Raising awareness of the girls and women who live in the slum communities in Kolkata and West Bengal.
The Hope Foundation was founded by Cork woman Maureen Forrest who wants to celebrate the positive outcomes for young women in the slum communities of KolKata and West Bengal – many who have literally grown up with The Hope Foundation. “HOPE supports and empowers women and girls of all ages to reach their full potential. Our main aim is the health and safety of these young girls and women; followed by education, equality, and vocational training to ensure they have independent, fulfilling lives” Maureen said.
On International Women’s Day Hope is asking its supporters to raise a hand for women and girls everywhere and to share out their photos on social media. “We have asked our staff, supporters, ambassadors and members of the public to take a photo or short video with #SHEis followed by a word written on their hand that means something to them, not only with regards to HOPE’s support of Indian girls and women, but also supporting the message of IWD this year which is gender equality for today for a sustainable tomorrow”, said Jennifer Foran Smyth, Fundraising & Communications Manager for The Hope Foundation.
The amazing story of ‘HOPE’ began in 1999 with one protection home for girls and has now grown to over 60 on-the ground projects that work with girls and women in the areas of protection, health, emergency response, life skills, vocational training, awareness & capacity building.
One of HOPE’s success stories is the story of Anandi. Her father being a daily wage earner was finding it very difficult to rear a family of four with two daughters. As an embroidery worker he could earn very little to cover the basic needs of the family. Fortunately, Anandi’s mother came across the information about HOPE’s sponsorship programme. Anandi was sponsored as a child and turned out to be a very bright student. She graduated with flying colours. Now, she works as an accountant in a hospital in Kolkata. Through the power of education, Anandi has successfully broken the cycle of poverty.
“Supporting women and girls to gain empowerment, education and ultimately to assist them to lead safe, independent lives is always important but feels even more powerful on this, International Women’s Day. I would ask all women to get behind this campaign, upload your photo or video and text to donate this IWD on the 8th of March” said Anna Daly, TV presenter, who is the Ambassador behind the #SHEis campaign.
If you would like to support the #SHEis campaign, take a photo/video with #SHEis written on your hand with a word that illustrates gender equality, share on social media with #SHEis; text 4HOPE TO 50300 to donate €4. (Text costs €4. The Hope Foundation will receive a minimum of €3.60. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline 01 481 9311). You can also donate online by visiting www.hopefoundation.
A video for the campaign is available to download on this link: https://vimeo.com/683273736