A year of growth and development in 2015… now fundraising holds the key

The Rajeswari Girls Dorm, left, sponsored by The Hans Foundation, is nearing completion, as is the preschool and primary school block at Paradise Village

The Rajeswari Girls Dorm, left, sponsored by The Hans Foundation, is nearing completion, as is the preschool and primary school block at Paradise Village

JOYOUS school Christmas celebrations at HEAL Paradise Village – and at HEAL Children’s Village, Guntur – brought the curtain down on a remarkable 12 months for the charity founded in 1992 by Dr Satya Prasad Koneru.

Underpinning everything HEAL has achieved in 2015 has been the partnership with The Hans Foundation, whose funding and support have enabled the Paradise Village project to develop into one of the most remarkable and life-changing educational establishments in the whole of India.

While Dr Prasad and his team of volunteers have been toiling behind the scenes to cement HEAL’s long-term future, Hans have provided the stability and foundation to turn simple bricks and mortar into a development of mind-blowing proportions.

Visitors from The Hans Foundation inspecting the site of the Rajeswari Girls Dorm back in 2014. Below, the dorm is scheduled for completion by the end of January

Visitors from The Hans Foundation inspecting the site of the Rajeswari Girls Dorm back in 2014. Below, the dorm is scheduled for completion by the end of January

Girls Dorm. Heal. Sponsor a Child in India.

“From humble beginnings 23 years ago, HEAL has blossomed into a charity organisation which is now becoming a yardstick for NGOs across India,” says HEAL director of communications Jem King.

“Dr Prasad had a vision of a true paradise, a safe haven for orphaned and vulnerable children, and, with the help of many generous donors, child sponsors and dedicated fundraisers, that vision – HEAL Paradise Village – is fast becoming a reality.

“Over time, it will touch the lives of countless thousands of children who would otherwise have been condemned to a life of grinding poverty. This is a massive project, but The Hans Foundation, our principal partners, have been there to support us every step of the way.

HEAL, with its stunning Paradise Village development is becoming a yardstick for NGOs across India

HEAL, with its stunning Paradise Village development, is becoming a yardstick for NGOs across India

“We are looking forward to welcoming them back for the official opening of the Rajeswari Girls Dorm very soon, right next door to the Hans Foundation Boys Dorm & Dining Hall, which is already home to 200 children and staff.

“However, Dr Prasad is keenly aware that establishing a secure financial future is key to HEAL achieving all of its goals, such as placing 10,000 impoverished children into education by the end of the present decade, and he continues to work tirelessly in this pursuit.”

The year just gone saw HEAL continue their steady global expansion with the establishment of a foothold in Europe through HEAL Spain, complementing the charity’s existing chapters in Australia, India, United Kingdom and the United States.

The Paradise Village dining hall is situated on the ground floor of the Hans Foundation Dorm

The Paradise Village dining hall is situated on the ground floor of the Hans Foundation Dorm

Along with that growth has come a greater concentration on improved communication, the development of a central computerised database and the launch of a regular newsletter opening up better lines of communication to all sponsors and supporters.

The year 2015 has also been about building partnerships; joining together with Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope (ELoH) to create an artificial limb centre at Paradise, linking up with The Leadership School to offer residential places to eight high-achieving Inter students; developing ties with district authorities to create an Urban Slums Skills Development programme.

Not forgetting successes on the academic side, such as talented Guntur student Yasaswini gaining 15th rank out of 25,000 students at state level after completing her three years of Polytechnic, while 10th Class students again passed their exams with good scores.

Attention turns now to 2016, which began with an appeal for a new volunteer to co-ordinate all fundraising efforts in what promises to be HEAL’s most exciting year yet.

The partnership between HEAL and ELoH has led to the creation of an artificial limb centre, temporarily housed in the Institute for the Visually Challenged until the Health Centre can be built

The partnership between HEAL and ELoH has led to the creation of an artificial limb centre, temporarily housed in the Institute for the Visually Challenged until the Health Centre can be built

“We rely exclusively on the goodwill of volunteers to run HEAL from its bases around the world, but we must never take our eye off the ball when it comes to fundraising,” says Jem King.

“Raising money and attracting sponsors has never been more important as we head towards our 25th anniversary in 2017. New buildings, such as our Skills Development Centre, Institute for the Visually Challenged, Girls Dorm and both Preschool and Primary School, will open for business at Paradise some time in the New Year.

“That means an influx of hundreds of new students, mostly orphaned and destitute children, all in need of an education, counselling, support, feeding, supervised shelter etc, so running costs will rise rapidly this year.

“Add to that, the start of Phase 2 development at Paradise Village, including urgently needed staff quarters, a health centre, guest accommodation, sports and leisure facilities and an admin block, and it is clear to see that we cannot rest in terms of fundraising.

HEAL India Night, Sponsor a Child India, Dr Prasad,

Fundraising – including events like HeAL India Night – has never been more important

“Our sponsorship team have worked hard to attract a record number of child sponsors in 2015, but there will be a need for hundreds more in the coming year as Paradise Village welcomes a steady stream of new arrivals.

“We place great value on the generosity of our donors and child sponsors, but now we must reach out to a whole new family of supporters who want to help us play a part in creating a new India where children can be free from the shackles of poverty and enabled to live fulfilling and productive lives.”

HEAL is always on the lookout for new volunteer fundraisers. If you would like to join our fundraising effort, please get in touch via the website – we would love to hear from you.

Follow the links to find out more about how to sponsor a child in India with HEAL, making a donation, and other ways to get involved.

READ THE 2015 HEAL ANNUAL REPORT