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Archive for the ‘Volunteers’ Category

Becky and Charlotte’s joy at volunteer visit

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

TWO medical students who spent 10 days volunteering at the HEAL Children’s Village in Guntur have spoken of the “cherished memories” of their time in India – and have vowed to return to see the children again next year.

Becky Curbishley and Charlotte Boardman, who are halfway through their university medical degree courses, recently returned to the UK and were thrilled to be asked to make a presentation of their trip to hundreds of HEAL supporters at last weekend’s annual HEAL India Night, held to celebrate 20 years of transforming disadvantaged children’s lives through education.

Charlotte and Becky spent their summer break from university travelling to India, and focused their trip on a 10-day stay at the HEAL Village, with the added bonus of being able to take in the new developments of the HEAL Paradise Site.

“As former Guide leaders and medical students at the halfway mark of our degree, we had particular interest in child development and a visit to the HEAL village provided the opportunity to see this and healthcare through the eyes of a different culture,” said Charlotte.

“During our stay we were lucky enough to be fully immersed in the village, taking advantage of the new accommodation situated directly above the children’s cottages.

“This meant that from the moment we stepped out of our door in the morning until we went back to sleep at night, we were immediately involved in all aspects of the daily routine of the children and their house mothers.

Charlotte & Becky pose for a photograph the children at the Heal Village

“With our musical theatre interest we especially enjoyed teaching the children all the songs and dances from our childhood, a lot of which they had never heard before but can now recite on their own.

“A moment we will never forget was the sound of our own voices being played across the school grounds singing all the songs we recorded for the children to continue to learn after our departure.

“As a special treat we took a bag of goodies for the children to enjoy while we were there with them. This included colouring books and pencils, bubbles and yoyos. The excitement we saw from them when we introduced these surprises will never be forgotten.

“We were able to participate in everything from morning grooming to evenings of singing, game playing and storytelling, our favourite time of day.

“However, we feel it was our time spent and the relationships built with them that the children cherished the most.”

The girls were keen to use their medical knowledge for the benefit of the children through basic health checks, through which the children’s development will continue to be monitored.

“We assessed the children’s height, weight, dentition and vision. With limited supplies and experience we could only provide an overview. However, with the results we found it will now be possible to identify any problems at an early stage.

“On the whole we were pleased and encouraged by the health status of the children, but the positive ethos that the village exudes could have told us the children would all be happy and healthy from the outset.

“Our fantastic experience was enhanced by the fact that we were so well looked after. From the moment we stepped off the plane at Vijayawada to our heart-wrenching farewell, we constantly had people around us ensuring our comfort. They even removed all the chillies from the food for us!

“We could not have been made more welcome. The children’s enthusiasm was infectious and meant that from the first minute we gained as much as possible from our time with them. And not only did we help with their skills in English, they also managed to teach us some very basic Telegu.”

Refelcting on their “wonderful experience”, the girls admitted that they cannot wait to go back.

“We made a connection with the children, such that our tearful goodbye was actually just a ‘See you later’,” said Charlotte. “From as little as a few days into our trip we had decided to return and we are currently organising our trip for next summer.”

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.

Volunteers’ joy at meeting their sponsored child

Friday, June 15th, 2012

HEAL relies upon individual sponsors to help give severely disadvantaged children the shelter, education and healthcare they need for a proper start in life.

Such sponsorship is a wonderful way to bring hope and lasting change to a child living in poverty.

Some supporters are content to make regular donations, happy in the knowledge that HEAL’s dedicated team of volunteers will see to it that their money is put to the best possible use in helping needy children.

Others stay in regular contact with the children they support and take the opportunity to develop a lasting relationship, often from primary school age through to further education and beyond.

And a few sponsors even spend time volunteering at the HEAL Children’s Village in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, getting to see first-hand the difference their money makes.

The children love nothing more than the excitement of having visitors to their school and many volunteers at the Village have been moved to tears by the joyous welcome they have received.

Some are long-time sponsors who have the added joy of finally getting to meet the child they support in person.

One of these is JAZ BUSHELL, who, after sponsoring a child at the HEAL Children’s Village for 15 years, finally had the unforgettable experience of meeting Jyoti face-to-face when she spent a week volunteering at Guntur.

On her return home to London, Jaz posted her feelings on the HEAL facebook page, where she wrote: “I had a wonderful, emotional and very memorable six-day stay at HEAL.

“It was great to finally meet Jyoti after 15 years of sponsoring her, and all the other children at HEAL.

“The village is run so well by Marudwathi and all the house mothers. I am so pleased that I have been supporting such a great charity.”

ANDREW QUERNMORE also visited the Village earlier this year and wrote an online blog about his experiences in Andhra Pradesh.

“I’ve been sponsoring Amala, one of the hundreds of orphaned and abandoned children that HEAL has brought into its family, and it was great to be able to check on her progress and spend a little time with her and the other children,” said Andrew.

“The village provides a stable family environment for destitute children whose early life has been marked by the most unimaginable suffering. In this poor cotton and chilli-growing area there is no support net when parents are killed or die in tragic circumstances; and any surviving family is likely to be too poor to feed another mouth.

“That’s where HEAL comes in; each child becomes part of a new family unit at the beautifully landscaped village. The children are nurtured by individual house mothers. HEAL knows that these children can have a better life and ensures that their health and emotional needs are met and that they get a fantastic education.

“It is an incredibly happy place and the children take such delight in learning that many of them are now top of their classes. They are really proud of each other’s achievements and so supportive of one another.

“In addition to the family units where the children live there is a school, a rural poverty outreach service, a health centre, and many other facilities all set in beautiful gardens.

“I chose to support HEAL because it is a small and efficient charity; there are no paid workers, big advertising budgets, chuggers or fancy offices in the West – everything here is done by volunteers – so practically all of the money goes directly to meet the children’s needs.

“I’ve been visiting India for 20 years for work and holidays and it is great to be able to give something back, especially when HEAL is so keen that people visit and see exactly how the money is spent.

“It is marvellous to have that personal relationship with your sponsor children and to follow their progress as they are transformed from despair into thriving, well-balanced, young people with a bright future.

“Amala is now 16 and her future is looking good. She is hoping to go to university to study engineering in a couple of years time and is working hard to ensure that there will be stability in her adult life and also for her younger brother, Sai, who also is part of the HEAL family. HEAL ensures that all of its children are supported into adulthood.

“The original HEAL Village has proven such a success that a much larger version, Paradise Village, is now being constructed a few miles away.

“Visiting HEAL makes you realise that really valuable changes can be made in young people’s lives with just a bit of financial support from us and the dedication of its fantastic team.

“The children at the village are some of the finest young people you could ever hope to meet; positive, enthusiastic, caring and determined to make a success of their lives, and they show incredible gratitude for the support they receive.”

HEAL volunteer AMANDA SMITH, who took part in Cycle India 2012 to help raise funds for the charity, went on a fact-finding mission to India last year and was humbled by her visits to some of the HEAL projects.

As always, the children were excited to have visitors and made an incredible fuss of schoolteacher Amanda, something she found hard to come to terms with.

“In many ways I found it very difficult to be treated in such awe. After all, who am I? I am merely a person like anyone else here,” wrote Amanda in a moving account after receiving the warmest of welcomes by the HEAL children.

“The only difference is that I had the great fortune to be born into a life free from poverty. I deserve no plaudits, I’m not worthy of being put on the pedestal these children put me on. If anyone deserves this, it is the teachers who work here every day, it is the children who smile and laugh in the face of adversity.

“But to these children, they do not see that, they just see in people like me, that someone ‘out there’ in the big wide world cares enough about them to want to make their lives better.

“All we are when we visit schools like this is a symbol of that giving and a symbol of hope. In material things the children here have so very little but in heart and spirit they are rich beyond measure and I am honoured to have spent this day with them.”

To find out more about child sponsorship or supporting other HEAL projects please visit our home page at heal.co.uk.

Full speed ahead for Cycle India 2014

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

HEAL cyclists, still buzzing from a memorable and emotional Cycle India 2012 are already making plans for 2014!

Many described the 10-day adventure in India as “life-changing” and are determined to repeat the experience in two years’ time.

HEAL founder Dr Koneru Prasad announced during the trip that a new coastal cycling route, from Mumbai to Goa, was being considered for the fourth Cycle India event.

After five days pedalling through the beautiful hills and backwaters of Kerala, the intrepid team of 23 cyclists from the UK, India and USA developed a strong bond and cameraderie, which has been reflected by a buzz on social network websites ever since.

Cycle India 2012, which is expected to raise more than £40k when all UK fund-raising is complete, was closely monitored in the Indian media along the way.

Since returning home, many of the cyclists have had more news of their exploits published on blogs and in the press, while much of the chat between the new-found friends on sites such as Facebook and Twitter has been all about the countdown to 2014.

“I am definitely keen to be part of Cycle India 2014,” says 38-year-old nurse, wife and mother-of-two Zoe Smith.

“What an amazing trip that was, honestly unlike any other trip I have ever had. The camaraderie was incredible, the people inspirational and the feeling of euphoria impossible to describe.

“My emotion after the big hill-climb on day three was incredible and made all the better by being able to share it with such wonderful people. It was amazing to step out of the ordinary to do something extraordinary.

“Looking back, I did nowhere near enough training but the team spirit, the feeling of doing something worthwhile and the inspiration of HEAL pulled me through.

“I now plan to sponsor a child in India and hope to see that child grow and flourish under the nurturing umbrella of HEAL. I’m already looking forward to visiting the Children’s Village in Guntur again.”

Grace Shephard, a 53-year-old PA, along with husband Adrian raised money for HEAL by holding Indian dinners at their home in Warminster, Wiltshire.

“Not until the cycle ride was over and we arrived in Andhra Pradesh did I feel the full impact of our challenge,” admitted Grace.

“We visited the site of Paradise Village, seeing the plans for the whole complex and witnessing the early stages of the school building rising from the ground with the unrelenting work from happy local workers.

“We also went to the Heal Village in Guntur where we were greeted by hundreds of beautiful children full of life and ambition, and made a brief visit to the slums where many of the HEAL children would still be breaking stone in the quarry if not for the charity.

“This experience was truly life-changing, full of every emotion. It made every push on the pedals and fund-raising event worth the time and effort a million times over. Bring on 2014 to see those children again!”

Husband Ady, a 54-year-old events manager, agreed, adding: “We were looking for a special holiday to mark our 20th wedding anniversary and we certainly found it!

“For me personally, the ride was transformative on many levels. It was a great team-building experience, with cameraderie and mutual affection between us from the word go. We Brits aren’t always as stuffy and cold as our reputation!

“What a wonderful adventure and what a feast for the senses – warmth, colours, countryside, vibrancy and great food!

“It was my first time in India. Receiving the garlanded welcomes from the children was humbling and it all came as a big jolt to my moral compass. I’ll just say that I’m not quite the same as I used to be since the ride.”

Ann Cripps, who prepared for Cycle India by biking in the Yorkshire Dales near her home, is another planning another fund-raising trip in two years’ time.

“What will remain with me a long time is the visit to the HEAL Village – turning the corner and seeing all the children waiting to greet us was overwhelming and then being shown around so spontaneously by different children and realising the warmth and closeness of their life together.

“It was a magical couple of days that I feel privileged to have shared. Needless to say I plan to return in 2014 and my sister is keen to come as well!”

Things are improving at Kanuru School.

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Previously, HEAL has been providing school uniforms to the children of Kanuru School, but this year the school has been able to take advantage of a new government scheme which provides free uniforms. Instead, HEAL has provided each child with a free pair of shoes.

Until now, most of the children have been going to school barefoot because they do not own any shoes. Now, thanks to HEAL, they can walk to school along the rough roads more comfortably. 426 pairs were given out and the cost was £1600 so for a donation of less than £3 it can really make a massive difference.

HEAL is committed to removing all obstacles to a good education, and giving the children shoes is just another success along the way.

Amanda begins her journey to Paradise

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

A TEACHER who gave up her position in a top Sheffield school to offer her skills as a volunteer working with disadvantaged children in India will leave Britain this week to take up a new role as vice-principal of HEAL Paradise Village in the rural Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Amanda Smith, 38, has been appointed to commission the school being built at the Village in Thotapally and openly admits to being “scared” of the challenges ahead.

“I leave for India early in October having never been there before and, yes, I am scared,” admits Cumbria-born Amanda.

“I don’t really know what to expect other than it will be very different. I have been appointed the vice-principal of Paradise Village, which is still in the process of being built. Although there is no school yet, my role will be to develop the curriculum, to staff and plan the opening of the school ready for its first children in June 2012.

“Obviously, I will have my work cut out because I go to India with very little knowledge of Indian education and therefore I will need to learn a lot. I have also never commissioned a school from scratch and I don’t know anyone who has so I expect a lot of headaches along the way!”

The school and village are the brainchild of Dr Koneru Prasad, founder of the UK-based charity HEAL (Health and Education for All) which since its formation 19 years ago has lifted hundreds of orphans and needy children out of India’s poverty trap by providing shelter, medical care, food and, above all, education.

His vision, HEAL’s latest and most ambitious project, is to build a self-sustaining and mutually beneficial village community where 1,000 impoverished children can be nurtured and realise their full potential. A 25-acre site has been acquired and cleared and Paradise is expected to open its doors to its first intake of children in June next year.

“I have known Prasad for around 30 years as he was my childhood GP when I grew up in Peterborough,” says Amanda. “I went to Jack Hunt School in Peterborough, a local comprehensive, and Prasad was our family doctor when he first lived in the UK, I believe. I then left Peterborough to go to University and have not seem him for about 20 years.”

However, Amanda’s parents kept in touch with Dr Prasad, even after they left the city and moved to Northamptonshire, and it was a chance meeting which was to change Amanda’s life for good.
“Prasad was at my parents house one day when I was there, showing them the designs and telling them all about Paradise Village and the aspirations he has for the school and Heal,” recalls Amanda, who did a degree in neuroscience and a PhD in neurophysiology before deciding to go into teaching, going on to complete a PGCE at Leicester University.

“Mum and Dad had started to get involved with HEAL and to support its work. That meeting sparked something in me that truly inspired me – I could have the chance to do something that I know I am good at and that I know other people benefit from in a truly remarkable setting.

“I chatted a lot to Prasad about how I may be able to help and, whilst I could offer support and guidance from Sheffield where I worked, the best way I could contribute to this project is to go and actually do it.”

She had taught for two years in Leicester before moving to Tapton School in Sheffield where she stayed for 10 years. During that time Amanda filled a range of teaching positions in the school, some with pastoral responsibility (head of year) and latterly with academic responsibility (Director of Science). As recently as July Amanda won an ‘Outstanding Teacher of the Year’ award in a city-wide ceremony in Sheffield.

“Yes, this was a massive move and a huge decision to leave a very good job, but suddenly it seemed to be the right thing to do. I had the experience, I had the ability, I just needed the courage to go through with it.

“So, I resigned from my job at school, a truly traumatic event for me but, at the same time, I knew that all the things in education that I value I would be able to use to influence a school development in a community of children who have so very little. I have always wanted to give children the best start in life they could have and now I could do that for children whose starting point is one of poverty and destitution. What better way is there to use my advantage in life to the benefit of those so disadvantaged?

“My aspiration for Paradise Village is that it will offer world-class education to destitute children. That education will enable them to enter into global society if they choose and, importantly, will educate them about the value of people, educate them to live in an environmentally sustainable way and to think freely and make conscious decisions about their lives.

“I want Paradise Village to take the best parts of different cultures – i.e. not a ‘British’ school, nor an ‘Indian’ school, but instead a school that reflects the best things about each education system.”
Working alongside an India-based principal, Amanda will be recruiting staff from around the world to work in Paradise Village and will be developing the curriculum to ensure a first-class education is provided for children in the village.

“I have always loved teaching and have a real belief that it is the foundation of any development that a person, community and society undergoes. Something that I think made me good at what I did was that I never lost sight of the ‘child’ and how education may help them in life to make well-thought-through decisions, to have moral values, to care about others and the world around them, to ask questions, to value difference and celebrate that difference.

“I honestly think that a teacher has a massive influence on children and it isn’t just what you teach them but how you do it that is important. I could have happily stayed at Tapton for another 10 years I imagine, continuing to influence, continuing to benefit the lives of young people and getting along very well. Then I bumped into Prasad again…”

If anyone would like to find out more about the work Amanda is doing or would like to be involved, please contact the Heal UK secretary (healsec@hotmail.co.uk). For details of how to sponsor a child or make a donation towards Paradise Village please visit www.heal.co.uk.

Amanda will be among a group of 30 people from the UK, US and India taking part in Cycle India 2012 in January to raise funds for HEAL. If you would like to sponsor her please go to www.justgiving.com/Zoe-and-Amanda

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.”

John and Arlene’s visit to Heal in Andhra Pradesh

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Heal October 2009 Progress

The time of our departure to India on November 2nd rapidly approaches. What seemed a long time has shot past! Now there is excitement in the air as we contemplate meeting the five children we are sponsoring and the ten who are now supported by your JustGiving donations – Thank You!

Then on top of that we will be visiting the planned site of Heal’s biggest project to date, the new village and school at Vijayawada. A very generous sponsor has given this project a real kick start, Thank You!

All our fingers are now crossed for the land purchase to go ahead without a hitch. Visit Google Earth 16o 38’ 49.00” N and 80o 47’ 31.00” E.

vijayawada-land

The mollusc shape (below) is the main building of the Heal Village in Guntur, where we will be in November. Visit Google Earth 16 o 15’ 00.00” N and 80 o 19’ 24.00” E.

googleearthheal

‘Sukhamu’ to you all!

John Broadhurst is one of the trustees of Heal UK and will be visiting our projects for the first time. We look forward to including more of John and Arlene’s progress reports.