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Archive for the ‘Heal india’ Category

Lakshmi Parvathi sings and dances

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Lakshmi Parvathi (15) lives with her grandmother in Bhadrachalam, a remote tribal area of India where HEAL has a school, and has been an orphan for the last four years following the death of both parents.

She developed her own interest in singing and dancing and has written her own songs and choreographed her own dance routines. She recently won an award from Andhra Pradesh’s MAA TV channel and the channel has also agreed to sponsor the next stage of her education, Intermediate College, which is similar to A-Level college in the UK.

Although a brilliant performer, Lakshmi would like eventually to become a doctor, and her teacher describes her as ‘very enthusiastic: a student who works hard to finish her tasks quickly’. Clearly she has great ability and HEAL is proud to be a part of her progress. She is an inspiration to many other children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Follow Heal on Twitter

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

HEAL are embracing new technologies and want to tell you more about all the things we are doing, so we now have a Twitter account!

Please follow us on @healvillage so that you have updates on our progress at your fingertips.

Among the latest ‘tweets’ is a picture posted from Kanuru School in Vijayawada, a Heal-funded school, showing the children in their smart new uniforms.

There will also be future updates from the Heal Children’s Village in Guntur and from the site of the new Paradise Village project where a ceremonial Puja ritual will be held during November prior to the long-awaited commencement of building work.

The Puja is performed to bless the building and the project and has importance in ensuring its success.
Amanda Smith is currently in India to keep an eye on progress before taking up her new role as vice-principal of the Heal Paradise Village in Thotapally and is also spending time visiting with the children in Guntur.

She will be tweeting updates direct from India, and her Indian adventure can also be followed through her personal blog online at amandainindia.edublogs.org.

Heal family celebrates Diwali

Monday, November 7th, 2011

THE children of the Heal Village in Guntur were very excited to join in the celebration of Diwali, popularly known as the ‘festival of lights’, recently.

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!

The story behind Diwali and the manner of celebration varies from region to region, but the essence is the same – to rejoice in the awareness of the ‘inner light’, the uplifting of spiritual darkness and the celebration of the victory of good over evil.

In Andhra Pradesh, festivities start out at the crack of dawn and carry on well into the night. Most people make a trip to the local temple along with their families to seek the blessings of their respective gods before the night sky is lit up with a dazzling array of noisy fireworks.

The children of the Heal Village in Guntur may not have family homes where they can enjoy these celebrations, but there is nevertheless the feeling of great joy and excitement as their faces are lit up by sparklers under the watchful eye of their teachers and house mothers, safe in the knowledge that they are all part of the Heal extended family.

For two decades HEAL has committed itself to providing shelter, support, education and healthcare for needy children

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Visitors to the HEAL Children’s Village in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, are frequently amazed at the loving, caring environment provided for the youngsters, who greet outsiders with unbridled delight and a sea of smiles. The key element always underpinning the charity’s work in the region is education and, if recent results coming out of the Village are anything to go by, the benefits to the children are growing year on year.

The improvements brought about not only by the dedication and hard work of the children, their teachers and house mothers, but through continued support from HEAL sponsors, are there for all to see.

No fewer than 16 senior children at the Village have recently won Polytechnic placements to engineering courses, double the number achieved last year, and four times the number in 2009!

Eleven of the placements were in electronics & communication, another in electrical & electronics engineering and two each in computers and mechanical engineering.

In addition to those 16, another 22 children successfully qualified in Intermediate, IT, nursing and other vocational courses, demonstrating the wide range of skills being developed.

These are just the latest positive results to come out of the school following excellent academic performances by the children in science, mathematics and languages, all of which pays tribute to the
educators within the Village.

Many pupils point to the 10th class as being a pivotal time in their lives and HEAL supporters can feel proud that no fewer than 38 children at the Village passed their 10th class examinations this year. And the message coming out of the Village is that it is the support of HEAL and its generous sponsors which inspires the school to set, and continually achieve, higher and higher goals. A growing number of children in HEAL’s care are now going on to become promising young students, some entering further education to help secure their future.

Teachers within the Children’s Village school assess those pupils who they believe are capable of going on to successfully further their education. And through its further education budget, HEAL is committed to helping these bright young adults, who it is hoped will be able to not only go on to achieve their ambitions in life, but to one day be able to put something back into their local communities. This is vitally important for the future development of the region and is seen as an important and expanding area of the charity’s work in Andhra Pradesh.

In addition to HEAL residential and poverty trap sponsors, we are therefore seeking vital financial backing for these higher education students. For £48 per month, it is possible to sponsor a student’s
education
for between one and three years at a higher educational facility.

It is crucial that the children who grow up in the HEAL Village are not forgotten once they head out into the world. They need our support more than ever at a time when they are just beginning
to engage successfully with the future. HEAL aims to gradually increase its funding for those leaving the school to ensure these children can go on to fulfill their true potential.

Presentation of school bags

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

In June 2011, at the start of the Indian academic year, HEAL project manager Steve Sargent presented HEAL school-bags and exercise books to the children of the local ‘government’ primary schools in the two villages where the new Paradise project is located.

The schools receive the minimal funding from the state, and operate on a shoestring. The pupils are mostly from poor rural families.

Steve said, “We are delighted to support the local school next to our site, and to make friends with the people of Thotapalli and Narasingapalem in general.

HEAL has already had a very warm reception here. Even at the beginning of our project, we’ve been able to provide employment opportunities for villagers, and there will be a lot more as the project takes off. I’m very happy that we’ve been made so welcome.”

An unforgettable visit to HEAL

Monday, February 28th, 2011

For five days in January 2011, my friend Gabriella Wass and I had the privilege of visiting the HEAL Children’s Village in Andhra Pradesh and meeting some of the inspirational visionaries and volunteers who have made the project what it is today.

Having worked over previous months with my colleagues at PLMR to support HEAL UK gain local Peterborough press coverage for its latest fundraising efforts and to launch the new Paradise Village initiative, I was very excited about seeing it all in action. Gabriella, having recently completed a Masters Degree in Human Rights at the University of London, was also keen to visit the project – sharing a deep passion for supporting projects that improve the health and education of children from deprived backgrounds abroad.

From the moment we arrived we were struck by HEAL’s caring and loving atmosphere, and how welcoming and happy all the children and staff were to see us. Throughout our visit, Gabbi and I were continually overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of our hosts – an ethos which clearly emanates from the core of HEAL’s approach as an entirely volunteer-run charity.

The first activity that we had the pleasure of experiencing was an aerobics and dance session, led by Ann Garrett, HEAL UK’s Sponsorship Secretary. Alongside 200 beautifully dressed women in sarees, who had come to HEAL from surrounding local villages to learn grassroots skills to take back to their communities (including maternal and infant healthcare, hygiene and basic education), we all embarrassed ourselves doing squats and star-jumps in time to the music – causing much amusement. The class soon turned into a massive dance session with all the children, who energetically taught us a few traditional and Bollywood-style dance moves – skills that we could never pull off with quite so much style!

Over the next few days, between more dance classes and being fed absolutely delicious South Indian food, Gabbi and I also managed to spend time singing and playing with the children, visiting the local town and going on a tour of some beautiful Hindu and Buddhist temples and shrines in the region. We were delighted to meet so many members of the HEAL team during our stay, including CEO Mrs Laxmi Tatineni, HEAL India Sponsorship Secretary Mrs O Vijayalaxmi, Mr Dhana Prakash, Managing Director of Model Dairy and major benefactor of the new Paradise Village, and Varma, on-site HEAL coordinator. Everyone was endlessly generous and hospitable – we ran out of ways to say thank you.

One memory that will always stay with us was the experience of watching Dr N Manga Devi, General Secretary and HEAL visionary, reading a bedtime story one evening to 15 absolutely captivated children. Her compassionate approach was deeply inspiring and a wider reflection of the loving environment that the HEAL children are surrounded by every day, and which they clearly absorb. Never was this more apparent than at the moment of our leaving, when many of the young girls tried to give us the little jewellery they owned. We were so moved by their generosity and made to feel very hopeful for their futures, which, through the atmosphere HEAL has created, will certainly be bright.

Gabbi and I are excited about jointly sponsoring a ‘Poverty Trap’ child through their education over the coming months and years.

February 2011
Rebecca Newsom
Account Executive, PLMR

Latest news from Heal

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

HEAL is delighted to share news of our projects, and we hope you enjoy reading about the good things that have been achieved and enjoyed this year, plus news of the exciting prospects for 2011.

In this newsletter:
Paradise Children’s Village, Ganavaram
Bhadrachalam
Kanuru School, Vijayawada
HEAL Children’s Village, Guntur
Cycle India 2012

To view the Heal newsletter click on the Heal newsletter pdf.

Thank you.

Invitation to the Lotus Pond UK Preview

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

You are invited to attend the UK Preview of Mr A.L. Nitin Kumar’s film at the John Clare Theatre, Central Library, Broadway, Peterborough, PE1 RX on Saturday 30th October at 4.00pm.

Nitin is one of the Heal India trustees and recently organised the Cycle India 2010 charity bike ride in January in Karnataka. It would be wonderful to see as many Heal UK supporters attend this preview of his new feature film.

The details are below, and click on the image to see in full size:

Tickets are free, but donations to our charity at the door will be most welcome.

Fo any further information please contact Prasad at koneru.prasad@btinternet.com

Pictures from India

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

I’ve decided to share with you a few pictures and experiences I had during my recent visit to the Heal Childrens Village. I’m one of the Heal trustees and although I’ve visited the Heal Village and Bala Kuteer school a number of times, I had never stayed for more than 48 hours, so this was a chance to spend more time with the children, and see how things work.

Group Photo:

heal-kids3

The above picture was an impromptu group photograph. You can just about see me at the back in the middle, and Steve (a Heal colleague) down near the front. In the background you can see some of the dormitories at the Heal Village.  The children love spending time with visitors to the village, and having their photographs taken.

120-chilren-on-a-bus

Heal also provides an education to children from neighbouring villages who have families (we call it our Poverty Trap project), but their parents wouldn’t normally be able to afford to send their children to school. I caught the school bus to see for myself the type of homes these children come from. Believe it or not, there are 120 children on this bus!

Heal-child-returning-home

I took this picture which shows the typical type of home our Heal children go home to. They’re unlikely to have running water, an electricity supply and they’re unlikely to get good quality food when they’re at home.  So, by offering a free education to these children, Heal also provides a good midday meal.

heal-computers

Heal children study at the neighbouring Chetana School. The school has recently been donated a number of second hand computers and a computer teacher has been hired, but I feel we need to put more focus on IT skills, and installing better hardware and software. Also the computer lab is not connected to the internet at present so definitely more work to do here.

dinner-time

Spending time with the children also included eating with them, although eating with my fingers is still a knack I struggle with!  The Heal Children’s Village is strictly vegetarian and the children receive good portions of food every day.

drainage4

Steve Sargent and I decided to do a few running repairs to the drainage from the dormitories (which was quite tough in 38 degree heat). Luckily the teenage boys at the village were keen to get involved so I ended up in more of a supervisory role.

heal-kids-2

Heal looks after children from around 3 years old and supports them right through their higher education.  There’s currently 42 Heal children now in higher education, and in the summer a further 24 children will be joining them.  We have now created a Higher Education Sponsorship Programme and we are actively looking for new sponsors.

heal-children

You’ve got to admit, there’s some very cute kids at the village, and I must stress that these children are very lucky to looked after by the Heal India team.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this Heal project and seeing the great work undertaken by the House Mothers, and the staff at Heal India.

But we must not rest on our laurels, and further improvements to the lives of the children need implementing, such as introducing more variety in their diet, and improving the teaching facilities at the school.  I’m really glad I took the time to see how things work, and I’ll be reporting my findings to the Heal UK trustees in due course.

Matthew Glover

Head of Fundraising

More success for children at the Heal Village

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Some more good news from the Heal Village which give an idea of the activities our children are involved with at school.

Firstly, a Heal Village team won the State Level karate tournament and demonstrates the hard work they have been putting in.

champions

Also, two of our children were winners in a painting competition held on the occasion of World Water Day with the topic ‘Water For Life’.

Hamanth:

hamanth

Venkata Rao:

venkata-rao

Well done children!