Due to my ongoing struggle to juggle work and family life, it is rare that I get to watch television. On 2nd September 2015, I managed. I watched a documentary presented by Sue Perkins, part of which was her speaking with those involved with The Hope Foundation.
As I sat down, my mind entertained by my latest first-world ‘crisis’, all thoughts turned swiftly to what was on the screen. I was particularly taken by a young girl who aspired to becoming a doctor. Her hope seemed to reflect the very essence of the charity that supported her.
The accounts presented by those on screen quickly put my life into perspective, and I knew I wanted to help. I was able to look up The Hope Foundation on the internet and I sent a speculative email in the hope that I might be able to do something.
It was not long before a very personal response came back from Karen, who told me how I could go about sponsoring a child. It would cost £20 a month and she said that ‘Every penny of the £20 per month would go to pay for your individual child’s education and support. It covers the cost of school fees, books, uniforms and school materials. It also pays for the child to have medical check-ups and healthcare in our centres and where the child does not live at home, it contributes towards the child’s upkeep in a protection home and nutritious meals’.
I am not someone who is flush with cash, but I knew that I would not really notice £20 a month going from my account. Not in the same way that the person receiving it would notice the change to their life. It was, as people say nowadays, ‘a no-brainer’.
And so it came to be that I sponsor a young woman called Pinky. I was given a choice of who to sponsor – not an easy decision to make! She is an older ‘child’, technically an adult, but someone who has missed so much schooling and proper support in her formative years due to her circumstances. Again, the emails from The Hope Foundation were very personal and that is something that appeals to me about the organisation. They really seem to know the children and their circumstances and also care about their sponsors. Pinky, in part as a result of my support perhaps, can now wish to become a nurse. This wish may have been just fanciful in the past, but she has been given a true hope that could not be found on the streets of Kolkata.
It is very easy when watching the news, or a documentary about India, to switch off the television afterwards, count our blessings and move on with our own lives. I encourage anyone to sponsor a child through The Hope Foundation. I have the utmost confidence in the organisation, and I have seen from Pinky’s updates how much her life has changed and the hugely positive influence the work of The Hope Foundation has.
Just writing this post has made me realise something – I can probably spare another £20 a month. Put it in terms of coffees/bottles of wine/that new item of clothing I don’t really need, and it’s not a tricky decision. Okay Karen, sign me up…
Caroline – Child Sponsor