For Our Girls
From founder and executive director Paul Wilkes:
“We began our work in India building orphanages for the street children of India, who beg each day to survive – and often are the prime target of the vicious sex traffickers who prey upon these precious innocents.
We were to find there were so many more endangered girls. We build homes for the other-abled, those trapped in paternalistic rural communities, girls who have been sex-trafficked, girls orphaned by AIDS. Whatever their situation, we want to help these girls.
Homes of Hope, with the help of thousands of people, worldwide, builds safe homes for these girls where they can receive the love every child deserves and a good education so they can go on to productive lives.
Over 5,000 girls have found safe refugee in our Homes of Hope. They are now engineers, nurses, business majors, bankers, accountants, owners of small shops. We have proved that our approach works. But that work together has just begun.”
Founder & Executive Director
Homes of Hope India
At the age of six, Pinky was forced to bury her new born sister – after her mother had killed the infant simply because she was another daughter. Pinky came to Homes of Hope not long after. She was not the best student, but she was diligent. She would go to nursing school and earn an advanced degree. She often returns to Homes of Hope in Kochi to encourage the younger girls.
Laura ran away from home at the age of eight after being continually beaten by her mother. Then her relatives consigned her to family as a servant and kept the meager wages. She came to Homes of Hope in desperation. She proved to be a good student and a leader at Homes of Hope, always caring for other children in a helpful and dignified way. She is married and employed as an administrative assistant at a construction firm. Laura continues to send us updates about her life. Here is Laura and her husband, Cleetus, celebrating their eighth wedding anniversary.
There are hundreds of these stories….Homes of Hope makes a profound difference in the lives of these girls.
Revathi was living in the bowels of the Secunderabad Railway Station with her mother when she was rescued by the sisters. We know little more about her. After the child, in filthy rags, was brought to the house, the mother came to see her once or twice. Then we do not know what has happened to her. Revathi is intelligent and does well in school. See the look in her eye: she can also be a bit mischievous.
For Wilma, it is the story of abandonment. Her father abandoned the family (we also have her sister in residence), then her mother, a poor tea-picker ($1.50 day for picking 50 pounds of tea leaves) couldn’t cope or raise the children and Wilma came to us at the age of 4. Because of that abandonment she had an especially difficult time in her teenage years, when she was ready to simply give up. The sisters stayed with her, encouraging her, seeing her innate intelligence and talents. She has worked as an airline agent at the Kochi Airport and also in a graphic design studio.
But without a “Home” there is no “Hope.” We must first provide a home for the girls before we can begin to help them help themselves to transform their lives.
Sharadha is one of our older girls at Homes of Hope and quite an impressive young woman she is turning out to be. Not only is she attending an intermediate school (the gateway to university) but she is thriving there. Recently, she was able to sit for one of India’s most prestigious entrance exams to allow her access to higher education courses in science and engineering. Her goal is to go to school to become a software engineer.
Shuba’s home was chaotic and abusive. She suffered beatings throughout her life and finally she had had enough. She took poison at the age of 15 and attempted to end her life. Thankfully she was treated and brought to us. She thrived at Homes of Hope and went on to become a kindergarten teacher. She is now married and a mother.
As you read this, 500,000 girls live on the streets of India. Rape, murder, abuse, sex trafficking – this is their fate…without Homes of Hope.
Banu Priya lost both parents age the age of five. Not long after, relatives hired her out as housekeeper; it was virtual child slavery. She fought her way to Homes of Hope, begged to stay with us and we were happy to take her in. She went on to earn a degree in commerce and is happily married.
Kavitha and her younger sister, Mamata, were brought to Homes of Hope after their father’s death as the family was no longer able to care for them. Both of these young women are exceedingly bright. Kavitha, while still in high school, earned multiple awards in math and science. She is now entering her second year of intermediate school and well on her way of achieving her goal of becoming a doctor.