Strathaven Friends of HHI support for the Banyan Tree Tuition Group

The Banyan Tree Tuition Groups continue to provide education and encourage young people in Kerela to reach their academic potential and finally give better career opportunities to their students.

Even through the covid world-wide pandemic both ends, at home and in India have flourished. Here in Strathaven despite the effects of the Covid pandemic we have continued to support these groups and in Kerela where the effects are much greater tuition has been able to continue although to a lesser degree.

HHI helps with the recruitment and pays the salaries of the teachers and at the start of the school year, provides the funds for the students to be given school supplies including notebooks, pencils, pens and other learning aids.

In India many classes have been replaced by peripatetic teachers providing tuition. Here in Stra’ven it has been amazing the various ways in which our  supporters have continued to donate to the Banyan Tree Tuition Groups –  by post, with an envelope through Ian Gow’s letter box, by personal messenger to his house or meeting him in the street, 

In 2020 a total of £2,168 was raised and the total to the end of October in 2021 is £2,694. With the addition of the monies reclaimed from Gift Aid (25% of these totals) we are on target to being able to provide the support for three tuition groups in the coming year thanks to the generosity of many of our Strathaven supporters and to the efforts of Ian Gow. 

 Many thanks to all our local supporters who continue to make donations and help keep the Banyan Tree Tuition Groups operational and  providing educational support to many deprived young folk in south India.

The 2020 RS50

The annual Round Strathaven 50 Charity Cycling event has been a generous supporter of Health Help International in recent years having donated a total of nearly £40,000 to the Charity to date

With this year’s usual event having to be cancelled due to the Coronavirus restrictions the members of the RS50 committee were determined to continue it in some form or other and raise money for its selected Charities.

A ‘virtual’ RS50 was promoted to its regular cyclists, asking them to undertake a cycle run of up to 50 miles during the week leading up to the planned date of 23rd August not necessarily over the usual route but wherever it was most convenient to them and to make a donation on Just Giving to be shared between this year’s two selected Charities, the Kilbryde Hospice in East Kilbride and HHI, specifically to go towards its New Bus Fund (see under Events) This proved to be most successful and the cyclists’ donations have contributed a total of over £2,100 to each of the Charities.

In addition to the above, Iain Park, joint founder of the RS50 and participant in the first RS50 in 2002, now aged 83, offered to try to complete the challenging 50 mile route on the 23rd and raise money for the HHI Bus Fund by sponsorship. 

Thanks to having been able to train regularly during the four months of lockdown he was able to complete the course successfully, encouraged along the way by other members of the RS50 committee. He raised the excellent sum of £5,370 from a large number of generous sponsors which with the addition of about £1,200 from Gift Aid recovery will add a further £6,570 to the Bus Fund.

Iain and the other members of the Strathaven Friends of HHI committee wish to thank all who sponsored him for their marvellous support.

Christmas Fair

Members of the SFHHI Committee at their stall at a Christmas Fair where they were promoting their parent Charity, Health Help International. A good number of Christmas cards, craft items and Iain Park’s book were sold on the day.

Tuition Groups in India

HHI have been supporting the Tuition Groups run by the Banyan Tree in Kerela for many years but at the end of 2017 financial restrictions resulted in the number of these groups having to be severely reduced despite the high demand. To combat this reduction Strathaven friends of HHI  created a system to ease the financial shortfall.

It costs £30.00 per month to maintain each tuition group which supplements state education and with this extra help school pupils have achieved academic success beyond their expectations and given life changing choices to deprived young folk. 

HHI recruits and pays the salaries of the teachers and at the start of the school year, provides the funds for the students to be given school supplies including notebooks, pencils, pens and other learning aids. 

At the beginning of 2018 we thought we might be able to fund two tuition groups for the year by raising £720.00. We asked supporters to contribute £1.00 per month to the Tuition Fund but as always the support exceeded our expectations and £1441.00 was raised allowing four tuition groups to be financed by Strathaven supporters for the whole year. In December 2018 we made an appeal for the year 2019, hoping to equal or even surpass this level of funding. I am delighted to record that by the end of September 2019 a total of £1658.00 has been sent specifically to finance the Banyan Tree Tuition Groups and we are on target to fund five groups by the end of this year.

Ragbag

The Ragbag scheme has provided a regular source of income for the work of Health Help International over the past ten years and has been well supported by the members of both the Avondale and Trinity churches and by the Strathaven community generally, raising around £1000 per year. Now, thanks to the generous cooperation of the Hamilton Bridge Club and St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Hamilton, SFHHI hopes to increase the amount of money raised in this way for HHI. An external collection unit has been set up in the car park of the Bridge Club and this is easily accessible to both its members and to the members of the adjacent Church. 

Festive Cards

In the run up to Christmas SFHHI are focussing their efforts on Christmas Card sales. We will be selling cards in several churches and schools in the Strathaven area throughout November and December. The Christmas cards proved very popular last year and already there has been a lot of interest for 2019. The Christmas cards can be ordered from the “shop” on this website. Order early as they are going fast.

The SFHHI committee hopes to expand the sale of the painted leaf cards next year to a wider market around Scotland. They will be aided in this by the generous support of the Church of Scotland’s Life and Work Magazine which has printed a full page article about the leaf cards and the work of SFHHI in the December issue of the magazine.

Life Saving Borehole in Monze

£3000 was recently donated to Health Help International from this year’s Round Strathaven 50 annual charity cycle event.

This has already put to use and was the answer to HHI’s prayers in enabling a much needed borehole to be drilled in the ground’s of the Charity’s HQ building in Monze.

Zambia is currently experiencing a severe drought causing famine and hardship in many areas of the country and those working for HHI in Monze and many of those whom the charity helps have been without a regular supply of water for many months.

The photos show the borehole being drilled and it should produce water shortly.