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is a non-profit organisation based in Kolkata, India, which restores basic human rights to street-connected children and families in Kolkata, who are from some of the most disadvantaged communities in India.

Founded by Maureen Forrest in 1999, the charity has grown in this time and now implements 57 holistic programmes, including Hope Hospital and community based healthcare programmes, creches which provide children with a safe, nurturing environment while their parents go out to work, Residential Childcare Centres that provide protection to boys and girls, an effective education program and life & training skills courses that help young people into the working world and give them a passport out of poverty.

Free Spirit & Hope

Free Spirit first visited HOPE in May 2016 and was overwhelmed with the work that is being done and the difference HOPE are making to these children's lives.  We have visited every year since to volunteer or take part in various projects.

We spent the afternoon at one of the girls protection homes, where the children show their paintings, their dancing and even taekwondo! Laughing & giggling like any teenage girls, you would never know they came from such poverty stricken beginnings.

We chat with three of the girls who are “passing out” next week... The first girls of the project to turn 18 and to leave for the big wide world.  Hope also help with this transition by finding them paid shared accommodation, emotional support and help to look for work in skilled areas such as IT or textiles... giving them wings to fly the nest that has become their home. The girls are naturally nervous but excited at the same any girl of's scary going onto face new challenges in search of their future.  Without Hope, none of this would be even possible.

Hearing the hopes, dreams & aspirations of these children just like any priveledged chilld is truly inspiring. And seeing the difference that Hope are making to young lives, to experience it first hand has been a truly humbling experience...

This is why Free Spirit are reaching out to help.  By donating 3 months worth of educational materials for every t-shirt sold - this will enable more children to go to school and to have access to the gift of education that so many of us take for granted.

We are also committed to regular visits to the HOPE foundation in Kolkata and have a number of further projects underway - watch this space!

Education Changes Lives - It's a Human Right

The Hope Foundation believe in the power of education as way to break the cycle of poverty. Education is the key to building an independent, successful life.

Education offers street-connected children a chance to escape poverty, to enjoy better health and to live longer. It means that more children live free from exploitation and childhood can be a time of fun and learning.

HOPE believes that education is critical for the development of society and for enabling those have been excluded to become included in mainstream society.

HOPE’s holistic education projects started in 2007 and provide support to the poorest and most vulnerable children. The programme also works with community groups to raise awareness about the benefits of sending children to school.

HOPE and its partners run pre-schools for first generation learners, that is, the children of parents who have had little or no schooling.

They also have Coaching Centres where support is provided to children going to mainstream primary and secondary schools. These centres provide homework support, nutritious meals, counselling, extra tuition, and recreational activities. This helps children to progress through school and cuts down on drop-out rates.

HOPE is hugely committed to education.


Project Highlights

  • Since 1999, HOPE has enabled almost 97,000 children to access education
  • Growing numbers of under-6s in pre-school
  • Thousands enabled to continue mainstream formal education thanks to support in Coaching Centres
  • Increased awareness in community groups of State resources and how to access them
  • Reduced gender disparity in child education
  • Stronger capacity in partner NGOs thanks to training
  • Improved networking and advocacy regarding child rights.


To read more about The Hope Foundation visit their website at


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By purchasing one of our products you are also helping a child living in poverty go to school! We donate 3 months worth of educational material for every T-shirt you buy. For more information click here

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