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Archive for September, 2008

Hope Connect Sep 2008

September 04, 2008 By: dev Category: Newsletters Comments Off

Hope Connect  

SEPTEMBER   2008  update of the

Hope Home  Calcutta
 Dev writes:

 

Dear friends:

 

This is a special issue. It talks about real people. And real life situations. A real hope. And a real transformation. Please read on…

 

YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS MAKING A BIG DIFFERENCE  
 

IAM NOT FOR SALE YOU ARE NOT FOR SALE NO ONE SHOULD BE FOR SALE BECOME AN ABOLITIONIST

 

Rescue, Relocation and Rehabilitation

 

For the past couple of months we have been informing you about our latest initiative, the  HOPE CENTER FOR EXPLOITED PERSONS (HOCEP) and our stance against child labor.

 

This month, I want to tell you a true story. Of one boy at the Hope Home Calcutta whom we have rescued from the evil clutches of child labor.

 

 Rana (May 22, 1996) came to us about two years ago. He likes to be called Gideon. His earliest memories are that of his father, working in a small carpenter work-shop for a meager wage which he would, in any way use it up in alcohol. He would return to their one room – 6’ x 8’ tiled-roof room with bamboo cane wall in the dead of the night – long after Rana went off to sleep crying away his hunger.  Eventually his father died a few years back – blood oozing out of his nose and ears – while at work. His mother, with a son to feed, started working in homes as a maid washing dishes for a paltry wage. Life became hard and cruel for her and she soon fell sick. Rana was just about 9 then. His mother had wanted him to go to a small rural school, being  inculcated with the classical Bengali reasoning that ‘a blind uncle is better than no uncle at all’. Rana would hate school, not so much because of his dislike for studies but more so because he would often go without food. He began interacting with children from the neighborhood much older to him and was soon sucked into their lives of curse words and vices. Nothing, absolutely nothing prepared him for what was to follow next.

 

It was a cold winter night in 2006 January. Rana did not sleep well that night (went off to bed crying without food). He got up in the middle of the night to relieve himself and touched his mother to wake her up (she was running a temperature then). He was taken aback to find her hands cold, absolutely cold. The small kerosene-lit lamp in their ‘room’ wasn’t sufficient for him to see the whiteness of her face. He instinctively  knew that something was wrong. He ran out of the house at the dead of night screaming and weeping, walking up his half-drunk neighbors in the slum. They all trooped in and someone in the mob uttered to him: ‘don’t cry boy, your mother is dead’. That’s it.  Within a year, Rana turned orphan.

 

Rana spent the next few days sheltered by an uncle but soon they lost patience with this orphaned child. His father’s brother intervened and offered ‘help’. This was in the form of cleaning utensils in the small food stall which he managed at the local railroad station. Rana readily agreed for he thought this was a deal. Work in the food stall (‘hotel’ in the local parlance) in lieu of some food.

 

The nightmare started soon afterward. After a 16 hour stint, he began to be beaten up by his cousins on trifle matters. Mostly on account of not attending to the drunk customers on time. The torture made him run away once, only to be returned back by his maternal uncle who said this was the only hope for him to survive. The insane treatment continued for about a year. He was 10 then.

 

Meanwhile, friends of the Hope Home Calcutta who have an outreach in the slums adjoining the railroad station (they also manage a primary school for slum children) approached us if we can take Rana in. Witnessing the plight of Rana, they took him into their own home while they awaited for us to complete the formalities to take him in. And I am glad we did. Rana came to the Hope Home Calcutta in 2006. And what a life-changing experience it has been for this former child laborer.

 

I have spent several hours conversing with Rana to know his story. He was initially bitter, very bitter with life, with people, with God. And rightly so I thought. Here is a person – parents lost, childhood lost, innocence lost… and he did not understand why.

 

But now hope gained. Rana has begun dreaming about his future. And thanks to people like you dear friends.

 

Rana today is studying in our school project- Hope Mission Academy in  Grade V. He can speak fluently in English and is very good in Math. And he is concerned that there are so many others like him. Without parents. Without love. And without a hope for the future.

This is what we are seeking to do partnering with you. I call this ‘relational networking’. At HOCEP, we are seeing to work  towards the transformation and empowerment of individuals and communities – ESPECIALLY CHILDREN (CHILD LABORERS)  through initiatives based on advocacy, crisis intervention, education, rehabilitation, training and resourcing. 

 

Bearing in mind the present reality of human trafficking  as the fastest growing form of international crimes, we realize that the need is great. Unimaginably great. Like the fact that in India there are  12.7 million child Laborers aged between 5 & 14 – the highest in the world.  Most of them work 10-13 hours a day often for no wages (only food) or given a pittance.

 

This is why we are building our first facility. Thank you for standing by us and for these kids. There is much to be done. Many more Ranas to be rescued. And we need your continued participation and prayers. To keep on winning and make a difference in our lifetime.


THE HOPE MISSION ACADEMY 
 
 
Strengthening tomorrow’s foundation with value-based knowledge

 

Our school project is going strong. We now have 57 students in Grades I – VII. It’s amazing to see these children who did not even know the English alphabets studying valency, congruency of triangles, tendons and ligaments, logo and computer programming, Merchant of Venice …

 

We are in urgent need of volunteer-teachers in the school program. Any person willing to make a  commitment  from 6 months onwards – from High School grads, college students, even retired individuals – it would help us considerably. We now have the facilities to provide a place for stay for  you. So please touch base with me if interested.

 

HOPE HOME CALCUTTA SOCCER DRIVE   is still on…

 

Our initiative to invite  at least 300 people who will make a minimum of one time investment of U.S. $ 160 (Indian Rupees 6000) to help us build the first phase of the Hope Home Calcutta is till on. As many of you know, the estimated cost for this project was around U.S. $ 80,000 .  Corporates are encouraged to sponsor the apportioned cost of building a room ($3200 or Rs. 150,000).

 

We still need that  one ‘push’ to complete the first phase of our building project (we need to move out of the ‘plateau’!). We urge you to respond to this urgent need to cover  our present deficit of $11,000. Keeping on hold 15% of the overall project cost as security for DLP (Defect Liability Period), we have a time-schedule to clear all dues by December 31, 2008.

We have also started to  build one more floor of around 1800 square feet for the girls. This is very, very important for us. While the boys have physically moved in to the new facilities, the girls are still living on rented premises close to the Hope Home and have to travel back and forth to the new facilities for their school and all their meals. The monsoons in Calcutta spread over June till the end of September make this very challenging for them. The projected cost for the brick framework, concreting columns and reinforced shed is $20,000. Once completed, we would be able to accommodate another 15 children at the Hope Home Calcutta. We have a waitlist of more than 30 children whose guardians (most of them are orphans) are pleading with us to take them in soon. Our next intake would be upto 5 girls to bring some parity with the number of guys. We invite you to participate in providing this ‘home of refuge for girls’.

 

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

 

"Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies." -  Charles E. Jefferson

 

BIRTHDAYS IN SEPTEMBER

 

  •       Surojit  - September 10 
  •       Payel (Grace) – September 26
  •       Ruth – September 28

 

OPPORTUNITY FOR HANDS-ON INVOLVEMENT

 

We thank and appreciate each one of you for your participation, involvement, prayers and good wishes for the Hope Home Calcutta. We are indeed blessed.

 

Please do write to us regarding opportunities of physical involvement with the work here. Besides teaching in our school project, we also need  volunteers  as House Parents, Office  and Administration, teaching, accounts, music and nursing.

 

OUR UPCOMING PROJECT FOR OCTOBER

 

October 16 is World Food Day and on or around that day,
we encourage all our  friends all around the world to host a meal for their
friends, family and associates and challenge them to share their resources  that will help put food on the tables of the poor children in Calcutta through the Hope Home (the children of the Hope Home Calcutta would host such children and serve them).

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Support for the Hope Home Calcutta should be sent to/checks made out to:

VERDE VALLEY CHRISTIAN CHURCH, 3605, ZALESKY ROAD, COTTONWOOD , AZ 86326 , U.S.A.

(Please  designate your gift  for Hope Home Calcutta clearly)

 

 

HOPE HOME CALCUTTA

A-7/11, SRIJANI, OPPOSITE THAKURPUKUR CANCER HOSPITAL

P.O. JOKA, CALCUTTA 700 104, INDIA , Tel: +91-33-6534 1083/ 6520 9995

(all contributions are tax deductible under Section 80G of the I.T. Act, 1961)