We are really grateful to Sue Perkins for raising awareness of our work in Kolkata during last Thursdays episode of The Ganges on BBC 1.
Sue revisited a young girl called Rakhi after they first met in 2015. Rakhi, although in school, is still living in the streets and was not the same lively bubbly girl that Sue remembered. Geeta, our overseas director, explained that Rakhi had become more aware of the dangers of the streets and this had changed her, making her more fearful and wary. Geeta went on to explain that although there is a place in a boarding school available for Rakhi, she does not want to leave her father. Education is at the very heart of what we do at HOPE but so too is protection; it is often complicated and not as simple as placing a child in a home or boarding school, of course they have emotional connections to their family and their loved ones.
Rakhi’s situation just highlights the heartbreak of facing a choice of staying with those you love or leave and be assured of safety every night. It is a difficult, often painful choice a child and her family have to make and it can sometimes take time and intervention from professionals, as in Rakhi’s case. We are working on getting her into the school and we will keep you updated on her progress.
If you are interested in our sponsorship programme please get in touch. You can read more about child sponsorship here.