Instead of relying solely on our traditional donors, we believe that we need to learn to help ourselves and raise our own funds. The community recipe book we published last year for sale was a step in this direction.
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The year 2003 – 2004 saw the Hope Project settling into the extended premises and consolidating its programs. The renovated and extended facilities have catapulted the Project to a new level. It is a luxury to have the space to implement programs and activities. During the summer vacations, the school premises were the venue for three (!!!) theatre workshops, teachers training workshops, arts and crafts classes, hobby courses, and many other activities.
All this would have seemed impossible a year before with the space constraints that we had. It is a real joy to see the children enjoying the space and the opportunities it creates. And it is not only the children, but also the staff members who are enjoying the luxury of finally having some office space to store and organize their things, conduct a meeting in privacy and / or have the space to think and plan without being interrupted. Sometimes, it was even a little lonely in our separate rooms, especially after our old office where we never lacked company (to put it mildly!). But we continue to connect with each other over lunch which has always been a time to share, unwind and bond.
A year down the road, we still remember our old premises with nostalgia and affection. Although the rooms were small, dark and dingy, they offered a ray of hope to so many women, children and patients for many years. And in spite of the miserable environment, the project survived, driven by the dedication of the staff and nurtured by the spirit of love. It is this spirit and sense of ownership that we hope will be carried forward into a new phase of the Hope Project.
The constant struggle for space in the last 20 years has made us realize how blessed we are and to cherish what we have. It has also made us empathetic to similar challenges faced by other organizations. One way we support like-minded organizations is to host their programs in our building. These programs include a literacy class and a night shelter for street children.
The last year also saw the Hope Project diversifying its donor base and getting funds from new donors, including HPS Foundation, India and MAMTA, India. Instead of relying solely on our traditional donors comprising of the ever generous Sufi community abroad we believe that we need to learn to help ourselves and raise our own funds. The community recipe book we published for sale last year was a step in this direction. An analysis of income sources over the last 4 years reveals that the project is generating more funds on its own than it did 3 years ago. From 17% in 2000 – 2001, this amount has increased today to 37% of the annual operational budget. We hope to see this trend increase in the coming years.
On behalf of the staff, I would like to thank all our partners and supporters and hope that we can continue to work together towards our mission of helping the poor to help themselves.
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