerging as fully-rounded young adults, ready to stand on their own two feet, often seeking further education and looking to put something back into their communities.

HEAL now has around 1,000 children in its ever-growing family and is marking the charity’s 20th anniversary by embarking on its most ambitious scheme yet, the creation of HEAL Paradise Village.

Work has already begun on the £3m project, which will not only become a focal point for the local community in Thotaphalli, near Vijayawada, but home to 1,000 more severely under-privileged children, saving them from a life of poverty, ill health and deprivation.

All the monies raised from the HEAL India Night will go directly to the Paradise Village project and those attending will hear details of the progress already being made in Thotaphalli.

Tickets for the event are £20 (£15 for under-16s) and Dr Prasad is hoping to raise even more than the £6,700 that was made by last year’s Autumn Ball.

“The Autumn Ball was a change to the HEAL India Nights of previous years and it was good to see some new faces among our many regular attendees,” said Dr Prasad.

“This year’s event will be slightly less formal, but equally important in raising money which will make such a difference to hundreds of children’s lives.

“Fund-raising is obviously one of our main objectives, especially with work already well under way on Paradise Village, but we thoroughly enjoy getting together as part of the fellowship of HEAL.”

As well as authentic Indian food and musical entertainment, guests will hear the experiences of volunteers, including a child sponsor, who recently spent time visiting the Children’s Village in Guntur.

For ticket enquiries please call Helen Rome on 07863 178679.

Srinivas success story rewards sponsors’ generosity

Monday, August 6th, 2012

HEAL’s mission to offer hope and support to orphaned and poverty-stricken children in India has always been based upon the need for education.

At the core of HEAL’s work with under-privileged children in Andhra Pradesh is the belief that education is the key to emancipate those people struggling at the bottom of the social order.

So what better way to celebrate 20 years as a charity than to hear reports of a string of success stories from students at the HEAL Children’s Village in Guntur?

Veena Agarwal meets up with her family's sponsor child Srinivas Mande, acompanied by her friend Charlotte and HEAL administrator Mrs Marudwathi

Senior administrator at the Village, Mrs Marudwathi, has already delivered the excellent news that all HEAL children
passed the 10th public board examinations with good grades – music to the ears of Dr Satya Prasad Koneru, who founded the charity back in 1992.

But the real reward for long-term child sponsors has been to see children who arrived into HEAL’s care years ago, often from extremely distressing backgrounds, developing into strong, independant young adults with bright futures ahead of them.

Veena Agarwal, a medical student in the UK and the daughter of child sponsors Rita and Arun, recently spent five days visiting the HEAL Children’s Village along with her friend Charlotte, and got to meet up with Srinivas Mande, who has matured into a fine young man with the help of her family’s support.

“It’s amazing to see the difference this community can make to transform the lives of these underprivileged children and especially how many of them are going on to higher education,” said Veena.

“The children are fun, loving, enthusiastic and hard-working and we had so much fun playing with them and teaching. Ms Manga Devi, Mrs Marudwathi and Dr Satya Prasad are an inspiration to us all.

“They and all the staff volunteers show us what kindness, dedication and sacrifices have been made for the children. The beautiful gardens and playground and inspiring quotes create a lovely environment to live in. It’s exciting, too, to see the progress at HEAL Paradise and how many more children will benefit.

“I had the exciting opportunity to finally meet my family’s sponsor child Srinivas and to hear his success story and big ambitions for the future which I have no doubt he will achieve!”

Successful HEAL student Srinivas Mande

Srinivas Mande was taken under HEAL’s wing when his parents, who worked in a stone quarry, were no longer able to send him to school after his father became ill.

“I faced a lot of problems in childhood, but at the same time God had blessed me with people to encourage me in the tough times,” says Srinivas.

“I was admitted into Nandana, a free Telugu Medium school, run by Sri Venkateswara Bala Kuteer. By that time my father’s health was spoiled and he could not even feed the family.

“Then I was taken into the lap of Heal, and after that I found no need to look back for anything. Our teachers encouraged me in every aspect.

“I stood 1st in the school in the 10th Board Examination and I got admission into one of the best government junior residential colleges at Nagarjuna Sagar where I completed my Intermediate (+2) with good marks.

“I have since completed a three years Commerce Bachelor Degree in Sattenapalli, a place 25kms away from Guntur. I have written an entrance test into M.B.A. and now want to do a part-time job to continue my further education.”

Veena and Srinivas at the HEAL Children's Village

Expressing his gratitude for the support he has received over the years, Srinivas added that he plans to put something back into his community in the future.

“When my school gave me strength to stand firmly with good foundation, HEAL helped me to build a strong, career-orientated future.

“Now I am in a self-reliant position and I strongly hope I can help some of the needy children who are struggling hard in life. Thanks to my school, HEAL and my kind sponsors Aunt Rita and Uncle Arun.”

To read more recent success stories from the HEAL Children’s Village, visit our Child Poverty page at www.heal.co.uk/child-poverty and click on the Case Studies button. For more information on sponsoring a child, please go to www.heal.co.uk/sponsor-a-child and find out how you can make a difference.

‘Green’ bricks in production at Paradise Village

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

CONSTRUCTION work at HEAL Paradise Village will take another step forward following the arrival on site of equipment to create fly ash building blocks.

The fly ash brick-making machine

Paradise Village was planned as an eco-friendly project, making use of renewable energy generation, such as solar and wind power, sustainable systems, including irrigation and waste recycling, and the use of cost-effective materials and construction techniques.

An array of sustainable techniques and systems are incorporated within the site’s design proposals and the village will lead the way in construction, using recyclable materials and ‘green’ technologies for electricity, water, sewage and edible plantations.

Billions of clay bricks are produced globally every year, requiring not only costly mining, but baking in 2,000°F kilns that devour fuel and produce harmful pollutants.

In India, fly ash bricks are used as a more environmentally-friendly alternative for construction, helping to offset millions tonnes of fly ash produced every year in the country’s thermal power plants. Instead of causing potential contamination to land, groundwater and air, the post-industrial recycled waste is used as a component in the bricks, the fly ash being mixed with sand/stone dust, lime, gypsum and cement to form an efficient building material.

Trial batch of bricks at Paradise Village

The fly ash brick machine being used at the Paradise Village site creates the blocks by means of a compression process, producing a strong product with good insulation properties as well as environmental benefits. The bricks solidify under pressure, not extreme heat, so manufacturing them saves energy and costs significantly less than traditional clay bricks.

HEAL’s site manager Mastan has been overseeing the process and commented: “We started the fly ash brick production on July 20 and are satisfied with our trial batches of a few bricks.

“We will now press ahead with production while achieving HEAL’s target of saving on cost, protecting the environment and managing waste.”

In addition to recycling waste materials to create energy, the village will have extensive green cover and the planting of fruit-bearing and shady trees will increase the scope for self-sustainability.

Setting up the power generator on site

HEAL’s vision is for this centre to be a model of excellence in design, sustainability and management, which will care for the most needy children and prepare them for adult life with education, skills, an awareness of their responsibility to protect valuable resources, and a caring attitude to the less fortunate people in society.

HEAL is appealing to individuals and businesses to help speed this project along by sponsoring a classroom, a dormitory, a workshop or arts building, or by providing funds for tree planting, or eventually by sponsoring individual children.

Sponsors can even have rooms and buildings named after themselves, a business or a loved one, and trees can be planted in memory of a loved one, and a name plaque attached. If you would like to support the project, and help to improve the lives of thousands of Indian children in the future, please contact us at healsec@hotmail.co.uk.