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Set up in 1999 to raise funds for one girls’ home, The Hope Foundation is a registered Irish charity with offices in India, the UK and Germany.
The Hope Foundation rescues abused and abandoned children from the streets and slums of Kolkata, India. HOPE restores childhoods and provides the supports necessary to build better futures for children and vulnerable families. A staggering 250 thousand children in Kolkata are living with little or no shelter. To survive, children scavenge in rubbish dumps to find scraps to sell, or beg on the streets. Most are not in school and have poor health. Many of these children have been abandoned and are at high risk of abuse, exploitation and child trafficking.
The Hope Foundation works inside the slums and on the streets bringing life-changing services and support to the poorest children. HOPE runs 60 on the ground projects in Kolkata, 12 of which are protection homes. We work with children and their wider communities to effect positive and sustainable change. It is our goal to break the cycle of poverty through the provision of healthcare, crèches, counselling, life skills, training, drugs rehabilitation, access to education and whatever supports are needed.
Our Programme Areas
The Hope Foundation’s primary objective is the protection of children who live on the streets and in the slums of Kolkata. Child protection is about rescuing children from exploitation and abuse, starvation and sickness. It’s about protecting the most vulnerable in society and providing them with immediate care. Depending on the needs of the child, they may go on to live in one of our protection homes where they will receive our care and support for as long as they need it. There is no limit to our care. Children rescued by HOPE will have a family and support for life, not just until they turn 18. Other children we rescue may return to live with their families, while receiving on-going community based support from HOPE. Together with our partner NGO’s we work to offer alternatives to child labour so that children have childhoods. HOPE is also engaged in initiates to prevent child trafficking. We believe it should never hurt to be a child. The Hope Foundation work to restore childhoods to traumatised and abandoned children. HOPE's Child Watch Programme involves night rounds for the rescue, placement, restoration and rehabilitation of vulnerable children and adults in some of Kolkata’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged areas. This project also organises awareness camps, stakeholder meetings and networking with Government officials to unearth and work to solve the root causes of poverty among communities. Finally, this project helps encourage and support children in accessing mainstream education in government schools.
Healthcare and Nutrition
Through our healthcare programme, HOPE brings health services and practical health advice to needy communities in Kolkata. Improving the health of street children and families living in the slums of Kolkata is one of The Hope Foundation’s priorities, and is key in the fight against poverty. Healthy children, who become healthy adults, create better lives for themselves and their families. Through our healthcare programme, we have made significant progress in immunization, water sanitation and ante-natal care, saving the lives of thousands of infants and their mothers. We also provide emergency care and surgeries in our HOPE Hospital. Our aim at HOPE is to provide ancillary services to strengthen the existing health services that are provided by the Government of West Bengal.Over the past decade we’ve developed strong partnerships with local non-governmental organizations, and work together delivering services in 34 communities.
HOPE believes every child has the right to receive an education. It is key to building an independent successful life and a chance to escape poverty. Education gives children an opportunity to find their strengths and empowers them to pursue careers and to provide for themselves, as well as their future families. HOPE understands that education is critical for the development of society as a whole. By giving more children access to education, the benefits will inevitably filter through into the wider community. It means that more children live free from exploitation. HOPE’s Goal is to enable and support children and young people in their education. To bring children to education and to increase student retention. Childhood should be a time of fun and learning.
Life Skills and Vocational Training
The Hope Foundation is committed to providing sustainable solutions to the social problems stemming from poverty. Self-development is crucial to achieving this. By giving people training, skills and trades, we are giving them power. The power to take control and change their lives forever, and to help others do the same. The Life-skills Training Institute delivers high quality vocational training to individuals that are unable to avail of such services elsewhere. Professionally designed training, which is tailored to suit the capabilities of the trainees, provides the young women and men with the opportunity to receive training and a job placement to provide for their families. The institute was initially set up to help distressed and marginalized women. Now it’s also open to young people from HOPE protection homes, surrounding slum areas and through placements from other NGOs working towards female and youth empowerment. These will typically be kids who have not received formal educations. HOPE runs further vocational training in Kolkata through a separate training institute operated by our partner NGO, PBKOJP, which is overseen and monitored by HOPE. Training within Life-skills encompasses practical approaches and hands-on learning. These skills empower trainees, build confidence and enable them to gain employment. Each training course is complimented with a certificate upon completion and work placement opportunities, demonstrating how this institute operates as a stepping stone for trainees to enter the wider work environments. This programme ensures they can earn a wage, hence breaking the cyclical poverty trap they were born into.
Awareness and Capacity Building
Creating awareness of the difficulties and injustices faced by so many in Kolkata and the work that we do here at HOPE. This means voicing issues and solutions to local government, local and global societies, and working within the communities facing these challenges to empower individuals and effect lasting change. Helping to develop local organisations and people who work with the needy in Kolkata. Empowering them to build long term sustainable solutions, increasing expertise and efficiency.
HOPE and HIVE (one of our NGO partners) work in partnership to deliver a 24 hour, 7 days a week Emergency Response Unit, compiled of social workers, who respond immediately to those in need. The Unit attends to victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, human rights violations and medical needs. The Unit particularly focuses on those most vulnerable throughout Kolkata’s streets, its street dwelling children and women.
Where possible and appropriate, the Unit reunites and restore individuals with their families, assists below poverty-line families to maccess medical care and through strong referral networks, places at-risk individuals into appropriate shelters and homes. The Unit also receives calls from the Kolkata Police and Fire Department, to respond to crises calls throughout the city, particularly road accidents, which are common among street dwellers.
For more information on our work and how you can get involved please visit: www.hopefoundaiton.ie