Sometimes life grabs you with both hands, whirls you around like an out-of-control carousel and drops you in unfamiliar territory, dazed and uncertain which way to go. Life in the developing world can be particularly unforgiving – happenstance ruling much of daily life.
India is home to the third highest rate of HIV in the world – millions of HIV-positve people struggling to survive in a country still grappling with the epidemic more than 25 years after the virus exploded across the country. Only 33% of all HIV-positive children in India have access to the ARVs needed to keep the virus in check. The stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS is a roadblock at every turn of life for kids living with HIV. They are turned away from a stable home after their parent’s die of AIDS. The Indian government does not take HIV-positive children into their orphan system. They are rejected at public and private schools. They are refused access to life saving healthcare. Life is difficult. Hope Now is the bridge to a new beginning.
Roja lost her father to the virus first. Less than a year later, her mother died. She sat for 3 days next to her dead mother, afraid, alone and with few options. Her extended family would not accept her. The government would not take her. The village threatened her and her little brother and forced them to leave after burning down their hut – she was 10, her brother 8.
It was in the aftermath of this truly horrific event that Hope Now was born. Out of the ashes of tragedy came a new hope for a new life. We opened our doors in 2006. What began with 2 amazing children quickly grew to 60 and we were at capacity in less than a year.
We are on a mission to save the lives of HIV-positive children in India. We cannot do it alone. Hope Now is breaking down barriers, creating a new model of care and creating opportunities for every single child we serve. We firmly believe that education changes everything!
All of our kids go to an English medium school from primary school through high school. Hope Now pays 100% of college or trade school tuition and living expenses to ensure our kids are prepared for a stable adult life when they start a new life outside our walls. As of 2018, we have 15 kids in college or a trade school. Roja is in her third year at KIMS Medical College working toward a bachelor degree in physical therapy.
Exciting things are happening at Hope Now. We continue to create programming that focus on job skills training, including a small dairy, growing more of our own food and planting fruit trees around our home.
Be a part of the change you want to see in the world – support a child who needs you.