Hope is the Foundation for Life
Anna, my daughter, wanted to travel to Kolkata in India. She had come across a website for the Hope Foundation and wanted to watch them in action. The Hope Foundation is a charity working with children who live on the streets of Kolkata. Living on the streets children are exposed to physical and sexual abuse. They are not safe. They are forced to work from the age of five to earn money for food to survive. Hope’s goal is to protect these children from abuse and give them a chance of a better life.
Anna gives talks, raises money, and collects clothes and toys for the Foundation. This is very difficult for someone on the autistic spectrum and learning difficulties. Her bravery is a demonstration of the importance she places on their work. On a visit to Kolkata Anna formed a particularly strong bond with a girl with a physical disability who had been left in a plastic bag on a train.
Anna uses this photograph in her talks to illustrate the difficult work Hope undertake. This is a small Children’s Care Home where street children are supported through counselling, education and play. It’s a safe caring environment where children are nurtured and where they can develop naturally. Not far away, on the streets of Kolkata, there is danger from sexual and physical abuse, and the need to earn sufficient money to simply survive. There are 15 million children abandoned living on the streets of India.
I didn’t notice the mobile phone in the hand of the symbolic figure until I got home. Anna uses it to talk about the ‘good’ and ‘evil’ she has experienced on the streets of Kolkata. The work of the Hope Foundation is very important in the lives of street children hence the title of the image ‘Hope is the Foundation for Life’