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.
Creating vocational opportunities for those who are “differently-abled” creates a ripple effect in the community where they live. In India, many disabled children face a future of begging/pan-handling, prostitution, or premature death. Fighting back against stereotypes and long-standing negative and dangerous perspectives regarding the lives and opportunities offered to those in the differently-abled community, Home of Hope supports three projects that create skills-based learning experiences that help children with disabilities find safety, jobs and become self-sufficient. These projects offer a holistic learning experience that benefits the children by allowing them to reach their full potential in a safe and nurturing environment.
In 1994, after recognizing the overwhelming need by the over 31 million orphans in India, Kiran Modi started Udayan Ghar. The first home was set up in Delhi with just 3 girls in one home. Now there are more than 13 separate homes that all share the same goal: to give orphaned and abandoned children a loving environment, a sense of community and belonging, as well as hope. Kiran’s unique approach is to invest in mental health and holistic child development that has proven results in increasing the self-worth and self-confidence that results from being given a safe environment to grow in. Today, when visiting any of the 13 Udayan Ghar homes that help nearly 180 children, one sees the immediate benefits of mental health supports that result in a sense of belonging and empowerment in the hearts and minds of children. Udayan Ghar’s new homes are in good neighborhoods and the children attend good schools. Each child is encouraged to express themselves through art, and the Mental Health Program practiced in Udayan Ghar has become a standard in India. This group foster care model ensures children all the opportunities to enjoy their right to childhood and develop as socially integrated individuals with self and family worth. Children in Udayan Ghar homes stay for an average of 20 years, and attend nearby schools that are vetted by Udayan Ghar staff.
- Nilima Sabharwal first visited Udayan Ghar in 1999, which was a collection of homes to help children dealing with mental issues and illnesses. A young girl named Reva had just recently arrived at a home. She had been sexually, mentally and physically damaged, and was so sad that speaking seemed impossible for her, and she only cried. A very basic mental health program was available at that time, yet the focus and attention given to her was truly successful. When Nilima returned in 2000, Reva was laughing and speaking with joy in her heart, and she symbolizes the first mental health program funded by Home of Hope.
The Manovikas Charitable Society was formed in 1997 with the hope of helping just a few orphaned, disabled, and mentally challenged children with a modest facility in a 30-yard basement. In 2011, Manovikas Center relocated to a three-story home, sheltering 38 students and providing special training, medical treatment, therapy, clothes, books, transportation, remedial classes, and counseling services to them, their families and the community. Programs Manovikas has implemented create vocational opportunities and personal empowerment.
- Manovikas has gained national recognition. Its awareness programs, which include art exhibitions and job fairs, have earned official acknowledgement and are promoted by the Government of India. The institution was also instrumental in lobbying the Indian government to pass the Disability Act which guarantees that mentally-impaired children under the age of 14 receive an equal education and the right to attend mainstream schools. Manovikas also collaborated with the Study Center for the National Institute of Open Study and the Indira Gandhi National Open University, and now offers the Entrepreneur Development Training Program, which teaches business management to the mentally challenged.
- As important, the success of Manovikas can be measured by the success of its students. Take Manoj, a young man with cerebral palsy, who successfully manages the Manovikas store. Or Saurav, who enrolled in the speech therapy program in 2002. After a year in the program, he was able to communicate with others successfully. He is now self-sufficient and is employed at Haldiram's, the famous maker of sweets and delicacies.
The Adarsh School for Deaf Children is a program of the Pingalwara Welfare Society.
The Pingalwara Society was formed in 1947 by Bhagat Puran Singh, to provide shelter to homeless orphans, the mentally and physically handicapped, the incurably sick, and the very poor. The name Pingalwara embodies these goals, from the Punjabi pingal (handicapped) and wara (shelter). Through Mr. Singh's continued efforts and donations, the Pingalwara Welfare Society found a permanent home in 1952, and began housing 16 deaf children. Since that initial start, numerous early intervention, hearing, and training programs have been implemented, chief among them being the Adarsh School for Deaf Children.
Adarsh School teaches sign language through computer technology, and is very proud to have created the Punjabi Sign Language Dictionary, the first of its kind in India. Home of Hope support has resulted in measurable improvements in increasing the wellbeing of the Pingalwara inhabitants and affecting the way Indian society views handicaps.
- Meet Mandeep Singh, a student at the Adarsh School for Deaf Children. This pioneering school gave the naturally shy young man the skills to overcome his handicap and emerge from the isolation his nature and his handicap would have condemned him to. Today he is a successful carpenter.