At their June meeting, North and South Wheatley WI had the privilege of welcoming Dr Cheryle Berry MBE, to talk about the Hope Community Village project, a charity for which she fundraises and volunteers. Dr Berry, who has supported the village for many years, has spent her working life in Education, is President of the Clay Cross Rotary Club in Chesterfield, is passionate about first aid and has volunteered with the St John Ambulance since 1970.
The Hope Community Village is in Kerala, South India and was founded in 1995 by John Veitch, a retired business man. During one of his many business trips to Kerala John became aware of the plight of destitute and orphaned children and he decided to help by raising funds to build a modest house where five children, looked after by a housemother, could grow up in a loving and family environment. Today there are over 80 children of all ages living in the village with a full complement of support staff as well as a kindergarten with up to 80 children from poor local families and an IT centre for use by both the children and local people.
It is entirely supported by a group of volunteers, from Halifax, the Calder Valley and beyond. Every penny raised goes to the project and is not spent on administration costs, with all volunteers paying their own costs.
Dr Berry told the group harrowing stories of abandoned children taken in by the village, but how, with love and support, they have grown into happy, healthy children able to lead a normal life. As the village is not near a medical centre, Dr Berry has made it her mission to teach first aid to the children and housemothers and to put first aid kits in each house. A brilliant talk from a truly inspirational lady!
Join us on Monday 9th July at 7.15pm to hear our speaker John Ellis with his talk ‘My Dog Earns More Than the PM’!