Child protection is about saving children’s lives

The Hope Foundation’s primary objective is the protection of children who live on the streets and in the slums of Kolkata. Child protection is about rescuing children from exploitation and abuse, starvation and sickness and giving them the opportunity to look to a brighter future. It’s about protecting the most vulnerable in society and providing them with immediate care.

Depending on the needs of the child, they may go on to live in one of our protection homes where they will receive our care and support for as long as they need it. There is no limit to our care. Children rescued by HOPE will have a family and support for life, not just until they turn 18. Other children we rescue may return to live with their families, while receiving on-going community based support from HOPE.

Together with our partner NGOs we work to offer alternatives to child labour so that children have childhoods. HOPE is also engaged in initiates to prevent child trafficking. The Hope Foundation work to restore childhoods to traumatised and abandoned children. Our Child-Watch Programme takes positive action to protect children at risk through our emergency response team. Health experts and volunteers patrol the streets of Kolkata every night, responding to those most in need.

Child Protection
HOPE Protection Programmes:
  • 11 Child Protection Homes
  • Anti-Trafficking Programme in West Bengal
  • Child Watch
  • Strengthening Institutional Care of Children in Government homes
Creating Homes For Children

HOPE’s Protection Homes provide vulnerable children with a home away from home; a loving, caring and safe environment in which children can learn and grow into independent, successful and happy young adults. It has always been HOPE’s priority to restore children to their homes, where possible and appropriate, and we strive to develop families through strengthened interventions to improve the social and economic situation of a child’s home, before restoration. Where home environments do not exist or still pose a threat to children, the children are placed in HOPE protection homes under order from Kolkata’s Child Welfare Committee and are afforded the opportunity to receive an education, healthcare, nutrition, protection and love and care to rebuild their once shattered childhoods.

HOPE Protection Homes

Bekind Boys Home – Bekind Boys Home is managed by HOPE and fully funded by Bekind Ireland. Boys under 14 years of age are provided with a safe and secure protective home to learn and grow in.

Kasba Girls Home – Girls below 14 years of age rescued from vulnerable situations on the streets and within the slums of Kolkata are provided for holistically. The girls also engage in recreational activities and outings, while residing in a safe, child-first environment.

AsharAlo Girls Home – HOPE’s new girl’s protection home caters for the needs of girls between 14-16 years of age, inclusive of girls above 18 years of age who are placed in secure and supported hostel care. This home provides all the necessary care for these young women to become independent, informed and confident young women through guidance, education and job placement support.

Ashirbad Boys Home – Boys over 10 years of age who are rescued from Kolkata’s dangerous streets and slums are provided with a safe and protective shelter, with a loving and caring environment in which they can call home.

Punorjibon Boys Rehabilitaion Home – Boys rescued from Kolkata and Howrah railway platforms, who were forced into substance abuse due to extreme poverty, hunger and in an attempt to gain a release from their daily trauma, are rescued and undergo detoxification before arriving to Punorjibon for their rehabilitative care. This protective home prepares the boys to re-enter Indian society as productive citizens through the delivery of educational support, vocational training and job placement.

Crisis Intervention Centre Male – Providing immediate care and protection to boys and young men who have been rescued from hazardous and dangerous situations on the streets of Kolkata. The boys are placed in short-term protective care and receive holistic support such as nutrition and counselling, alongside rehabilitation, restoration and repatriation support to return home, where appropriate and possible. If unable to return home, the boys are placed in protection homes for their long-term protection and development.

Crisis Intervention Centre Female – Providing immediate care and protection with a temporary shelter home for girls and young women who experience violence, abuse or neglect throughout the streets of Kolkata. The services provided are the same as the male Crisis Intervention Centre (see above).

Mother & Child Care Unit – Short-term, immediate care and protection for mothers and children who experience difficulties on the streets and in the slums of Kolkata. Necessary support services are provided on a needs-basis, with family restoration, rehabilitation and repatriation as an integral part of the project where possible.

PBK Girls Home – A shelter home for 18 children of sex workers in the Kalighat district of Kolkata, working to eradicate second generation prostitution through the restoration of their childhoods and the delivery of education, protection, healthcare, counselling, recreational and holistic and full development.

Keertika Girls Home – 25 at-risk girls are supported in the Keertika Home through the provision of healthcare, education, protection, counselling, nutrition and recreation activities. Many of the girls have fallen victim to trafficking, physical, emotional, psychological and sexual abuse or were at great risk and danger of such violations and neglect.

BPWT Protection Home for HIV Infected and Affected Children – Protective shelter which provides care and support to HIV/AIDS infected and affected children, ensuring they receive quality health and medical care, nutrition, counselling, family support and formal education. 25 boys and girls under 14 years of age are catered for in the Snehaner Protection Home.

Anti-Trafficking Programme in West Bengal

HOPE operates 2 programmes focusing on Anti-Trafficking and rehabilitation for victims of trafficking with our partners Swanirvar and HCWS in rural West Bengal. The programme implemented by HCWS primarily involves rescue operations for victims of human trafficking with the help of law enforcement and other networking organizations from all over India. Community prevention is the best measure where school children, women, leaders of Self Help groups have been mobilized to form vigilance groups who work as Community Watch Groups and also liaison with the local administration for distressed families. Post rescue operations and providing legal and social support is another important activity of HCWS where efforts are made to link families with available government support schemes to improve the financial status of the family and reduce the susceptibility of victims to being trafficked again.

With Swanirvar, girls and young women who have been rescued after being trafficked, are given livelihood opportunities to help them to independently earn a living and live a life with dignity and self-esteem. Girls who have basic education qualifications take a 6-month course in Computer Skills and English. This is followed by comprehensive training in Community Healthcare for a further 6 months. After they have completed the courses, they are able to work in their own communities as Village Level Healthcare Workers with confidence and self-respect.

Child Watch Programme

This project involves night rounds for the rescue, placement, restoration and rehabilitation of vulnerable children and adults in some of Kolkata’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged areas; Dharamtala Bus Stand, Dumdum, Hastings, Howrah Bus Stand & Train Station, Moulali, Park Street, Sealdah Train Station and Sudder Street, where ambulances patrol the areas at night.

This project also organises awareness camps, stakeholder meetings and networking with Government officials to unearth and work to solve the root causes of poverty among communities. Finally, this project helps encourage and support children in accessing mainstream education in government schools.

2017 Rose of Tralee Jennifer Byrne visits the street population during a HOPE Nightwatch round
Strengthening Institutional Care of Children in Government homes

This project focuses on ensuring quality care standards in education and healthcare needs, including mental health, for 200 children residing in 3 government run Child Protection Homes in Kolkata.

The aim is to create an enabling environment for these children, through individual care planning, counselling, education and recreational activities. Our intervention strategy is to sensitize the management of the Homes to ensure a better quality of life for children within them, provide counselling support to the children to enlist their proactive participation in education programmes as well as the running of the Home, organize play and recreational activities like singing, dancing, painting etc. to rebuild their self-esteem and instil self-confidence among the children and facilitate their reunification with their biological family.