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 helped fund the establishment and expansion of the women’s program at this life-saving village that focuses on the restoration of women victimized by India’s commercial sex industry. Residents benefit from the medical, emotional, educational, and vocational care and training provided on campus. For most, it is their first experience of living in a 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 women and children affected by HIV or STDs, providing counseling, hope, high-protein meals, and life-saving medication. Through funding from Shared Hope, the medical team typically assists approximately 3,400 individuals through its street outreach efforts, hosts more than 2,400 visits at the clinic, and serves over 3,800 meals. Five courageous women who were rescued from the red light district are part of the outreach team dedicating their energies to reach other exploited women.
A Happy Home in Pune
In 2011, Shared Hope International expanded its impact in India by welcoming a new partner in Pune. Sparsh (Hindi word for “touch”) is a refuge providing a family environment to children whose mothers are still enslaved in Pune’s red-light district. After a history of repeatedly having to relocate the growing Sparsh family, numbering approximately 45 individuals, Shared Hope’s dedicated fundraising enabled them to acquire a “forever home” which they call their “Happy Home.” In addition, funds have provided purchase of over three acres of land for use in growing crops and raising animals for sustainability.
Women’s Investment Network
Through funding from Shared Hope International women in the care of our international partners have the opportunity to excel in a vocational program such as sewing, jewelry, leather-making, bag-weaving, painting, henna designing, and embroidery. Through these training programs, women are taught how to gain their independence, survive in a competitive market, earn a living, budget, and save money. 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.