Posts By Nanci

What a week.

We had an amazing week building two houses for famlies. The first family had 11 children – a total of 13 people living in a one room house with 3 beds. The second family had (only) 6 kids, a total of 8 people living in one room with 2 beds. They now have a concrete, dry structure with a front door, window and even a skylight!
It was wonderful for us to work side by side with them to give them a new home. Some pictures from the week are here:

Building with From Houses to Homes

We love the organization From Houses to Homes Working with them gives us an opportunity this year to build 3 houses for families that really need them. Here’s one of the families we will be meeting and builiding a house with. 11 kids!!

Paman Andres nanci edit-page0001


Our friends that we will be building for



A few days ago we were lucky enough to get the details on the families that we will be buidling new homes for. I can imagine that they are nervously excited as we are. The families own the land that we will be building on and have been on a list for over a year waiting their turn. Aren’t they lovely?
Gonzalez Paredes
Vasquez Flores (2)

We have 6 kids as part of team. I can’t wait to see them play with the children in these families while we work with them during the week.

Thanks to everyone for coming to the first annual Dogs Got Talent Show. It was so much fun to see such a variety of dogs strolling around the garden.
 Center Ring
There were so many people that baked, donated books and crafts, purchased fruit and veg and entered in the highly competitive dog events. You made it a really fun day for all of us and for that we are grateful. We raised enough money on the day to fund the building of another house (and safe stove) in Guatemala. Well done.

One simple dog show....and think of how much it will impact a family with a new home.  Amazing!

One simple dog show….and think of how much it will impact a family with a new home. Amazing!

Henry and Scrase will be building Houses.

The boys have some work ahead of them.

The boys have some work ahead of them.

It’s been a few years since we have been able to travel to Guatemala to do hands-on work. For the past few years we have used the money that we have raised as a charity to support Juan Castro in his education, help fund books in Ixil at the school in Santa Avelina and continue to sponsor a group of 10 year old children at the William Botnam school.

When we have done work in Guatemala in the past, Henry was always too young to be able to travel into the mountains. It was too dangerous a trip and the work was too difficult for a young boy. Finally, this has changed. In October we will be partnering with From Houses to Homes to build a house for a family…in a week. A week! With our experience of installing the Onil Stoves, we have seen how so many families live in thatched roof huts with mud floors. The idea of offering them a watertight home with a concrete floor is fantastic. Our aim is to build two homes with From Houses to Homes in late October of this year.

We are also planning our additional days working with a local orphanage for boys. We are still deciding on the project that we will do there as it will depend on how our fundraising goes in the next few months.

For Henry and his friend Scrase, this will be an amazing gift.

Please check out more on From Houses to Homes at

Dogs Got Talent! May 25 in Wickhamford

Please join us for this great event.

Please join us for this great event.

Rush Premier Success!

Hard to believe that this was in 2013 and not 1973.

Hard to believe that this was in 2013 and not 1973.

Thanks to everyone who supported TeamHelps, The Vale of Evesham School, and Pancreatic Cancer Research at the Rush Premier Night in Evesham on September 7, 2013. We raised £18,903 for the three charities. As Henry put it ‘that’s a lot of Chutney!’.

Hi, from Henry.

In 2007....when the Chutney idea began.

In 2007….when the Chutney idea began.

Hi, I’m Henry. I’m originally from Guatemala. Because I’m from there I still care about the people, especially the kids.

When I was 4 and I started going to school in England I felt like I wanted to help the other kids in Guatemala go to school. I wanted a way to make money and help pay for them to go to school.

One day my Mom and I were stressed out about all of the apples in our garden that we couldn’t eat and that were going to waste.

So we decided to DO something about the apples and DO something about the kids in Guatemala. We put it together and came up with the idea of making chutney.

We decided that the best way to use the apples and to make them last a long time was to put them in jars and make chutney. This way we could take our time with selling as much as we could.

We came up with a recipe that I would like. I like spicy things. I like REALLY spicy things. We did the normal ENGLISH thing with apples, and onions and sugar….but then we ZAPPED it with hot peppers…..Just like the Guatemalans would like.

I love my chutney. I eat it with eggs. I put it on sandwiches. Sometimes I just eat it plain.

So now we gather the apples and we cook the chutney. We stink up the house and we stink up our hair and we put it all in jars with my own special label.

We sell it Farm shops. We sell it to friends. We give it to EVERYONE we know.

The money that we make has helped a LOT of kids go to school and it makes me really happy.

Henry at 4, when Chutney sales started

Henry at 4, when Chutney sales started

What if you didn’t have anything to read?

A book written in Ixil

We hear about people not being able to read. That alone is sad.

Can you imagine if even worse, you had nothing to read? Imagine not being able to pick up a book, a newspaper, or even read a sign with directions. In rural Guatemala this is a very real scenario.

There are so many native Mayan languages that many are not even documented. In Santa Avelina, things are changing. This is where we are working with the William Botnam school and HELPS International. The school goes beyond teaching the children. It is involving the adults in the community as well and everyone is learning to read.

Even more exciting, we are developing books to read. In their language, with their traditions and with the excitement of a whole new world. It’s good stuff.

Meeting Juan Castro

In July we were fortunate enought to be able to go to Guatemala and meet Juan Castro.

Juan Castro and his family

Juan Castro and his family

Juan is a young man with a smirk on his face and a quiet nature about him. This year has been full of life altering changes for him. At 18, he lost legs, received prosthetics and is now getting an education. Before all of this he rarely left his home.

TeamHelps is lucky enough to be supporting Juan in his dream of getting an education and watching him blossom into a very cool adult. Check out his story below.

If you’re lucky enough to go to school in Guatemala it is usually for 6 years. When I asked Juan what he would do when he was finished Year 6 he gave me a smirk. Evidently he wants to be a lawyer. A lawyer!

We’re behind him all the way.