Our projects spread over multiple states in India, and serve over 30,000 children of all ages. All projects provide quality education for children, specifically girls, through four core areas: computer education, vocational training, disability and mental health, and K-12 education. Home of Hope projects bring safety and new opportunities by nurturing children, building their confidence and providing well-tested educational opportunities – especially for those who are deaf, blind, abandoned, orphaned, physically or mentally challenged, or otherwise disadvantaged.
Home of Hope supports two projects focused on bringing valuable computer education skills to South Asian students who otherwise would have no access. The Saidham and ATMS projects provide an education in computer skills, offering children 1) knowledge of the outside world through the internet, 2) a level playing field where they receive an education often only available to more privileged students and 3) an opportunity to self-learn and gain mastery over a trade that will offer them opportunities to find jobs and make a living for themselves and their families. These skills are invaluable, and often create rippling economic benefits throughout the community. 800 students have been served over the past five years in our two projects.
Popularly known as Saidham, this free, government-recognized school is run by the Shirdi Sai Baba Temple Society, a secular NGO. The society was started in Faridabad in 1988 by Saiseval Motilal Gupta with the goal to help the underprivileged, and serves about 1500 students in classes up to 9th grade.
Saidham employs a holistic approach to education. Not only does it provide a free, well-rounded curriculum that includes sports, yoga, dance, and music along with academics, it also takes care of family expenses by supplying uniforms and school supplies. They look after students' nutrition and health by including free breakfast and lunch, and free medical and dental care. To prepare them for life after school, Saidham offers vocational training for older youth.
- By far, Saidham's biggest success story has been the introduction of formal computer instruction with an NIIT-based curriculum. Access to the internet and computer instruction has provided a window into the broader world and greatly expanded the students' horizons. Home of Hope's sponsorship of a new computer lab and curriculum in 2010 has snowballed, with staff and students making enthusiastic use of their previously donated computers. In 2012, another computer lab was funded by the Rotary Club, and the generosity of a Home of Hope donor made 16 sets of EDUComp projectors and smart boards available. These twenty-first century tools have made it possible for the students to develop a valuable skill set to take them forward into today's world. As a great example of cross-project collaboration, Saidham played a crucial role in providing vocational training for women from the Mijwan school.
The Atmashree School was founded by retired chief engineer Mr. Satyanarayan, as a school for destitute children from very poor socio-economic backgrounds. Home of Hope's first project here was to establish a computer lab in memory of Dr. Abid Hussain, through a $10,000 donation given to HOH by his wife Ruby. The school was filled with enthusiastic teachers focused on the children, and it began winning awards for sports activities and scholastics, its 95% score in annual State Board exams rivaling that of elite private schools nearby.
However, in 2006, the Foreign Contribution Regulatory Act (FCRA) was passed. The act required an organization to file a lot of paperwork to prove that it met regulations before it could be allowed to accept donations from outside the country. Bureaucracy can move very slowly in India, and tragically, it took six years for ATMS to get approval. As funds dried up, basic infrastructure deteriorated. Various beneficial programs for the children had to be eliminated, and grades reflected this by dropping dramatically to the 65% level. The school finally received its FCRA approval and its 300 students are now once again under the HOH umbrella.