Sep 4, 2019

Educate a Girl - Change the World

Maheshwari
Maheshwari

Women produce half of the world's food and work 2/3 of the world's working hours, yet women earn only 10% of the world's income and own less than 1% of the world's property. (United Nations)

Astounding to think this is the reality for girls and women around the world. A tragic statitic with tragic consequences. If half the world's population cannot rise, then the world cannot rise. These realities highlight why we work so diligently to educate every one of our girls. 

Meet Mahashwari, she is 20 years old and wants to be a teacher. She just finished up her round of "counseling" with the Indian government and finished her college entrance exams. She will begin her college journey at the end of October where she will work toward a bachelors degree in education. 

From the start, she was determined to succeed. In India, a university posting is dependent on a score. If you do not score high enough, the government will not grant a seat. Students are allowed to take the exams each year. Last year, she did not score high enough to get into a good university. She spent a year studying, attending additional tutoring sessions and sat for the exams again this year. Her hard work has paid off and she will begin her first semester this fall.

For the past 15 years, we have continued to create opportunity for all our kids, continuously working to build up a strong sense of self, character, resolve and persistence in the face of the harsh realities of living with HIV in India, which is still an up hill battle in every area of life. As our kids get older and begin to take on more of these challenges for themselves, we work alongside them to ensure they have what they need to build a life of their own choosing.

Hope Now is a unique children's home in India. There is no other orphanage for HIV-positive kids doing what Hope Now is doing. We now have 16 kids in college, 4 in trade school and our first graduate who will find a job, save up some money and move out. A bittersweet time for all of us. We will always be home, but this is and has always been the goal, to raise them up, provide the tools and education they need to be successful and build an adult life outside our walls. 

We cannot fulfill our purpose without partners. We need support to do what we do. We need people who are willing to invest in the future and create opportunity for children who need us. Please consider becoming a monthly sponsor or give to our scholarship fund, which pays for college tuition for our kids.

Together we can make build a world where equity becomes reality.

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Jun 6, 2019

Educating Girls Is Essential

Anitha is a small young lady with a shy smile and a smart wit. She is a brave young woman living in a country that does not see girls as equal. She decided to move away from home to go to college - which is not typical in India - becasue she wanted to go to a good college. She studies hard and is working toward a bachelor of science degree in optometry.

Anitha starts her second year at Sveetha University in the city of Guntur on June 12th. She has been on summer holiday the past 5 weeks enjoying time with her sisters. As she begins a new year, she will be returning to her hostel, friends and a full semester of classes.

Hope Now pays 100% of Anitha's college and living fees. We believe in her and the power of an education to provide her a stable adult life when she graduates. We are constantly being told our kids "can't", but at every turn they have proven they can!

From the very beginning of this journey more than 10 years ago, we understood our kids would need an advocate to ensure they have the same opportunity as any other child. Living with HIV in India is still a difficult life. Our kids have to knock on many closed doors to be seen, heard and allowed into a society that considers them "dangerous." It is our job to educate people in our community about HIV/AIDS, how the virus is spread and how it is not. These conversations can be fraught with half truths, myths and a cultural bias that complicates the most simple daily tasks. 

We are committed to having these conversations for as long as it takes to bring our kids into the communtiy. The kids do their part every day when they get on the bus to go to school, when they sit side by side with other kids taking their year-end exams and when they continue to improve in thier studies with each passing year. We are so very proud of all of them.

As we start another year, with 11 kids currently in college and Anitha going off to another year at University, we ask for your help. We cannot meet our commitments without you. Your support keeps girls like Anitha in college and delivers on the promise we make every day to ensure our kids have a quality education and can reach their full potential.

Thank you for being part of our family. We are so grateful for your support.

Mar 8, 2019

Our Girls Are Thriving

Sanjana wearing the dress she made.
Sanjana wearing the dress she made.

It is an amazing thing to watch a young girl realize her potential and gleam with pride when she accomplishes a new goal.

Four of our girls are enrolled in a two-year tailoring program at Word & Deed Trade School. They go to school each morning, ready to tackle a new challenge, a new task and new assignments as thier skills improve. We have three sewing machines at the home so they can practice their stiching in the evenings after dinner. For the first time, we have an electric machine on site. The other machines are powered by a pedal - the old school way.

For the first time, the girls have stiched their own clothing. They are so proud and happy to be creating their own designs, patterns and projects outside of school. Equally important, they are learning a trade that will support them into their adult lives. They will find a job and be able to support themselves and settle into a community when the time is right.

Hope Now pays 100% of all their tuition and expenses. We are committed to every one of our kids and will remain a part of their family long into their adult lives.

As the girls model their own creations, it is a profoundly moving moment to see them smile with pride. We are all so proud of each of them for their continued commitment to their studies, their future and each other.

Thank you for being a part of our story. We can only do what we do because of you.

Bheemama showcasing her work.
Bheemama showcasing her work.

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