“Hope, till hope creates”

Varanasi Newsletter April 2016

Two days on the road

This is the mobile nutrition vehicle. We distribute over 700 kg of food every month in this unit giving targeted nutrition that is time specific and is working to over 250 women and children. When you help the project in whatever way that you can you are part of this.

€14 pays the cost of the driver, his vehicle and petrol for 8 hours. In that time we can visit 3 of our smaller villages or one big village.

This is as real as perhaps I can make it. A €7 euro standing order to us will in 2 months pay for the Mobile Nutrition Unit to be on the road. The moment we don’t have that €14 it stops. But we will not let it stop because it is a lifeline for so many. This newsletter is about two different days out on the road

We need more standing orders download the standing order form here.

mobile unit

All packed up and ready to share what we have. Today it is the Moms turn.


To begin with hope offers a chance at a better possibility. Last year we began our maternal nutrition program. In less than 12 months 78 babies have been born into the program. This is one of those babies being registered.

maternal nutrition program

Here I see a new beginning. To the Mother we say that you are worth it. Our maternal nutrition program distributes food once a month in two different areas.

maternal nutrition program

Hiding in the shade these women wait patiently to be assessed by our team

The dear one in the Vimeo video is also to be seen in the still image under the trees. Can you see her!

What does 32 kg mean from paddy mc mahon on Vimeo.

I call the picture below “the women’s conference call”. We were running the camp for over two hours and I realized that many of the women were not leaving. They passed some time together. They created a space for themselves to be and share, learn and grow. They created a space of empowerment. When you understand the way many parts of the world treat women, you know how precious this scene is.

women's clinic

We currently have 85 women on this program. One woman came 35 km because she heard that there was help being given. She fit the criteria. I believe I saw in her 2 things. Firstly, the need for help but secondly the need to be helped, to be cared for, to be valued and supported. The position of women in this society is difficult and they are in great need of support.

Another women came to our camp. She did not fit the criteria and so was refused. Half an hour latter I saw that she was still there and sitting alone. Our team said that she was sad that she was not on the program. To be married, 19 and 3 months pregnant and to feel sad. This is sad. We agreed to put her on the program. Sometimes the help given can be in the receiving.

Our Newest Program, The Angel Program

the angel program

Our work is in a state of evolution. In 2015 we began the maternal nutrition program in the city and this year we have started the Angel Program. These two programs are related because they are looking to prevent rather than react to a crisis. Hunger is a crisis.

The beginnings of the Angel Program

This came about on my second day back. I was in the hospital and I saw this child, this Angel, who was very small for her age, 12 years of age and 20 kg. Her proper weight should be nearly 40 kg.


The Angel Program goes to the village. We currently have 60 girls on this program.

angel clinic

And they wait in line for their nutrition assessment.

The image below shows Pooja, who is being registered on our Angel Program. She is also 12 years of age and weighs 21kg almost half the weight that she should be. There is in us all a human instinct to survive. She waited patiently for over 2 hours as we distributed the Easy Paste. In her eyes you could see that she knew this was good for her. She carried a silent determination to be helped and an eagerness to take this opportunity that we were giving her.

angel clinic

Pooja being registered on our Angel Program

easy paste

And distribution of the Easy paste from our mobile unit

Opportunity for you to be part of the helping.


It is a difficult reality to have to face but the project is struggling again for funds. We are doing too much and yet it is difficult to just stop or curtail giving food.

We have unexpectedly been given an early bag packing for Varanasi this coming week end and we need new people to join our team.
If you are in Cork city you can join our Bag Packing team. Contact shelly on 087 7051653

We currently do not have the funds to keep the Angel Program going. It is however too risky not to do it. If we wait for the perfect time, then that time may never come. Creation is a process of trust.


nutrition monitoring

A chance meeting

A chance meeting and 10 months later we are trialing a nutrition monitoring app. More in the next newsletter

We would like to give a big thank you to ADA Security and their partner company Acumen, based in England, who are working on this completely free of charge.


Where are we going and how do we get there?

Every day my heart shows me the importance of the work that we are doing. In a way I have become softer with the passing of time. Life experience continues to show me how precious all human life is. All life has equal worth.

I know that it is within our possibility to have a world without hunger and inequality. Our very humanity depends on it. If we can have a city free of malnutrition what about an entire state, a country and a world. There is real hope only when we believe.

This is a link to a video that was done a few years ago, it explains the extraordinary manner on how the project started in 2004 how it has progressed. While looking forward it is always good to also see what we have done.

In 2015 We treated 597 children in our community malnutrition program, 120 pregnant women our maternal nutrition program, medicine given to almost 600 children and 75 admissions into our hospital.

One person can make a difference and everyone should try. – J.F.K.

To Conclude…

If your heart is called to action while reading this newsletter and the time is right for you to give either financially or by sharing your time or skills in helping to raise some much needed money and awareness, please get in touch. This project has taken flight but it is not going to be easy to keep it in the air. It takes us all and deep courage to give it the breath of life it needs. It is too important and there are too many people who need help for it to hoover in uncertainty.

Thank you all for reading the newsletter, for your continuing support, for your open hearts and for your highly valued involvement. Together we can make a difference and save countless lives.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. – Theodore Roosevelt

How You Can Help us

  • Be part of our bag packing team in cork city. In 2015 we raised 15000 euro of vital funds for the project. Next bag packing is this weekend.
  • Organize a small fund raiser for us such as coffee morning
  • Come up with a fund raising idea and we will support you in any way that we can
  • We are looking for some people who have experience in writing funding proposals
  • If you have any contacts in the media, I am always happy to speak on the radio or write articles in papers when I am at home.
  • You can Text India to 50300 to donate €4
  • Attend and/or promote local fundraisers
  • Share this newsletter
  • Talk about the project and spread the word.
  • 30% of all food that is produced in the world is throw away, do our bit and reduce food waste
  • Set up a direct debit or donate through PayPal on line
  • Click here to donate online now


A Concert on Sunday Afternoon

8th May 3pm in Rochestown Park Hotel

with tea /coffee /biscuits at the interval.

Music from the musicals, some classical, some folk and trad.

Tickets 15 euro from Douglas Tidy Towns 0214894955 or Marian 0876555762.

These concerts find the lovely space that is the Sunday afternoon.
A beautiful mix of music and talent. I am sorry that I will miss it.

A new type of fundraising idea. I will miss this one as well!

Story Connect-Thon

Connecting Local, Reaching Global

ongoing until 12 June

Get involved and make connections in your local community while raising money for the Maternal Nutrition Program and Angel Program

For full details and sponsorship cards contact Deirdre, 0863378146, storyconnectathon@gmail.com

Following are some more public events in Cork

  • Journey of Birthing, Stories We Carry, Sunday 24 April, 3-7pm, €10. Top floor of Quay Coop. Come listen and share your stories of pregnancy, birth, loss, after birth, feeding
  • Story Thread, Sunday,12 June, Cyprus Avenue, 7pm-2am. €15/12. Night of story, music and dancing. Raffle.
  • Story Thread Family Event, Sunday, 12 June, 12-4pm, place to be confirmed. Storytelling, puppet show, Pilates, cakes and more.
  • Showing of the documentary, Older Than Ireland, centenarians in Ireland, followed by story sharing circle. Sunday, 22 May, The Roundy, €5, 4-7pm,

Pat Mc Mahon

Varanasi Children’s Hospital