VOICE OF HOPE

“Voice of Hope”
(Newsletter of the Hope House) July 1 st , 2012
STEALY RESOLVE BEHIND THE TENDER SMILES IN THIS ISSUE

Champions of the Hope House
It was in 2006, Bommi and Sujatha (in the picture above) joined the Hope House. Reason – abusive family dynamics. Year after year they have proved themselves to be stronger in academics by passing with flying colors. As a policy, all the Hope House children attend public schools where the standard of education is much to be th desired for. When they reached 10 grade, their lives turned upside down. Their day used to start very early and end late because they had to study extra hard as it is a board exam at the end of the academic year. The least Hope House could do for them was to arrange for a private tutor to help them catch up with the difficult subjects. Slowly that increased their confidence but they became even more determined to prove to the harsh world out there that they are game for the challenge. Board exams arrived in April, 2012 and they took them one after the other. When they finished, they were not the same girls that we knew when the year started. They became so much more matured and responsible in everything. As we all waited for the results to arrive th on June 4 , it felt like days were getting longer. When that day did arrive, Bommi and Sujatha passed their exams with flying colors. Bommi just missed distinction by a whisker. They’ve raised the bar so high for those that are following their footsteps in the Hope House, the streak of confidence is beginning to show up on all the other girls now. Bommi and Sujatha are no different than any other child out there. They have dreams and aspirations of their own. Bommi wants to pursue nursing as a career and Sujatha a beauracrat in the field of law enforcement. Hope House also began working with their families and the girl’s maturity is only helping to bring the change sooner. For all the hard work that they had put in to make their dreams come true, Hope House couldn’t be more proud of their achievement and we only wish the best for their future. They truly are the young champions of the Hope House.

In the business of teaching
In an innovative experiment at the Hope House, girls learnt that teaching to others is the best way to learn. Read to learn about the innovative experiment. Page # 2

Our excursion trip to Hyderabad
For Hope House girls’, going on an excursion th is an incentive for completing 8 grade. th Read all about why 8 grade and how they enjoyed the trip. Page # 4

2 experiment demonstrated, they would earn Rs. 100/- (about two dollars). Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) students came and helped the girls to learn and demonstrate the experiments and “B & B Builders” of Vellore had underwritten the expense of the event. We invited the locals along with the media to come witness the event only to help the girls to develop self confidence in themselves. When the event was featured in the media what happened next was unexpected. Another non-profit in Vellore (Pravaham) invited the girls to come and demonstrate their experiments in the remote areas of the district. Apart from showcasing their experiments, girls talked about child rights to their compatriots and changes during the adolescent stage to the participating girls. Girls used the money
Sangeetha and Sonia are demonstrating the experiment of producing Carbon Dioxide using Sodium Bicarbonate and water.

“Learn & Earn”
(Innovative method of learning)
In September – October of 2011, Hope House had joined hands with GiveIndia – a premiere fundraising platform of India, to raise funds during their ‘India Giving Challenge’. GiveIndia encourages the participating organizations (like the hope house) to make use of ‘Joy of Giving’ week to host an event of some kind to raise funds. As we were joining in this event for the first time, we didn’t know how to go about but raising funds was enticing enough for us to think hard. We decided to host an event titled “Learn & Earn”. Hope House children were encouraged to demonstrate as many as five science experiments and that’s the learning part. For each

that they earned to buy themselves gifts during the Christmas season. Next year, we plan to make this event bigger by including more public schools

A gift that changed us
Have you ever received a gift that ends up changing you? Would you believe if we tell you that it truly happened at the Hope House?

Rotary club of Vellore and Rotary International had initiated a process to gift a mini bus to the Hope House. When the girls heard about the impending arrival of their gift, they were challenged to think beyond themselves. They were asked to think out of the box to be a blessing to someone that they do not know like how someone that they didn’t know chose to be a blessing to them by giving them a bus. What happened then in one little girl’s mind had changed all of us. She suggested that we should write a letter to the Chief Minister (equivalent to a state Governor in the US) of our state to arrange exclusive public buses for all the public school going children like how private school children do. She wrote the letter quoting several reasons why common transportation is inadequate for public school going children and to our surprise she received a reply after two months. Although the CM had agreed with her novel

suggestion, informed Bommi that it couldn’t be undertaken as it is a major policy decision. Bommi became an instant star in the Hope House and her school. Even adults were surprised that she got a reply. When Bommi learnt about the gravity of her actions, her confidence grew and began to mould herself into be a leader who stands for others. All these developments also began to rub off on the Hope House staff. Now, we are at a pre-consultative stage to undertake a project with appropriate stake holders to experiment exclusive school transportation for public school going children. When it is done, we would like to present the details to the state to enable them to make the appropriate decision in this regard. If you like to know more about this project, please write to us at info@hopehouse.in

About two years ago Rotary club of Williamstown, USA in partnership with

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Our trip to Hyderabad
For the first time, Hope House girls have been taken on an excursion to the “city of Nawabs” – Hyderabad. Six months ago when we made the decision, staff and the children have agreed to have some rules. First and foremost we all of us felt that it must be used as a reward for doing something significantly good. So we came up with a rule that only those th that complete 8 grade can go on an th excursion. Why 8 grade you ask? In India we have a new law called “Right of a child for free and compulsory education till 14 years” th which roughly translates to 8 grade. Time of our excursion has to be during the summer holidays (month of May) because that’s the only time girls are free from school for an extended period of time and we know the dates of holidays for sure. So, we th th decided to go from May 7 to 11 . Girls returned to the Hope House on the 6 morning to join hands with the staff to make refreshments to take along on the trip. Excitement was palpable and couldn’t be contained. For some girls it is about to be an adventure because they have never travelled by a train before. Since it is the peak of Summer in India, staff had to make sure that everyone had hats, umbrellas and sunscreen lotion etc. Day # 1: Travelled to Chittoor by bus and boarded the Venkatadri Express to Kacheguda in Hyderabad @ 5:30 PM. Day # 2: Reached Kacheguda @ 7:00 AM and our destination in another 20 minutes. We hired a vehicle of our own just to save time and in no time everyone was ready and went to visit Birla’s Science Center, Birla Planetarium, NTR gardens, and had a typical Hyderabadi Biryani to taste. Since it was the first day, we wanted to be back early and rest adequately for the next two days. Day # 3: Visited Prasad’s IMAX theater, to watch a 3D movie (Avengers), shopping, eating at McDonalds, Charminar (ancient mogul structure of more than 400 years old and yes we did climb all the way to the top), shopping near Charminar, Lumbini Park, boat ride to Buddha statue and back to the barracks.
th

offered. They ran around so much and watched so many new things that it was worth visiting Hyderabad for. We started our return journey to Chittoor at about 8:00 PM. Day # 5: Reached Chittoor at about 9:00 AM and back to the Hope House by 11:00 AM. By evening, all the girls had gone back to their homes to enjoy the rest of the Summer vacation with their families till May 31st. Our staff had worked extra hard to make this journey that the girls will remember for the rest of their lifetime. Ensured their safety, variety and enjoyment at all stages. When they returned from Summer holidays on June st 1 , other girls had their ears full and now they too want to go on excursions and can’t th wait to finish 8 grade. Here is something noteworthy to share. A well-wisher of the Hope House had underwritten part of the expense of the trip and there was a large chunk that was still not paid for. During our return journey our staff had shared this information with the girls and asked them to remember in their prayers. Girls shopping for bangles @ Charminar When we returned, there was a cheque from the US for $ 250/- waiting at our door step. When we opened, it was the story of commitment. An artist who visited the Hope House few years ago made a painting and displayed it at her work place for someone to buy it thinking that she would donate the entire amount to the Hope House. When the owner of the business heard this, she paid the full price and bought it outright. This gift arrived at a perfect time and we couldn’t thank God enough for it. We immediately shared this story with the girls who knew that their prayers had been answered. Our next destination is India’s capital city – New Delhi.

Waiting to watch 3D movie @ Prasad’s

With butterfly girl @ Ramoji Film City

Singing competition on the return journey With Characters @ Ramoji film city Day # 4: We left early to Ramoji film city to come back early to get ready to catch the return train at 8:00 PM. Girls felt like we kept the best for the last and undoubtedly it was their favorite place of all that Hyderabad had If you’d like to view more of our Hyderabad trip photos, kindly visit our facebook page at this link: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set =a.10150985478545033.472193.713380032 &type=3

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DIRECT DEPOSIT TO THE HOPE HOUSE

Image of the Hope House girls’ passbooks: Most have two accounts (in the nearby post office) namely fixed account and a savings account. As part of rights based approach of childcare, we encourage and help families to invest and children to make decisions on purchases of importance. This helps children to learn about decision making financial literacy.

Ministry of finance of India has issued directives to all the public sector banks to switch over to electronic mode of transactions instead of cheques st beginning July 1 , 2012. If you live in India and would like to give direct deposit standing orders to your bank, we have a form that you can use. Your standing orders would help the Hope House with on-time availability of resources. Kindly see the next page to choose what needs that you like to support. CLICK HERE to download the form or write to us at info@hopehouse.in and we’ll send it to you FAST FACTS

Hope House’s approach of childcare
[Rights based approach informs & empowers children to participate in decision making]  We do not have specific visitation day and the families can come children on any day of their choice. This reduced the anticipation on the child’s side and expectation on the family side. Families also are encouraged to make the child a part of any family’s special occasions.  Children participate in making their own menu every Friday with few guidelines from the staff.  Children participate in choosing their own choice of places to visit when we go on picnics with few guidelines from the staff.  Provide different platforms (such as weekly informal dramas, skits, debates, and group discussions) for children to enact various forms of child abuse to sensitize them to protect and also to help them learn what needs to be done if abused. Since it was started in 2005, Hope House has been evolving itself to become one of the premiere rights based approach child care institution (CCI) in the country. This space is to let our supporters know how and what we do under this approach of childcare? Technically, this simply means that we must protect every child’s right that we agree to care for but morally speaking it means that every child deserves the care that “my own” children deserve. This is our starting point. Here are few things we do but there are many:  By choice, we send our children to public schools where the standard of education is much to be desired for. But we do so for several reasons including making use of available state’s resources. Most important reason that we choose to send our children to public school is that it is an excellent choice of places for children to learn their entitlements. We constantly talk to help children to understand what their entitlements are and how to protect them. As an organization, hope house also works with the school authorities separately. Although the children attend public schools, we do not hesitate to arrange for an extra private tutor to help with their academics if need be.

70%
Orphan and semi-orphan children @ the hope house.

20%
Children with ‘Special Needs’ @ the Hope House.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

HH believes in integrated children’s homes where all groups of children live together yet receive individualized need based care. A child who may be diagnosed as a ‘Special Needs” would live along with other normal children but every day she goes for therapies and Special Ed school. This approach lessens stigma and discrimination. Hope House currently cares for children with diverse limitations.

 All the staff are required to give child protection undertaking upon employment and children are provided with foolproof communication channel to report of any kind of abuse  Height and weight is measured every month to track children’s development.

Come visit us to witness the work or our site at http://www.hopehouse.in
“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one are threatened” John F. Kennedy.

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If you’re touched by our message and would like to support us, consider supporting one of the following expenses: (Dollar conversion at 55 Indian rupees for every American dollar)

    

Monthly House Rent – Rs. 6000/- ($ 110/-) Monthly groceries – Rs. 8000/- ($145/-) Monthly supply of vegetables and fruits – Rs. 1500/- ($27/-) Monthly supply of milk – Rs. 1500/- ($27/-) Monthly supply of meats – Rs. 3000/- ($55/-)

One day’s breakfast: Rs. 300/- ($6/-) One day’s lunch (on weekends): Rs. 500/- ($9/-) One day’s dinner: Rs. 500/- ($9/-) One time Special Dinner: Rs. 1600/- ($29/-)

How do I send my contribution?
 If you’re living in India, kindly address your payment to “The Hope House” and mail it to the following address: The Hope House 16/28, 25th East Cross Road Gandhinagar Vellore – 632006 Contributions to the Hope House (in India) are exempted from income-tax under section 80/G of Indian tax code.  If you’re living in the US, kindly address your payment to “Hope House International” and mail it to the following address: Hope House International PO Box 7438 Chico, CA 95927-7438 Hope House International is a fiscal intermediary of the hope house in India and contributions to Hope House International (In the US) are exempted from income-tax under 501c3 IRS tax code.  If you’re living in any other country, please address your payment to “The Hope House” and mail it to the following address: The Hope House 16/28, 25th East Cross Road Gandhinagar Vellore – 632006 Hope House is authorized by the ministry of home affairs of India under Foreign Contribution and Regulation Act (FCRA) to receive funds from abroad.