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HopeConnect Jan 2009

January 02, 2009 By: dev Category: Newsletters No Comments →

Hope Connect  


JANUARY   update of the Hope Home  Calcutta



 Dev writes:


Beloved Friends:


What a month December 2008 has been for us here at the Hope Home Calcutta. People from around  the world poured out their hearts, lives and resources to express their care and love for the Hope Home community. We are overwhelmed. I say this with all honesty and sincerity. And I would like to reiterate this on behalf of all of us here at the Hope Home Calcutta: we will never be able to repay your kindness and generosity, so we are asking God to do so. The following poem is especially for you wonderful people:




Looking back on the months gone by,
As a new year starts and an old one ends,
We contemplate what brought us joy,
And we think of our loved ones and our friends.


Recalling all the happy times,
Remembering how they enriched our lives
We reflect upon who really counts,
As the fresh and bright new year arrives.


And when we ponder those who do,

We immediately think of you.


Thanks for being one of the reasons we, at the Hope Home Calcutta will  have a Blessed 2009!






We had around 200 people attend our Christmas Gift Exchange Day on December 21. The children enacted two short Christmas  dramas, performed on the violin, gave two dance presentations and two song-dance sequences. We were also  able to provide gifts for all the children. The girls received a special blessing – a brand  new portable CD player. We distributed 20 blankets to the poor of the community where the Hope Home is located. All members of the Board of Trustees, staff, volunteers and corporate friends were also present for this special event, the first in the new facilities.




It was a joy for us to visit the Mary Cooper’s Home once again this year. This is an occasion which we at the Hope Home and the wonderful ladies at the retirement Home don’t want to miss out. The children performed a skit, sang carols, played the violin and shared cake with the ‘grandmas’! Our only regret is that there were fewer ladies at the Home and some we have known over the past 5 years, now confined to their beds.




  Our ‘day-out’ was on December 23. We were able to hire a new tram car from the Calcutta Tramways Company and go for a two hour joy-ride across the northern part of Calcutta . Most of the Hope Home family had never taken a tram-ride  before so this was a special delight for all of us! And a horse ride on the ‘maidan’ – the vast green stretch on the western part of the city - at the end of the outing made the day for the children!


 We would like to record a special mention – and appreciation for – Dr. Gary and Rebecca Strobl(from Georgia ), who spent their third consecutive Christmas with the Hope Home family. Carla Cox too joined them this year. A few others have already planned to join  us at the Hope Home for Christmas 2009 and experience a life-changing Christmas in Calcutta (yes, you can have one without turkey tooo!).


 NEW YEAR’S EVE AT THE HOPE HOME ! With most of the construction work over and our second property cleared of building materials, we were able to light our annual bonfire at 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and welcome 2009. And with this, our fireworks display once again lit up Calcutta night at the stroke of 12! We thanked God for 2008. And we asked God to help, bless  and strengthen us in 2009.





Just to remind you – this year we are  initiating the ‘Back Packs 2009’ campaign which aims to help support orphan and underprivileged children with school supplies, fees, uniforms, shoes, stationary and books to enable them to do study and do better in our school program. Presently we have 58 students and would like to provide school supplies to a minimum of 25 children in the beginning of 2009.


Individual students in more developed countries could, on their own with help from their families or, join together as a class pooling in their resources to take part in the ‘Back Packs 2009’  campaign. A few years back a school in Phoenix organized a play ‘The Cotton Patch Gospel’ to raise funds for school furniture of the Hope Mission Academy ! Creative opportunities are plenty!


Consider this: Of the over 400 million children in India below the age of 18 (40%), less than 80 million go to school                




(A Hope Home Calcutta Initiative)

Rescue Relocation Rehabilitation


At the Hope Home Calcutta initiative—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  17  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.


The facts speak for themselves:

Ø      40% (400 million) of India ’s population is below the age of 18

Ø      17 million child laborers in India (world’s largest population of child laborers)

Ø      Less than 20% of India ’s children go to school

Ø      One in every 10 children is disabled in India

Ø      Only 38% of India ’s children below the age of 2 are immunized

Ø      One in every 5 children in India below the age of 14 suffers from diarrhea



I HAVE A DREAM… (repeat)


Bureaucracy  is a major issue in India . Earlier last year, we embarked on a project to get passports for the children at the Hope Home to give them identity and proof of citizenship. This was a challenge as very few of them have any documentation and birth records. The passport office politely refused. We negotiated and pleaded. At the end of 10 months, four of the children have passports of their own!


It is  our dream to have a few of them (maybe 4 ) go over to the   US in the summer of  2010 – playing their violins and drums and performing Indian classical dance. Like many of our earlier dreams at the Hope Home, this too might seem ‘outrageous’ but we are looking forward to this dream come true. The project is only in its conceptual stage. There are many issues involved in the logistics of such a visit- their U.S. visa, duration of visit, schedule, renting of a van, volunteers to drive them for two weeks, COSTS… I have already shared this with a handful of my friends and they are excited. We welcome ideas, suggestions, offer of help with logistics and costs…we believe it is going to be a life changing experience for them and an opportunity for some of you to meet some of the children at the Hope Home  in whose lives you have faithfully participated over the years.




Some of you have enquired about possibilities of sponsoring children in 2009. We plan to take in a couple of girls in February and would appreciate your investment in their lives on a regular basis. Please write to me for details.




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. We do need volunteers  specially in the area of House Parents, office  and administration, teaching, accounts, and nursing.


quote of the month


"She is a light amidst this darkness. Sandra is the proof that when people show their evil, others will show their beauty and greatness." Teresa Neumann 
* Sandra is the Indian Nanny who saved slain Jewish couple's two-year old son during the recent terror attacks in Mumbai, India (November 2008)




January 1  – Rohit (Noah)

January 13 – Prosenjit (Peter)

January 20 – Chiranjeet (Cephas)


Regards and Blessings,


Dev and all of us at the Hope Home Calcutta



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


(Please  designate your gift  for Hope Home Calcutta clearly)





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)