Education is a path out of poverty.

HOPE believes every child has the right to receive an education. It is key to building an independent, successful life and gives a child a better chance of escaping poverty.

Education gives children an opportunity to find their strengths and empowers them to pursue a career, to eventually provide for themselves as adults.

HOPE understands that education is critical for the development of society as a whole. By giving more children access to education, the benefits will inevitably filter through into the wider community. It means that more children can live free from exploitation.

HOPE’s goal is to enable and support children and young people in their education: to bring children to education and to increase student retention.

At HOPE, we believe that childhood should be a time of fun and learning.

HOPE’s Education Programme

Holistic Education

HOPE’s Holistic Education Programme for Underprivileged Children in the slums of Kolkata ensures the basic educational rights of poor children between the ages of 6-18 years, living in derelict and sprawling slums.

The successful implementation of Phase-I of the programme has already had a very positive impact on the slum communities.

  • 96% of children aged 6-14 years are attending school throughout the slums in which HOPE operates.
  • 75% amongst 15-17 years.
  • Intervention has resulted in a reduction of drop-out from formal schools – 75% in 2005 v 13% in 2014.
  • Increase awareness of rights and entitlements within communities.

Such positive impacts have motivated HOPE to address the quality of the teaching and learning environments within formal schools in Phase-II of the project.

Over 4,000 children are enabled to complete their elementary education in child friendly and inclusive environments, through HOPE coaching centres and existing formal schools. These come from 21 slums across Kolkata and Howrah.

A special focus is placed on special-needs children and children with learning difficulties. Inclusion in age-appropriate classes and additional educational support aim to improve the educational environment for all students.

Hope Foundation Kolkata. Picture: Arthur Carron


Pre-primary education is provided to children aged 3-6 years in a fun, energetic and child-friendly environment. Children are encouraged to learn through play in 4 HOPE run crèches. These projects act as a stepping stone into mainstream formal schools. The programme integrates all aspects of child care covering physical, cognitive, emotional, social and cultural aspects of child development.

The crèche caregivers use activity-based and child centric methodologies of teaching, using Montessori and Froebel techniques for the holistic development of each child. The caregivers also take responsibility for the children while they are in the crèche; planning their daily routines regarding hygiene, nutrition and immunization.

Special Needs Education

Orphaned and abandoned special needs children in the SICW Home are provided with care and protection to ensure their physical and mental development, ensuring that they are empowered to become as self-reliant as possible.

These include children with special needs suffering from various forms of disability, from Down’s syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism to Thalassemia etc. HOPE provides coaching support to these children, through which they learn tailored life skills, preparing them to be placed in families or other organizations where their holistic development is ensured.


Nabo Asha Centres

HOPE’s original Nabadisha projects began in 2004 in partnership with The Kolkata Police. HOPE originally ran Nabadisha projects in Gariahat, Topsia, New Market and Tollygunge. In 2017, HOPE opened its own centres, which were renamed Nabo Asha centres, in Gariahat, Topsia, New Market, GD Park and Central to provide educational support and empowerment to hundreds of children across Kolkata who are forced to call the streets their homes, children who are engaged in child labour and child beggars. The centres provide underprivileged and disadvantaged children with education, healthcare and nutritional support, necessities often denied them due to lack of family income.

The street children who attend the Nabo Asha Centres are provided with both formal and non-formal educational support. Many of these children are first-generation learners, meaning they are the first in their family to ever attend school. Beyond educational support, the children also receive balanced nutrition, health check-ups and counselling, as well as the opportunity to play and interact with other children. A special focus is also placed on the cultural development of the children. To tackle the gender bias evident throughout India, this project also gives priority admission to girls, who face, more severely, the consequences of poverty.

Brian’s Way Resource Centre for Children with Special Needs

Supported by Butlers Chocolates

During HOPE’s school intervention programme, it was found that many children with special needs were still not enrolled in primary school or special school, or due to the severity of their needs, were not accessing the Government Resource Rooms. This is particularly common in under-served communities such as those living in impoverished city slums and on the streets. The parents do not know how to support children with special needs. They cannot afford to send their child to special schools and feel that their child will not be welcomed in regular schools. Therefore, HOPE’s Resource Centre is barrier-free and provides an opportunity to access therapy for that category of children. The objective of the project is to improve the quality of life for children with special needs, through access to important resources such as aids, appliances, appropriate therapies, special education and inclusive education in school. 100 children with special needs are supported at the centre and receive special education and therapeutic supports such as physiotherapy, occupational, speech and dance movement.

144 assistive aids and appliances, such as special chairs and multipurpose climbing equipment have been provided to the resource centre for conducting therapies such as physiotherapy, occupational, speech, behavioural and dance movement, and special education classes for the enrolled children with special needs.

Education on Wheels

One of our most recent projects, the Education on Wheels programme has been developed to provide coaching support on a bus to under-served children aged 6-14 from Chitpur Slum and surrounding area in North Kolkata, who are going to school or who will be enrolled in school through the programme.

The support provided, are similar to the Nabo Asha centres that support street-connected children. Currently 60 children are enrolled in the programme

Project Examples