September 2007

New On-line Shop for HHI

We are pleased to announce that our new On-line Shop is ready and it was officially launched at our Supporters' Evening on 19th October enabling people from all over the U.K. and indeed worldwide to purchase and pay for goods through the Internet. It is hoped that this will indeed be a breakthrough giving a greater outlet for the catalogue goods produced by the disabled people in Zambia and the mothers in India.

In addition to these crafts, we are heavily featuring Christian Christmas and Birthday Cards which are becoming ever more difficult to obtain in shops. All our cards have appropriate wording and contain a Scripture verse and there are some beautiful 'All Occasion' cards with very meaningful greetings such as:

"Be encouraged. The Lord hears every prayer and responds to each with his love";

"Thinking of you and wishing you a quick recovery."

"May it help to know that God is beside you through it all, Get well soon."


"Thinking of you. It's a joy to think such wonderful thoughts of you. May the Lord bless your day."

Therefore the new Shop is being listed as "Christian Greetings Cards" and not Health Help International because it has been shown that many more people are likely to look for this than HHI but of course it can be accessed by a link on the existing HHI web site.

The new address for logging on is

Do have a look at it and see how it is developing. Of course you don't have to wait until it is finalised for you can immediately order from the printed catalogues which are enclosed with this newsletter and we hope you will find them useful and that they will encourage you to do some Christmas Shopping from your armchair! (If by any chance you have not received the catalogues, please let us know and we will send you one by return of post.

Graduation Ceremony - a Landmark in our work in Zambia

During Ron' recent trip to Monze a highlight was the Graduation Ceremony for thirteen of the disabled trainees who had passed through our sewing , knitting and I.T. departments. Having learned their skills and passed the examinations, they were presented with sewing machines, wool and a computer, all supplied and paid for by you, our kind supporters. A real landmark for HHI.

Fortunately it didn't end there. The thirteen graduates were back in our headquarters along with many of our other departmental staff receiving 5 days training under a Zambian Government organisation called ' Search'
This team of four, led by a competent lady called Maureen, came to our premises from Lusaka and provided a much needed training programme in enterprise development, book-keeping, accounts and marketing. With these skills and a capital support from HHI, the graduates will be starting their own business venture and in time paying themselves out of their profits. We have placed an order for items to be sewn and knitted and hopefully some of them will be available in our new Autumn Catalogue. A wonderful achievement for all concerned.
The event was supported by the District Commissioner, herself a disabled lady, the Police Commandant, M.P., Health Board Official, the Media and, of course the families of the graduates making it a great morning.


New Man on the Block

By Jute Williams


Jonah Sialumano has been newly appointed as HHI' Disability Affairs and Project Manager. He himself is a victim of polio and is a former pupil of Choongo School. (Choongo school has a disabled unit of about 25 children which Beulah URC in Cardiff recently supplied with a solar panel for lighting in the dormitory and also to operate a submersive pump to provide water to the toilet and washing block.)
Jonah is qualified in social and disability work. He has begun identifying the children who are disabled in the Monze area and with his consultation we hope to provide aid for them. This is not an easy task in Zambia, as children born with a disability are often stigmatised. I do remember asking a disabled man in Kachiloma how he coped with his wasted legs and he was at great pains to tell me he had been born normal and that his disability unexpectedly.
Children have already been brought to Jonah's attention who would benefit directly from integration and disability support. Putelo is a warden at the open prison where HHI provide monthly medical and spiritual care. His 3 sons were actually healthy until quite recently and now they are each in turn going blind and showing signs of retardation. HHI funded their assessment at the teaching hospital in Lusaka but sadly this has shown they cannot be cured within Zambia, but we can provide special schooling and special care. Putelo is totally distraught and unable to cope.
HHI has given him hope.

Likewise, Cephas, a seven-year old was carried 300 km on his father's shoulders to HHI in Monze, as Cephas only has one leg. He had outgrown the prothesis he had been given some years before, and again there was no help where they lived. Cephas' father made the tremendous journey with his son, sleeping rough and aiming only to seek help from HHI. After receiving treatment for the bruising on his back from our clinical officer, Linus, Cephas was given crutches, a wheelchair and money for an easier return journey home. However, it was very evident that Cephas' father would have been very willing for HHI to take care of Cephas permanently. There is a definite feeling of helplessness and the inability to cope with disabled children within the Zambian family.

As these notes are prepared,the office in Monze has received a request from the teaching hospital in Lusaka for 100 pairs of crutches, 12 wheelchairs, and 6 trolleys for aiding the mobilization of patients, especially children with cerebral palsy. This is the main hospital in the country asking HHI for much needed basic assistance.
As you know this request can be easily met with what has been sent out in our recent container on the 4th May.


Lent Appeal Response

Many of you may be wondering if our Lent project 2007 ' the Mercy vehicle' managed to buy a new vehicle.
The answer is 'YES' and thank you all very much. An amazing sum of £5,000 was reached and a Mitzibushi Pajero Diesel with 7 seats is now being used to carry out much of our work in Monze and the surrounding areas. It is much more suited to the terrain and Ron was very pleased with its performance when he was there in May. Another successful and much needed item paid for by our generous supporters.


New Special Needs Teacher

Tobias is the newly appointed teacher of the deaf at Monze Town School. Not only is he willing and capable but he is trained in dealing with blind and mentally retarded children as well.
HHI has just completed the refurbishment of the building and Tobias is set to go, with desks being made by our own carpenter, Robbie.

Out in the Gwembe valley there is another enthusiastic teacher of the deaf by the name of Peter. He has currently 28 special needs children integrated into the classroom at St Patrick's school and he has identified 40 additional special needs children who live too far into the bush to access education.
Peter is undertaking a 2 year training course to learn how to teach special needs children, and HHI are contributing to his living costs to enable him to do this valuable work in such a difficult area.

Zambian Statistics

  • Zambia is a country 3 times the size of U.K.
  • Population 11 million.
  • 73 tribal groups.
  • 85% depend on subsistence agriculture.
  • 1964 Independence gained.
  • 75% live below poverty line of 54p a day.
  • Life expectancy is 33 years for men.
  • Malaria and AIDS are huge health problems for a government which is extremely poor.

HHI Project Support in India
an Update by Edmund Plummer

Tom Sutherland:

Tom is our main link with India. He is an extraordinary man, who has lived in India for many years, and has given up everything so as to help the poor, needy and suffering in India. He is an Australian by birth, but anyone who meets him realises very quickly that his heart is in India. A tall and striking figure, dressed like an Indian, he is instantly recognisable, and everyone who is in need comes to him for help; he does what he can - always a kind word, and often something more tangible as well. At HHI we provide the money that he dispenses to the poor, as well as payment for operations, medicines and medical treatment.
Tom' family asked him to go back to Australia for a time, as many of them are getting old and want to see him again, and he has agreed. He left on the 11th of June, and will be away for two months.
This does not mean that the work will stop. He has an assistant, Philip, who usually acts as his business manager, and who will take over the reins whilst Tom is away. Matthew George, another of his Indian colleagues will continue to identify needs in the hospital.
Please pray for Tom. He has not been very well lately. Please pray that the rest will do him good, and that he will fully recover and return with his batteries fully charged. Please also pray for Philip and Matthew as they take on the extra responsibility.


St John' Hospital

HHI is becoming increasingly involved with the work of St. John' leprosy hospital at Pirappancode. This is a Christian hospital that has been instrumental in dramatically bringing down the level of leprosy infection in the area. We were able to help earlier in the year by providing a small bus for them to take screening clinics into the villages, which was paid for by the 2006 Harvest appeal.

Unfortunately, there is still a great deal of fear of leprosy, and superstition still surrounds it. So leprosy sufferers often find themselves discriminated against, even if they have been cured. We have been able to use some of your contributions to help these people. We have paid for artificial legs for four patients, and also goats for 20 tribal families, chickens for another 20 families and wells for five families. The goats will provide milk and will breed, so providing a basic income for the families, and the chickens will grow and provide meat or eggs. So all in all some 45 families have been helped in this way over the last few months.
The head of the hospital, Fr. Joseph Thadthil, is a lovely man, and we got on very well with him when we were in India earlier this year. He has now been transferred to Parrassala, to the south of Trivandrum, but is keen to maintain our good working relationship. He will be replaced by Fr. Jose Kizhakedeth.


A New Hostel

In our last Prayer Partners Booklet (June 3-9), we mentioned that we were hoping to set up a hostel near to the hospital where the families of patients, and long-term outpatients, could stay. At the moment there are some hostels of this kind, but the demand outstrips the supply, and many people have to stay in commercially run hostels (if they can afford it) or sleep rough. Matthew George, who administers our Bystanders scheme and identifies a lot of cases of medical need that we are able to help with, has identified this as a major need.
We had thought that we had found a suitable house. Unfortunately this has fallen through, but another house has been identified. However, things are still at a very early stage, and there is no guarantee that this house will be the one. But if not then eventually one will be found and you will be advised accordingly.


Many of you gave very generously after the tsunami struck, and we have used this to set up a number of small-scale business ventures in Colachel, as well as to provide medical help to people who were affected by the tsunami or were in the area at the time. The area is now returning to normal, and the money that you gave is starting to run out, so we are starting to scale back our work in the area.

The craft centre, where many affected people received training, counselling and employment, will be closed. This will save us the money that we currently pay for rent. This does not mean that the people working there will be out of a job: they will continue working, but from home, and will be paid for what they do rather than a regular salary. This should encourage them to become more independent, and take more control of their own lives.
In order to help them, we have bought more sewing machines for them, so that everyone who currently works on sewing can have one.

This will allow us to concentrate our efforts on the area nearer Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). When we were in India in January and February, we identified so many needs in Trivandrum and the area nearby that we decided to concentrate our attention on these.
Your prayers would be appreciated for these lovely people, as they move out of the sheltered environment of the craft centre, that they may have strength to overcome the trauma of the tsunami, and may be successful in using the skills that they have acquired to make a living for themselves and for their families.


Pastor Sam' Hostel for Destitute Women:

Many of you gave very generously and enabled Ron to buy a large plot of land in the country where Sam could build a home for the women that he looks after. It is a lovely piece of land, full of potential, which the ladies will be able to tend so as to grow food and cash crops. Plans were drawn up for a house, which a local church has promised to fund, but there were delays in getting planning permission.
The good news is that planning permission has now been granted, and building work started at the beginning of May, with an estimated completion date of November.
Sam now has thirty women that he looks after, all of whom have serious problems.

We have increased the contribution that we make towards their living expenses, and the cost of help to look after them, but we have had to tell Sam that we will not pay for any more.
This is a lovely work and we are pleased to be of help.

Vinod & Babu


We met Vinod whilst we were in India. He had swollen veins in his arm which had burst, and a similar problem that had started in his back.
Dr. Joe, a Christian doctor, has now performed two operations on him for free, and we have funded the ancillary costs. Every effort was made to save his arm, but sadly this was not possible, and it had to be amputated at the shoulder - a difficult and dangerous operation. The operation on his back was also difficult and dangerous, and had to be performed in two stages due to the amount of blood that he lost.
The good news is that the operations were successful, and Vinod' life has been saved. In due course he will need an artificial arm. He will also be severely disabled, and may need help to get established in a suitable business.
HHI will be pleased to offer financial aid in due course.

Babu is the young man whom we found languishing in the KRABS hospice. The operation to amputate his leg was successful, although it left him in a lot of pain, and we have just paid for an artificial leg for him.

Like Vinod, he also will be severely disabled, and may need help to get established in a suitable business.
The two young men have now been given new chances in life, thanks to your financial and prayerful support.
With tears in their eyes they asked us to thank you and this we are pleased to do.


A Letter from Dr. Craig Oranmore-Brown

of Mercy Flyers

Dear Friends at HHI,
Thank you for the opportunity you gave me at your Spring Meeting to share our vision and the exciting progress we have made with Mercy Flyers up to this point. Jonathan and I thoroughly enjoyed our evening with you. Your passion for the work of HHI and Mercy Flyers was inspiring and encouraging.
I am pleased to announce that we raised £3,000 from that evening together! This takes us closer to the target mentioned of £15,000 for the purchase of the airframe but as this is a '' rather than a certified aircraft, it is causing problems for us to register it in Zambia and to fly it over international zones to Zambia. This may not prove to be the best aircraft if the CAA decide not to register it. Sam, the engineer who wants to build the aircraft for us is happy to buy an old certified aircraft and rebuild it from scratch for us. This will be a very good alternative that will end up costing a similar price all inclusive (£70,000) It compares with buying a reconditioned aircraft of this nature on the open market for £150,000 or a new one for £220,000 Sam is determined that we will have an aircraft that meets all our needs within the next 18 months. He is also using his church contacts to help raise funds for the project. We are confident that we will meet the financial target.
Thank you again for your wonderful support which means so much to us.
We are planning a big 1 year anniversary party in Norwich in July and would love to see you all there (Editor's Note: In actual fact this was held on 16th June).
Warm regards and God' richest blessings,
Craig Oranmore-Brown, Chairman, Mercy Flyers

Craig and his wife, Rae, are flying to Zambia on 26th July after which Craig will begin the construction of their house on our farm at Isca Village while Rae undergoes a 6 month training in Tropical Surgery at a hospital in the Eastern Province. Craig will also be involved in working with the existing flying doctor' scheme during this time. He intends that Mercy Flyers should commence using their aircraft in January, 2008. HHI will hope to partner and support them in whatever way possible, and you will be kept updated.



The Banyan Tree

The Friends of The Banyan Tree, our autonomous subcommittee working out of Suffolk, used the funds they raised for the Tsunami victims to purchase land and create a wonderful village of 8 houses in Collachel.


The stone tablet at the entrance has the following inscription:

The Banyan Tree Village for Tsunami Affected Families.
This foundation Stone was laid on 25th November, 2006.

This is a wonderful project giving accommodation to families whose houses were lost on Boxing Day, 2005, and who did not qualify for state relief for a number of reasons, such as the land on which their original house had been built had never been registered with the authorities.


The families explained that they hoped to create a communal work scheme which would be of great benefit to them. They were happy and so very pleased with their new homes.

Congratulations to the Friends of The Banyan Tree for this imaginative project.



Recording and Broadcasting in Monze,

by Jute Williams

HHI has certainly been highlighted as being one of the few NGO's working and providing effectively for the disabled, following the national broadcast made during Ron's recent visit to Zambia. The phone-in style programme was well received and has certainly put HHI on the Zambian map!
In the wake of this the director has been asked to be the main speaker at a conference in Choma, where he will be addressing an audience of special needs teachers from all over Zambia and telling them about HHI and what we can provide for the disabled in the schools and community.
HHI will certainly be promoting our facilities including computer training and the use of the '2Simple' software, the 'Help Them Read' scheme, our Braille printing, our Play Park ideas, our ability to provide audiology testing, glasses grading, along with the distribution of crutches and wheelchairs. He will also be interacting with the teachers and asking them directly how HHI can provide the best service to target as many children as possible and in the best possible way.
So watch this space for the feed back directly from those who are trying to deal with the everyday short comings.
There is another exciting project which we are undertaking at the moment and this, too will be promoted at the conference. It is the building and installing of a recording studio for the disabled. Blind, musical teenagers from Rusangu school have initiated the idea and the demand has been met by Lliswerry Comprehensive school here in Newport, who raised the money through a sponsored aerobics event.
Llistech Studio Monze is in the process of being built and the equipment, some bought and some donated, has been packed and is on its way in the container. When the two come together it is hoped that my husband, Alun Williams, and I will visit Monze to set up the studio and help teach the blind and disabled how to record their music and make CDs (electricity permitting). Another item for our Alternative Gift Catalogue!
This facility, I am told is very timely and in touch with the current Zambian music scene and in order to let people listen to this music and other affairs of the disabled we intend to broadcast from our own radio station within the recording studio. We hope to purchase a transmitter, obtain a license, and transmit programmes highlighting the needs and opportunities for people with special needs.
Now there's a thought, we need a name for our radio station. I feel a competition coming on.


A New Song from Monze

Friendship with Jesus,
Fellowship divine,
Oh, what blessed sweet communion
Jesus is a friend of mine.

Fellowship with Jesus,
Fellowship divine,
O, what joy is found in Jesus,
Jesus is a friend of all.

Friendship with Jesus,
Fellowship and love.
Jesus brings a sweet reunion
And He is our friend and guide.

This song was composed by George Sikalonga, who until recently was HHI Zambia's accountant. He has left to continue his education and will be greatly missed.




HHI (Zambia) has been asked to develop a large piece of land directly opposite the H.Q. and this invitation has been accepted with the aim of developing it into a Play Park providing a recreational area for the able bodied and disabled children to join together in a safe, stimulating environment.

This will be a Child-to-Child-to-Child project involving children in the U.K through Junior Churches, Guides, Scouts, youth groups and schools in partnering and fund raising thus helping the able-bodied Zambian children to assist their less-able friends. By this method it is hoped to develop and refurbish the existing round houses - rondavals - and provide a small gymnasium for physio and rehabilitation therapy. There is already electric and water available on the park site and this will be an asset to renovating the toilet block and ensuring disabled access.
Grass has been planted, pathways established and play park equipment such as swings and slides have been identified for purchase. Eventually the aim is to provide a library with audio tapes and braille books encouraging physical and spiritual health awareness.
This play park will be a unique opportunity for the Monze children as it not at all a common amenity in Zambia.

" Jazz Cafe " for Play Park Project

On Friday 20th July at Penylan Baptist Church, Newport, Esther and her friends had a very successful 'Jazz Cafe'. Apart from the Bass player, the band were all in their middle to late teens, and very accomplished musicians. It was a great night.

The purpose was to help raise funds and awareness of the new initiative in Monze, Zambia. HHI (Zambia) has been asked to develop a large piece of land directly opposite the H.Q. and this invitation has been accepted with the aim of developing it into a Play Park providing a recreational area for the able bodied and disabled children to join together in a safe, stimulating environment.

Thanks to Esther, who had the original idea for the evening, HHI raised about £300.00 towards this very worthwhile project.


Some 'Organisational Matters'

Those of you who were at the Spring Supporters' Evening will know that Edmund Plummer has taken over the responsibility of supporting the work in India run by Tom Sutherland and his colleagues - Philip Matthew and Matthew George. He took over formal responsibility with effect from May 1st and is slowly getting to grips with it.
Along with Jute Williams now looking after the Zambian support plus much administrative detail of HHI, this should relieve some of the pressure on Ron, and free him up to spend more time on developing the charity, and give him more time with his family.
We are splendidly supported by the trustees - Susan Chalmers, David Green our treasurer, John Spurrier-Davies, and Chris John who is our medical expert, in addition to Ron and Edmund. We are also supported by the management team - Anne Marchant (book-keeper), Mike Hopkin (printer & logistics manager), John Spurrier-Davies (I.T. and Web Master), Liz Plummer (crafts), and Simon Copley, Ron, Jute, John and Edmund.
Recently Linda Strickland and Pam Lewis have volunteered to help us with P.R.

Please remember us all in your prayers for there are constantly difficult decisions to be made, as we are not in a position to meet all the requests that we receive, and every request is so worthwhile. We also need vision for the future, both in terms of the projects that we get involved with in Zambia and India but also in the running of HHI.

A huge 'Thank you' is also due to you and all who read and support our work. So many individuals, churches and organisations continue to make special efforts to raise funds that it would be invidious to attempt to mention them all. But please accept our thanks on behalf of all the vulnerable ones whose lives are being greatly helped due to your generosity.



Happy Wanderers hike for Orphanage Funds

Scout leaders from Newport hiked across the city to raise cash for HHI. About 12 leaders spent three days visiting scout meeting-places around the city and raised over £1,500. Caerleon Scout Leader, Denis Mills said: "Scouts have committed themselves to raise money for an orphanage which is facing closure in southern India. The scouts are looking at purchasing a plot of land and building and equipping a new home for the children." The event was also held to help mark the centenary of the Scout movement.


'Bread and Jam' 2007 Harvest appeal

Looking forward to celebrating Harvest?
We hope so.

As you can imagine Ron did not stop receiving ideas and requests while he was in Zambia.
Two complementary ideas have come to the fore and have conveniently fallen into our harvest calendar; 'Bread and Jam'.


Kachiloma Jam Making

The disabled community in Kachiloma who have previously requested and received a hammermill (a large machine for pounding maize very quickly) from HHI supporters are now putting together a project proposal to build a Community Hall (£500) in which to make jam.
They will also be able to receive their tailoring training provided by our sewing department.
Bonaventure, who is almost totally blind, is this group's spokesman and with the co-operation of the forty-five disabled people within this group, he hopes to start producing jam from the abundant fruit which is freely available; mangoes, guavas, oranges etc.
Sugar is one of Zambia's native crops and so the combination makes good sense. Again this is one of the projects where we empower disabled people to help themselves.


Monze Bread Making

Freshly baked bread will always be in demand, and at the Monze H.Q. there is a very able cook who helps with feeding the trainees and visiting training teams. Her name is Mwaka and even Ron was impressed with her cake making!

In view of the fact that the H.Q. is situated on the main road to Livingstone, near the bus stop and opposite the play park it would seem like a good idea to train some disabled people in bread making and open up a bakery. Selling the bread from our premises should make this a suitable self-financing venture giving people a skill and a means to earn a living (there is only 1 other bakery in Monze town).

The bread rolls would also be used to help feed the prisoners when the Mobile Clinics visit every week.


What they need


In order for this project to flourish the group need to purchase the necessary pans and other equipment together with the cement and materials so that they can build a small Community Hall using their own labour.



For the Monze Bakery the intention is to provide ovens and other equipment.


What you can do

We would like to encourage all churches to take part in these two Harvest projects and show their interest by contacting us for a Harvest Pack.

These will published very shortly and in time for you to use at Harvest Thanksgiving Services in your church.