Hope Home

Calcutta children

Archive for February, 2009

Sponsors, Takey Outy and Friends

February 15, 2009 By: dev Category: Mini Updates No Comments →

Dear Beloved Friends:



We are thankful to you for participating in the lives of the children at the Hope Home Calcutta.  And yes, your involvement is making a big difference. All of you know this already. We also appreciate all of our caregivers and resource persons who are investing in the lives of the children.  And the results are showing.


When we first initiated the Hope Home , I would often say that we, are like those involved in the process of production in some industry. We would take in raw products (input), process them (coaching, teaching, equipping and empowering children) and would smile seeing the end product (output).


In studies (the older children will start on Trigonometry and C++ in about 2 months), in music (all the 7 children presently involved in our music training program have secured Distinctions and High Merits from the Royal Schools of Music), in Dance Training (Grace was selected for a city-wide cultural dance performance (January 26th)…God has been good to us. I guarantee you – specially those who have been to the Hope Home in the past and met the children – you will be absolutely surprised when you meet them next!


I had a special request to make. I have not mentioned this earlier years. Every April, when the new school year begins, we are faced with a non-recurring pressure on funds for having to provide for their text books and school stationary. While we absorb the costs of their monthly education within the monthly support, the text books and exercise books and school stationary (school bags, pens and pencils etc.) require additional expenses. As always, we try and keep the expenses to the minimum.


This year, the school books and stationary would average at least  $30 for each child.


I would request all of you to consider providing for this once-a-year requirement for the children over the next two months – either in March or April. It would be a great blessing for us in our budgeting and managing expenses.


I do realize that the present global recession has hit many of us hard. And we would perfectly understand if this is not feasible for some of you. But for those who can and are willing, we sincerely thank and appreciate your help and cooperation.


The contractor is fast completing the dorm for the girls. We are still looking forward for a end-March opening for this and the shifting would be complete in about a week. The girls are excited. And believe me, I too would be relieved that the ‘Let There Be Hope’ building project has finally ended!


Be happy and blessed. This Sunday and always.



Hope Connect Feb 2009

February 01, 2009 By: dev Category: Newsletters No Comments →

Hope Connect  


FEBRUARY 2009   update of the Hope Home  Calcutta


 Dev writes:


Dear Beloved Friends:


We received numerous queries from many of you regarding the BackPack 2009 project initiated by the Hope Home Calcutta.

Baylor Back Pack by Olympia (OLYP BP400)



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                


 This is the story of Priyanka Patra (Priya). Priya is 8. Her mother Madhabi sells fish from door-to-door, carrying an  aluminum bowl on her head. She makes around $ 2 profit every day (when she is able to work). Priya’s father Swapan used to hawker selling vegetables in a local market. Five years ago he left for the market never to return again. Priya has not seen her father since then. Her mother (she had studies in a Christian Mission School in her childhood) had to seek shelter in her parents home – something not culturally appropriate in India for a married girl. Suddenly they fell on hard times. And Madhabi was forced to carry the fish-load on her head and sell fish in the neighborhood. Having received school education herself, Madhabi decided not to let her tragic circumstances affect her only child. She requested us to take Priya into our school program in 2004. For the past four years, we are privileged to have this sweet little girl as part of our school community.


There are many others in our school program like Priya.


BackPack 2009 is designed to provide quality education to children like Priya who are enrolled in our school program. Your participation can equip a whole generation of children to be worthwhile citizens and men and women of character and integrity – who would have otherwise lived a life of depravity and helplessness.


The minimum suggested contribution for each child is U.S. $ 25  (Sing $ 40) a month. This would include all school supplies, text books, uniforms, a pair of school shoes and lunch on school days.  Please contact us immediately regarding this.


The BackPack 2009 is part of the Send my friend to school campaign  that is a global initiative that challenges schools, students and teachers to take the challenge of Global Education For All with seriousness and sincerity so that the goals of the campaign are effectively fulfilled.


It encourages schools, students and teachers to be involved by:


F     Creating awareness of the great need to fulfill our obligation  to provide free, compulsory basic education for all people; in particular for children (also women and all disadvantaged, deprived sections of society in Calcutta as part of our adult literacy effort)

F     To help  create a chain of testimony and accountability at the  local, school and community levels  and place action oriented leadership at the end of a civil society monitoring chain  for deliverables

F     To work in partnership with civil society organizations / non-government organizations and government agencies to ensure that the main stakeholders: children  receive a  basic education that is a right inherent to every  being human and each child's birthright

F     To develop dyadic relationships between ‘Buddies’ – on both ends of the benefit chain: help givers and help recipients; tangible expressions of care, thoughtfulness and concern  to further strengthen such relationships

F     To be a student volunteer for community improvement and developmental projects that focuses on meeting the campaign objectives of Education For All



(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.




 The work on the dormitory for our girls is progressing well. We are looking forward to the work being completed   by the end of February and the girls being moved into their new facilities sometime in March. It has been a difficult time for them since October 2006 – changing rented houses twice, sleeping on the floor and having just one restroom for 8 of them. They are however, ecstatic now and go up to their uncompleted floor every now and then!



We are proud and honored to announce that the violin and drum teams are continuing to do exceedingly well. Ruth secured 98 points (out of 100) in her Music Theory Exams (Royal Schools of Music) Grade 2 – the highest in Calcutta !. Samuel and Joel secured distinction and merit (Grade 2 and Grade 1) respectively – again the highest in Calcutta – for their drums examinations conducted by Trinity Guild (U.K.) And to think that Calcutta has 18 million people…! As I often encourage them, ‘the sky is the limit…’. Thank you all for being so supportive of these children.  




Some of you have enquired about possibilities of sponsoring children in 2009. We plan to take in a couple of girls in February-March  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.




You must be the change you wish to see in the world Mahatma Gandhi




February 28 – Martha (Mita)


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)


            shalom@vsnl.com                 www.hopehome.org