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Archive for August, 2009

Hope Connect Aug 2009

August 03, 2009 By: dev Category: Newsletters No Comments →

      Hope Connect 


AUGUST,  2009   update of the Hope Home  Calcutta


  Dev writes


Dear Beloved Friends:


We have introduced a new picture for Hope Connect from this month. It very appropriately reflects an intimate and instant ‘connection’ – a very important component in sustaining the endeavors and growth of the Hope Home Calcutta.


The past two months have been difficult, very difficult for us here at the Hope Home Calcutta. There has been an unprecedented increase in prices of most essential commodities in Calcutta and this has sent our projected budget hay-ware. Just a case in point: prices of potatoes have increased 300% in the past seven weeks! When there are 30 people for each meal present at our table – this is quite substantial. Delayed and sporadic monsoon rains has had a cyclic effect in the production of staple crops and the resultant increase in prices. Many of those who receive ‘Hope Connect’ in India and particularly in Calcutta would concur with what I am sharing. 


While we have gone all out in a cost-cutting mode, we have unanimously agreed that there will be no change in the nutrition/dietary provision for the children at the Hope Home . The challenge is real, though and we are searching meaningful and long-term solutions. On a contingency basis, may I request all those who are committed to support the children sharing their resources to kindly send in your checks at the earliest convenience.


We have never, in the past 6 years, issued such an appeal. I do hope that all of you would understand the urgency of this crisis. Appreciate you standing with us in these difficult times.



(I hope you have noticed the periods between the alphabets J)

The Music, Art and Dance (M.A.D.) training program of the Hope Home Calcutta is on in full steam! The violin team is blending well to perform as a group, while still pursuing their individual Grade level training. We have decided to keep on hold their appearing for the music examinations this year and focus on training to play as a group. The guitar (classical) guys are doing well too and have picked up well in the past three months. The drummer boys are preparing well for their Trinity Guild examinations later this year. I have decided to train up a handful of them in the basics of voice training and singing while seeking professional options.


Most of the children at the Hope Home secured distinctions and high merit in their Fine Art examinations (conducted by a renowned Art Centre in North India ) earlier this year. Their drawings and paintings are truly amazing (some of you who have received them could vouch for this!). Their next exams are scheduled for November. We are planning an exhibition of some of their paintings in December to raise up funds we still need to pay out the contractor (for the building project)



School continues to be exciting for the (over) 80 boys and girls in our school program. As we have shared before, our aim is to provide value-based education and seek to develop it as a model educational and knowledge-imparting Institution. We work hard to facilitate learning at every child’s pace and aptitude of acquiring knowledge using modern tools of learning. Our objective is character-building and total personality development of each child. Besides emphasizing academic growth and excellence, our school project also enhances discipline, social efficacy, etiquettes, and a global vision. And it’s a great blessing for our students to be exposed to visitors from different countries! We have a small but dedicated team of facilitators in the learning process who are experienced and caring teachers. We are still in the process of evaluating our future/growth options regarding the school project.

 Our School Logo: the three key words: education, knowledge and empowerment


Most of the students come from families in the vicinity of the Hope Home . Most of the children are from difficult family background where average  monthly income is around INR 2000 (U.S. $ 50).  The parents (usually the fathers) of some of the children drive 3 wheelers (auto-rickshaws), some sell fish and vegetables from door to door, yet others have small vendor stalls on the sidewalks where they run hair-cutting ‘saloons’! There are a few who manage road-side eateries (never mind the hygiene part!) and then there are those who are jobless – running errands and trying to survive. Most of the children in our school project are those who would not otherwise had the opportunity to get any education, let alone a decent, English-medium education. As such, our school project is linked to the BackPacks initiative that we introduced in March this year.


One of the most exciting events in our school calendar is the monthly contests. The students have been divided into three houses: red, blue and green. So far, we have completed the handwriting and singing contests! In August we would hold the story-telling contest. It facilitates confidence and public performance among the children.


We have the privilege of having Kathleen Sotelo from Colorado Springs (presently in College) join us the end of July. She would be here till around the 15th of August. Kathleen has bonded well and very quickly with the children in our school program and helps with the Nursery, Kindergarten and English Literature for Grades 5 and 6 – quite a handful for a young person on a three week plug-in here at the Hope Home!


Baylor Back Pack by Olympia (OLYP BP400)

BACK PACKS 2009 – still ‘on’

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, the Hope Education Centre. This year, we have an enrollment of 80 boys and girls so far.


‘Back Packs 2009’ is designed to provide quality education to children 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. 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.


The minimum suggested contribution for each child is U.S. $ 25  / Sing $ 40/ Indian Rupees 1100/  a month. This would include all school supplies, textbooks, uniforms, a pair of school shoes and lunch on school days.  Please contact us immediately regarding this. During 2009, we would like to provide this to a minimum of 25 children beginning from April (pro rata basis). Until date, about 10 children have been benefited from this project.


Please consider being involved and soon.




(A Hope Home Calcutta Initiative)

Rescue Relocation Rehabilitation


Many of you are aware about the widespread trafficking that exists in India . It is frightening to imagine what could have happened to a couple of our girls at the Hope Home had they not been here. What aggravates and in fact sustains trafficking is poverty. We thank God for the Hope Home . However, the need is so great and we have achieved so little…


We would like to remind you that we, at the Hope Home Calcutta (through this initiative —HOCEP, 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:

  • 40% (400 million) of India ’s population is below the age of 18
  • 17 million child laborers in India (world’s largest population of child laborers)
  • Less than 20% of India ’s children go to school
  • One in every 10 children is disabled in India
  • Only 38% of India ’s children below the age of 2 are immunized
  • One in every 5 children in India below the age of 14 suffers from diarrhea


We encourage you to get involved. Please write for details. Next month, we would carry on individual stories of children living with us.



The Hope Home Calcutta family comprising children and caregivers  from five different Indian States (viz., Bengal, Bihar , Sikkim , Nagaland and Assam ) and three different religious upbringings – Hindu, Muslim and Christian – is doing fine. It is amazing how we have developed our own distinct communication skills and in most instances, we all understand each other!



Dr. Gary and Rebecca Strobl from Georgia have been spending their Christmas at the Hope Home Calcutta for the past four years. It has been a life-changing experience for them (and the Hope Home Calcutta family is excited everytime they are here). This year, we would also be having our dear friends (and extended family of the Hope Home ) from Colorado Springs to enrich our experience. It would be wonderful if there were others who would like to drop by for this truly amazing experience of spending Christmas at the Hope Home Calcutta. Hurry! book your tickets while they are still affordable! for more  information, contact:

Sue Connelledandsueconnell@msn.com

Rebecca Strobl - rebeccastrobl@yahoo.com


You are also welcome to write to us regarding opportunities of physical involvement with the work here. We do need volunteers  especially in the area of counseling, office  and administration, teaching, accounts, and nursing.




Some of you have enquired about possibilities of sponsoring children in 2009. A few of our friends who have been involved in the past supporting the children on a regular basis and no longer involved. Please write to me for details.




Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Harold R. McAlindon

John Ruskin



Jit                : August 12

Chandan      : August 15

Jayanta        : August 24

Ranajit         : August 25

Khusboo      : August 31



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)