All the projects running through 2012 and 2013 have been going well and Mr George (Head of the partner-charity MGM Trust) continues to manage and monitor all with care and attention.
There are 4 main types of project being supported:
- Provision of the monthly costs of holding a ‘patient and carers forum’ for people affected by mental illness, and others facing general medical and social problems;
- Giving of small grants to various individuals to help with the cost of medicines / medications;
- A regular monthly grant to one family to enable the two children (Jysha and Jithin) to study and improve their chances to gain good employment in the future.
- Provision of rice-packets each month to 8/9 families who are living in poverty (below- poverty-line (BPL) persons).
-The forum provides an important way for individuals and families to come together and share experiences. The monthly sessions are chaired by MGM Committee members but all Forum members are encouraged to stand up and speak out, so all can listen and provide encouragement. The session runs for about two hours with about 20 attending and there is a simple lunch provided afterwards. One family travels 60 km to attend as there are no similar meeting held in their locality.
-Most medicines have to be purchased and for people with chronic (long-term) conditions the costs can be punitive particularly if the condition means the person cannot work. So a grant from time-to-time does give good assistance. Sadly KP does not have the means to give grants that could continuously fund everyone’s medication packages. One lady is living with cancer and in need of regular medicines; she stood up at the forum and said:
‘This is the only source of money I have for the medicines’
For one man however (Deepu) KP can afford a regular contribution toward the cost of medicines that help to control his mental illness. As a result Deepu has regained his ability to work as a house painter, under the supervision of his brother (Dilip).
At the Forum held on April 27th 2013, Dilip said:
‘After getting this help from KP UK he is more self confident and now he spends more of his time working then doing nothing. He is decided to save a little money in the Government saving scheme.’
Good news, and it may be possible soon to reduce the amount of grant if, as a result of him becoming able to live with his illness, Deepu can continue to work regularly and continue to save small sums in the ‘safe’ Government deposit scheme.
-The regular monthly grants to Jysha and Jithin’s mother has meant their schooling has been at a good standard for several years, and their school examination results are regularly monitored not only by mother but also by Mr George both of whom are determined the two of them understand the opportunity being given to them by this grant.
Jysha openly said at the Forum:
‘We cannot use words to express our thanks; there was no expectation of such a thing, and we never thought such help would come.’
-Rice packets are given monthly to 8/9 families (about 25 people) number of people. About half are elderly who live in simple, small dwellings with few possessions. The rice is purchased by MGM, packaged and handed direct to the person. This direct approach works well and Mr George gets a better price per kg by purchasing in bulk. The package supplements the ‘BPL’ subsidised rice allowance which is not reliably operating in this area I understand, and it is enough for about 10 days of rice used in meals.