Himalayan Education Lifeline Programme (HELP)

Himalayan Education Lifeline Programme

About

Welcome to the Himalayan Education Lifeline Programme, or HELP for short. We are a limited company registered as a charity (No. 1117646) with the Charity Commission of England and Wales.

As our name suggests, we provide support to young people in poor communities in the Himalayas to give them a chance to complete their education and so improve their employment prospects when they leave school or college. In so doing, we hope in the longer term to have an impact not only on their own living standards, but also on those of their extended families and of the wider communities they come from.

Headquarters

United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Marco
10/10

This is to far to much to describe. I have never had such a great experience as this, all because of the love the children give me. Although I was there for a short term, it felt that I know the children in the village and the school for years. It good to spend a lot of time with the children, playing football, volleyball and frisbee before school and during break time. I never said no when someone asked me to walk to another village, and the people are happy to point at animals, plants, villages and houses, telling me about their names in Nepali, and which students live where.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Lynne
10/10

My husband and I volunteered in Ladakh, India through a placement with HELP. We received accurate information from HELP about what to expect, were placed in a school that appreciated our services and lived with the local nurse. This was all 10 years ago, and it still remains a very important time in our live where we were able to share our skills and resources while we made new friends, got to know another culture and experience the beauty of northern India. HELP is for mature adults who are capable of orienting themselves to a new culture and situation. It is not a "handholding" experience. You will have to discover many things on your own, will not be taken on "group outings" -- though our host took us to many local events, and we both traveled together, and she arranged for us to travel ourselves, to other parts of the region. The school was very helpful and kind. We have utmost faith in the integrity of HELP and the work that they do; and have continued to support their students and programs because it is so obviously of assistance. We continue to be grateful for our interactions with HELP and our experience as volunteers.

How can this program be improved?
We were very happy with the program
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Lynne
9/10

My husband and I took our 2 teenage children to Ladakh and volunteered at the Lamdon School. It was an amazing experience. We lived in the home of the school nurse who was so very kind and welcoming. I became her "sister" and my family was her's. We went to many local events with her, and her family -- and had the opportunity to really experience life within her community as best as we were able. She cooked for us each night, and I had the opportunity to cook with her. Our teaching experience was not great but that was likely because we are not experienced teachers and did not have the breadth of skills that would have been useful. But even with that we enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the other teachers, administration and the students. I also broke my ankle 10 days into out 7 week stay... so that limited my and our ability to interact as fully as I would have liked. We felt so very fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel and live in Ladakh. We appreciated all the information that we received from HELP, and the placement in the home of the nurse. HELP did not provide an extensive orientation but that was perfect for us. We had lots of information ahead of time, had the ability to write to others who had lived in Ladakh and so had some idea of what to bring, and how to prepare for our time. We were fairly independent once we arrived, but that was fine and suited our family.

How can this program be improved?
More support in our teaching assignment would have been helpful
Yes, I recommend
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David
10/10

I spent one month at Lamdon School in Ladakh, India teaching Chemistry and Biology and living in a homestay. This was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it to anyone. For more information please read my Blog: Smulldog In The Himalayas: smulldog.blogspot.com

How can this program be improved?
Nothing really
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Michael
10/10

Not sure what I expected, but feel so lucky to have found HELP, Jim (the founder) and the amazingly giving and compassionate host family I stayed with - I feel like I've left family behind. Besides teaching English, connecting with local teachers, and traveling, my host family shared their home, meals and life with me.

Mornings started with a type of chai tea and breakfast (I ate vegetarian except egg and never missed meat till I got back to US), walking down mountain paths where school children waited for each other and we walked down to the school.

I taught 4 classes of English to 1st - 6th grade. Having not taught children before, and not having a lot of practice outside the required certificate training, this was difficult at times. Generally, I'm very good at English usage and grammar, but to teach someone that this is the correct way - especially if they've been taught wrongly in the past - is to me, a great responsibility and honor. These little people (for the most part) trust you and look to you for answers - it feels a gift to me to be able to help them. Yes, you need to be confident and stern at times as there's always those that rather play than learn, but you have to remember that you're the substitute teacher and practice great patience at times. I feel I actually made an impact on a few of the children in that short time and I ache for the day I can go back again.

As my teaching day was short, I would head back up the mountain to the house for lunch with Mrs Durga, a lovely woman who helped me with Nepalese while I helped her with English. Usually, the grandparents were home tending to evening meal preparation or the fields or cows. Mr Durga would come home after teaching a full day (he's a local that met Jim as a boy 30 years ago), and we talk about our days, go for a walk visiting other villagers, and so on.

Weekends, I frequently got a van or walked to the nearest town and stayed over night. My hosts always included me in everything, even their religious evenings with music and singing, but I felt better giving them a little space and exploring other places at the weekend.

Again, can't say how lucky I feel to have landed where I did, but am so grateful to Jim, his wife and my host family for giving me the single greatest experience of my life...so far :)

How can this program be improved?
If there is a way to improve it, I can not imagine how. What it needs is more volunteers and funding. Their work is so important. It's not going to change the world over night, but one by one, children who learn English and can advance to higher education are returning home to help others in their communities.
Yes, I recommend

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