Varanasi Project Update – May 2014

“In April 2004 I arrived in India, my only plan… ‘to help in some way’. Ten years on I am still returning and still helping in whatever ways I can. I feel a deep gratitude for the part that I have been able to play. This is not a journey of one but of many and all are needed.”

Sheha’s family came in to us 1 week ago referred by another family, whose child we had also treated for severe malnutrition some years back, with the words.. ‘go there they will be able to help you’ …And it is true, this is what we do and it is something that we do very well. I am very proud to be able to say that. The vast majority of children that come into our care leave smiling. It is important for us to remember this. It is this that has been our biggest motivation.


She is 16 months old and less than half the normal weight weighing just 14 pounds. Shena was very sick when she came into us. The poor thing put down a hard week, with mouth ulcers, high fever and stomach problems. Yesterday she was discharged from the hospital. Her Cry is the type of cry we love to hear, for it is life wanting to return. The second picture above was taken in her home today the 11th of May with her packets of Easy Paste. This is what we do!

One year ago almost exactly I held in my hands for the first time this Packet of special food. I had been waiting for this for 8 years. I knew in my soul that this would transform everything and this is exactly what it is doing. The project has now transformed into two completely separate programs with separate and very distinct budgets.

eezeeThe availability of a ready to eat malnutrition food in India has allowed us to treat 90 percent of the children with malnutrition in their own homes. We are spear-heading this type of treatment here in India. We have no walls like before and blossom forth.

This year has been about building partnerships with other organisations here in India so as to understand the core roots of malnutrition and what is working in different places. It has been about asking questions and listening. There is no need for us to reinvent the wheel as long as we are prepared to push.

We are very grateful to ‘S.H.A.R.P , the ‘Staff of HSE (Cork and Kerry) Association for the relief of Poverty’ who have given us 10 thousand euro for the malnutrition program this year. With this money we have set ourselves a target of treating 300 children in this 12 month period. The second part of this newsletter is about the exciting directions we are taking in nutrition with this relatively small amount of money.

Here are our plans for last year and our plans for this year:

Our Achievements in 2013 Our plans for 2014
Malnutrition program: 122 children treated To treat 300 severely malnourished children and to expand the nutrition project.
Outreach program: 1331 children treated This program is closing on the 18 of May
Admitted to our hospital: 94 children Decide if the hospital will close in November
Schools program: 250 children attended To continue as before to educate 200 children.

The purpose of this newsletter is two-fold. Firstly so as a thank all those who have helped us along the way through all the years. It simply would not have happened without you.
And sadly..

The second reason to see if the hospital has a future. In November our rental agreement is up with ‘Peace Point Hospital’. We need to decide if we continue this. If we do not then our beds would become private beds for those who can afford it and not as now for the poor. In order for both our outreach and hospital programs to function, a more sustainable level of fundraising needs to be reached. The decision has already been made that if one program needs to be stopped it will be the Hospital.

The first part of this newsletter is to see if enough energy is there to keep this Hospital open.

paddyOur much needed hospital will close in November unless we have significant increase in funds