Founder Director, Maureen Forrest's take on Internatioanl Women's Day 2017 -

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" Nelson Mandela

International Women's Day 2017 is upon us, why not celebrate this annual global day by donating to an organisation who are dedicated to working with women and girls who are denied access to education, healthcare and basic human rights.

Education of girls is the key to changing their futures and you can help us continue the work and affect real change this International Women's Day by choosing to stand in solidarity with these girls and women and donating here here

At HOPE we are proud to present a snapshot of some statistics since IWD 2016, 268 girls have been supported through our protection homes, 284 girls received educational sponsorship, 21 girl victims of trafficking were rescued and returned to their families, 689 post natal check-ups for mothers in slum communities were conducted, and 1015 new children from Kolkata's Slum communities have been enrolled into formal education. Overall, since 1999, and with your support HOPE has helped 2.3 million people to date. Progress is such a vital and precious entity and where would the world be without it?

Press release - Hope Kolkata Foundation There has been great work done but let's take this opportunity today to point out that there is much more to do.

ndia is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be born a girl. Women and girls are subjected to female infanticide, rape, domestic violence, dowry deaths by burning, human trafficking and forced prostitution, teenage marriages and honour killings. To help promote gender equality for all women, regardless of where they happen to be born, we must unite with them to fight for a world where each man, woman and child gets equal justice, equal opportunity and equal dignity, without any discrimination.

A huge number of baby girls are being aborted, strangled, poisoned, frozen or starved to death, for the sole reason that they are female. Female infanticide is one of the worst human rights violations of our time. According to the Population Research Institute, at least 12,771,043 sex-selective abortions had taken place in India between 2000 and 2014. It takes the daily average of sex-selective abortion to 2,332

Women's rights activists say that when discrimination begins even before birth, change will not come easily so this brings us to why International Women’s Day is so important; it serves to remind us of all that we need to get right in the midst of these issues in solidarity with those who are suffering, and do what we can. Remember the words of feminist Gloria Steinem "when one person stands up and says ‘this is wrong’ it encourages other people to do the same".

‘Be Bold for Change’, what does this mean and how can we harness these words into continued action? As I thought about the power of these words to affect change in society I discovered that some synonyms for the word 'bold' are daring, intrepid, courageous, brave, valiant, dauntless, undaunted, fearless. This International Women’s Day and every other day let us unite and incorporate the power of all these ‘bold’ qualities in our everyday efforts to create a world where no little girl or woman suffers at the hands of discrimination and no female will ever again need to sacrifice their ambitions because of a ‘glass ceiling’.

Let us be ‘brave’ and work together to end violence against women and girls in the public and private spheres including trafficking, sexual and other types of exploitation.

Let us be ‘intrepid’ and strive to ensure that all girls complete equitable primary and secondary education.

Let us be ‘fearless’ and end practices like forced child marriages and female genital mutilation.

Le us be ‘undaunted’ and terminate all discrimination against women and girls by 2030.

The ideal scenario for so many millions of women in the world has yet to arrive, and the road ahead is far from easy. Women across the world are still battling for their rights, and the struggle continues. International Women's Day is a reminder of the journey women have gone through in the past and an inspiration to keep fighting for what is right.

We are asking for all people to take ‘bold’ action in 2017. The #BeBoldForChange movement is a pledge to help women the world over. Start with education.

You can help us continue this work by donating to HOPE here


Press release - Hope Kolkata Foundation

Rhythm, music, arts and dance has been witnessed in Kolkata to mark the celebration of 16th annual cultural programme of The Hope Foundation. Throughout at this day The Hope Foundation was aligned with Ms. Maureen Forrest’s (Founder Director) commitment which she is doing for last 16 years to provide shelter, medicine, education, livelihood and above all eradication of street & slum children in Kolkata.


The Hope Foundation, 2015 Initiative see the event as a great opportunity for the 3000 underprivileged children to bring together to pay homage to Late Dr. APJ ABDUL KALAM AZAD with the theme – “Our Rights Our Dreams” through a Cultural Festival and education carnival showcasing Kolkata’s culture, music, dance and art. The 16th annual cultural & education programme will be held on 28 October 2015 at Nazrul Mancha form 10am onwards and will become an annual event on the international calendar here in Kolkata, India.

Personalities from all walks of life have shown great interest in the event, including Mr M.K. Jalan (Consulate of Ireland), Mr. Scott Fursedonn Wood (British Deputy High Commissioner), Mr Wasim Kapoor (famous artist), Mr Bobby Chakraborty actor, child artist from Australia -Holly more and Alexandra (Singer). Invitations have gone out to 120 people in total, including The Governor (WB), Celebrities (cinema), and Corporate to come and participate and be the inspiration into the cultural dance & music at the Event. We have guest of 120 people from Ireland, UK, Italy and Australia. Corporate from HSBC UK.

In this journey, Maureen Forrest the Founder of The Hope Foundation proudly says, “Let us listen to voices of the children and young people as we have always kept them at the heart of its policy and programme. All over the world there are millions of children who are denied to the rights to education. They are every nation’s most precious gifts and their futures depend on them. We should listen and not ignore them. The strength of each nation depends on them." Press release - Hope Kolkata Foundation

Mr. Mahendra Kumar Jalan Consulate of Ireland is very proud to be part of The Hope Foundation and said,” The Hope foundation not only invest on children and people lives in Kolkata, they also add revenue through tourism."

The Deputy British High Commissioner Mr. Scott Fursedonn Wood and the first lady Liz has also already confirmed earlier that they will attend and will bring with him a live inspiration in addition to a cultural dance group of children.

The renowned Australian Ms. Kathy Wong has arrived from australia who is a Sydney designer and founder of Molecoco, a social enterprise business that donates a pair of ‘shoes’ for every pair sold, Ms. Wong wanted to save the children of others who were denied an education, or contracted life threatening illness, as a result of being barefoot.

Press release - Hope Kolkata Foundation Alessandra Kitanis, 14, has joined a local social enterprise business after her mother shared the story of Kathy Wong. Alessandra, runs her own social media business with 18 clients and she is also the Youth ambassador for an Australian education program teaching confidence and self esteem to empower young women.

Holly Moore is 12 years old and has been visiting her friends at Hope in Kolkata since 8 years old. Holly truly believes in sharing her voice to have fun and make a little difference in the world. As a young Ambassador for Hope, loves to travel with her parents Julie and David and spread the word of helping the less fortunate. They all have the Hope family firmly in their hearts. In the last 12 months Holly has been writing her own music and has been spotted by a renowned London music director, whom is planning to record and produce Holly’s own songs in 2016. Holly has sang her first song written and produced by Holly called “ Magic “ she dedicates this song to her friends the children of Hope because all children deserve magic in their life, it was Holly’s second song in the program. The day was Holly’s 4th annual cultural day performance; she was thrilled to be here again to sing for us with a very special group of Hope dancers joining her on stage. Holly invites you all to celebrate 16 years of Hope, clap along, sing along and most of all let’s all have fun and create some Magic.

There had been a wonderful cacophony of music, drums and dancing as the Cultural Carnival winds its way slowly up through the centre of Kolkata on Wednesday morning, that was an eye-catching extravaganza for all to enjoy and the destination was the renowned Nazrul Mancha, Kolkata . There were lots of fun for everyone with performances at the auditorium; stage showcased participating famous personalities through culture, art and music performed by 550 children and 3000 children have the opportunity to cheer. There were also the dancers moving around amongst the spectators, City drumming, cultural dancing, arts, rhymes, songs, music and much more. Press release - Hope Kolkata Foundation

We wanted this day to be a memorable event, so we were encouraging the people to come along, bring joy & happiness for the underprivileged and join & support The Hope Foundation later in the afternoon, when school children and students will join in concentric rainbow circles around the central stage prior to the Prize Giving and National Anthem.

This Event was Supported & Sponsored by Spicy Entertainment & Medical Limited, Bengal Speed Automobile Limited, Bengal Harley Davidson, Asian Hotels Limited & also many more Individual Sponsors. Mio Amore is our food partner, Felicitation partner - Right Florist and The Hope Foundation family.