The Hope Foundation works to free street children and poor families from lives of pain, abuse and poverty.

The Hope Foundation (HOPE) was established in 1999, to provide protection and refuge for 20 girls in Kolkata (Calcutta) India, who were forced to survive on the streets, alone and vulnerable as young teenagers. The United Nations classifies India as one the most dangerous places to be born a girl. Witnessing the abject poverty and violation of the human rights of such girls inspired HOPE’s active and voluntary founder Maureen Forrest to establish the organisation.

Despite India’s economy ranking first in the world for growth, millions of Indian people are forced into a life of severe and often fatal poverty. Throughout the metropolitan city of Kolkata, the growing economy and infrastructure competes with derelict, dirty and sprawling slums. The economic equality and rich/poor divide is evident throughout the city, while economic opportunities for the poor remain low and food inflation is at an all-time high. The poor population of Kolkata is unable to secure their most basic human rights, those which we too often, take for granted here in the western world.

In its short existence, HOPE’s progress, programmes and outreach of support has impacted the lives of over 2.9 million individuals who reside in Kolkata’s slums and throughout the city’s streets. HOPE provides sustainable pathways out of poverty through the delivery of education, healthcare, protection, nutrition and skills building. HOPE works with Kolkata’s forgotten children, those who have been victims of trafficking, violence, abandonment, prostitution, sexual abuse and severe neglect. Working with such vulnerable children and their wider families and communities, has lifted millions out of poverty, enabling and empowering them to build a brighter future for themselves and for future generations.

Click the image below to view and download the latest version of the HOPE Annual Overview, which details progress across all our programme areas.

Boys Playing Cricket

HOPE currently runs 60 projects which include:

Protection Programmes

11 Child Protection Homes, a Child Watch Programme and an Anti-Trafficking Programme.

Healthcare Programmes

We run our HOPE owned hospital, a Blindness Eradication Programme and Community Healthcare Programme and Emergency Response Unit.

Education Programmes

HOPE operates 4 creches for slum children, our Nabo Asha education programme for street children and a Holistic Education Programme that works with 37 Government Schools.

Vocational Training Programmes

To support income generation HOPE established the Lifeskills Vocational Training Institute that provides courses to help individuals provide a safe and sustainable future for themselves.

Major Achievements Since 1999

0.8 million
individuals across Kolkata and West Bengal now have access to healthcare services and health awareness through all of HOPE’s healthcare programmes, including its Irish Aid funded JSS Community Healthcare Programme, hospital, healthcare awareness programmes, emergency response unit, HIV/Aids treatment and support and ICDS support programme.
children have received educational support through HOPE crèches, Nabo Asha projects, educational sponsorship and our Holistic Education Programme working with Government schools.
children have been protected from abuse and neglect by our Protection Homes, Child Watch and Anti-Trafficking Programmes, working in collaboration with Kolkata’s Child Welfare Committee.
young women and men have engaged in HOPE’s vocational training (including computer skills, spoken English, culinary skills, hair and beauty skills and tailoring skills) and income generation programmes to provide sustainable pathways out of poverty.