Village of Hope
Two hours north of Mumbai, India sits the beautiful 72-acre Village of Hope called Ashagram, a testament to the vision and commitment of Shared Hope International and Bombay Teen Challenge. Shared Hope provided the funds for a large portion of the capital investment to build the Ashagram campus and since 1998 has funded the establishment and expansion of the women’s program at this life-saving village. Ashagram restores women and children victimized by India’s commercial sex industry. Today, 75 women and their children benefit from the medical, emotional, educational, and vocational care and training provided on campus. Each resident is empowered to heal physically and emotionally in this secure environment.
Shared Hope partners with Village of Hope staff to run both a stationary and mobile HIV/AIDS clinic in the heart of Mumbai’s red-light district. Both clinics make contact with thousands of women and children affected by HIV or STDs every year, providing counseling, hope, high-protein meals, and life-saving medication. Last year, through funding from Shared Hope, the medical team in Mumbai assisted over 3,400 individuals through its street outreach efforts, hosted more than 2,400 visits at the clinic and served over 3,800 meals. Five courageous women who were rescued from the red light district have joined the outreach team to dedicate their energies to reaching other exploited women. This cycle of leadership demonstrates the successful and compassionate treatment received by patients from outreach teams and clinic staff.
“I feel so blessed and thankful for what the Lord has given me through Shared Hope International and Ashagram. And I want to share this love with all other people in the world. We have been through so much and the Lord can heal all pain and suffering,” said a young woman from the Ashagram who joined Youth with a Mission in Uganda to serve as a full-time missionary.
Women’s Investment Network
Through funding from Shared Hope International every woman at Bombay Teen Challenge’s Ashagram program has the chance to excel in a vocational program of her choice: sewing, jewelry, leather-making, bag-weaving, painting, Henna designing, and embroidery. Through these training programs, women are taught how to regain their independence, survive in a competitive market, earn a living, budget, and save money for sound investments. Women earn competitive market wages and establish savings accounts, creating new-found financial security. Additionally, these training programs have improved the skills, confidence, and competence of each woman, offering an empowering platform for successful reintegration into their local community.
In 2011, Shared Hope International expanded our impact in India by welcoming a new partner in Pune. Sparsh, which means “touch” is a restoration refuge providing a family environment to women on a journey of restoration after sex trafficking, their children, and children whose mothers are still enslaved in Pune’s red light district. Read a blog post featuring Sparsh’s Founder Timothy Hirwale.