Right to free and compulsory education is a constitutional basic right of every child in the age group 6-14 years in India. Though this is still a far stretched idea for many children from poor and marginalised backgrounds of the city of Kolkata, West Bengal where Hope Kolkata Foundation has been working.

First generation learners from extremely poorer backgrounds face challenges of continuing schooling due to lack of supervision and coaching support from their parents and purely due to lack of educational environment at their homes. This is coupled with the fact that many of these children may come from broken families where a single parent is trying to make ends meet for all family members.

Continuing education becomes especially difficult for children in the age group of 14-18 who are forced to take earning and responsible roles at a tender age and as a result drop-out from school. In many cases, their dreams are shattered due to a lack of economic support to continue their secondary education.

Hope Kolkata Foundation’s holistic education programme for the underprivileged children in the slums of Kolkata and Howrah, ensures basic educational rights of children between the age group 6-14 years. The organisation supports out-of-school children and also school goers who live below poverty line and/or of single parents by helping them continue and complete their education, their future dreams and aspirations for a better life.

Education on Wheels

The Education on Wheels programme was developed to provide coaching support to under-served children aged 6-14 from Chitpur Slum and the surrounding area. In 2020-2021 60 children of the age group 6-14 were supported by this programme.


  • Education: 58 classes were conducted five days a week for both formal and non-formal children from 10am to 6pm. The individual needs of the children were addressed in these classes and a child friendly and inclusive environment was provided to the children. Free remedial coaching support was provided to the marginalised children of Chitpur slum community through the project. 60 children received free coaching support with supplementary nutrition in the form of grocery items to ensure their overall growth and development. 58 children regularly attended school through online classes (34 children) and completed worksheets (24 children) provided by the school.
  • Recreational Rights: On 12th June 2020, Anti-Child Labour Day was celebrated with 81 children in Central. Father’s Day was celebrated on 21st June with 81 children from Central. The children were encouraged to make cards for their fathers with personalized messages. World Yoga Day was organized in Central on 21st June with 81 children. Covid-19 protocols were maintained including social distancing, sanitizing regularly and wearing face mask. The teachers shared tips on how to keep a healthy body and mind through yoga. Other celebrations included Ganesh Chaturthi, Literacy Day, Raksha Bandhan, Durga Puja, Children’s Day etc.
  • Accessing Government Schemes: Children have received ration cards, AADHAR cards, opened accounts in national banks; families have received Swasthya Sathi cards, ration and monetary help from DON BOSCO.
  • Overall Growth: Improved educational level, psychological & emotional status, physical health status and extra-curricular skills of the children.

 Success Stories

  • The Education on Wheels project focuses on ensuring that drop out students are enrolled in school. The project staff organised an enrolment campaign, made home visits and held camps to ensure that the children attend school. This process included helping the guardians understand the importance of education. The children were also motivated to study. Several schools were approached and agreed to admit the children in their school. This initiative has saved the future of 21 children and made the dream of every child to go to school come true. This can have several positive outcomes including decreasing child labour, prohibiting child marriage and increasing the literacy rate.
  • Telling the life story of a person is best when it is said by the person themselves. The idea of this photography project was shared with the children and they were extremely excited to participate. A team of 10 children were formed for the project. One the project staffs oriented the children on the basics of photography and guided them through the process of this project. The children beautifully captured the essence of Chitpur community with both its vulnerabilities and positivity. The children extremely enjoyed it and want to do more similar activities.

Integrated and Inclusive Quality Education

This Project has ensured the basic educational rights 558 children between the ages of 6 to 10 years, living in derelict and sprawling slums of Bhagar.


  • Education: Schools provided supplementary support for children with learning gaps. Due to Covid-19, the schools for children in the age group of 6 to 14 years remained closed as per the Government directives. The HOPE Education team implemented strategies to ensure the children continued their education. HOPE arranged nutrition for 2 schools. HOPE arranged online learning for children where possible, developed worksheets in collaboration with the school teachers, provided worksheets to children with learning gaps and follow up and home visits were carried out along with the school teachers, to monitor the children’s progress and access to education.
  • Recreational Rights: The children took the initiative to celebrate Netaji Birthday and Republic Day. They made awareness on pollution and child rights and inclusion of the children. The children also helped to develop Wall Magazines in their school on the importance of Republic Day and Holi. They made a recycled dustbin in the school for waste disposal. These were displayed in the children’s corner. The extracurricular activities of the children are promoted through wall magazines which support their creativity.
  • Accessing Government Schemes: HOPE facilitated the process of linking one child with special needs with the Manabik Pension Scheme.
  • Overall Growth: Improved educational level, psychological & emotional status, physical health status and extra-curricular skills of the children.

 Success Stories

  • Sohom (name changed) is a 6-year-old child with special needs and is studying in Class I. Sohom has a partial visual impairment, hyperactive behaviour and a development disorder. The HOPE Special Educator has set a goal for him and is monitoring his progress. He can now solve worksheets assigned from school, and his motor and communication skills have improved.
  • In Bhagar, schools such as Liluah Shishu Vidyapith, Tribenee Vidyapith, Banimandir GSFP School and Shashtri Shiksha Sadan are providing educational support for more than 20 years. In November it was decided to celebrate Children’s Day online. The main theme of the celebration was that the students and teachers will participate in a Teaching Learning Material making competition. Prizes were distributed to the top 3 students of each school. The school teachers were very happy with this event and said they will organize such events in the future until the school reopens. This initiative encouraged the students to concentrate on their education. The guardians are continuously supporting their children to follow the same activities and keep in contact with the schools and teachers.

Education Sponsorship

The Hope Foundation has runs sponsorship program for the street and slum children. The children are provided formal education support, hostel care support, nutrition, psychological counseling, health support and vocation training. To reduce gender disparities, project gives preference to girl child and nearly 50% of the total beneficiaries under the sponsorship project are girls.

Sr. No. Name of the Project No. of children No. of Adults Total
1 Chitpur Community Coaching 80 0 80
2 Bhagar Community Coaching 298 26 324
3 Urban Sponsorship - Khidirpur 39 6 45
4 Urban Sponsorship - Sundarban 81 4 85
5 Outreach Education Sponsorship 491 36 527
6 Naboasha 123 5 128
7 HKF Protection Home 167 110 277
8 Caring Hand 125 3 128

Froebel HOPE Teacher Education Partnership


In its 11th year, the Froebel HOPE Teacher Education Partnership has brought up to 200 newly qualified teachers from Ireland to Kolkata for five-week periods to co-teach with their Bengali teaching colleagues across HOPE Education centres and state schools. An incremental increase in th e uptake of HOPE teachers to state school positions has been reported annually since 2015, recognizing the success implementation of a Froebelian play-based approach and the experience and skill of HOPE teachers in supporting children’s individual learning difficulties and needs. The support of three Education Coordinators of the Froebel HOPE Partnership has been instrumental to all progress made.