At BITA, we are always proud to support varying charities around the world, and we wanted to share with you the incredible work that The Cathy O Shaughnessy Hope Fund is doing to improve the lives of street and slum children in Kolkata, India.
There are around 6,000 slums in Calcutta, many of these do not have running water, toilets etc, and the majority of children are left on their own. These conditions mean that the children are exposed to extremely vulnerable situations and great suffering! All of them will be working from a very young age, they can be abused, and some even sold in prostitution.
The Cathy O’Shaughnessy Creche was set up in memory of Cathy who died in 2015, and the Creche is based in the Chitpur Slum in Calcutta where they have 40 children in the Creche aged 2 to 6 years old. The Creche make sure that the children get 2 meals a day, medical check-ups, and they also begin their education there. The Chitpur Slum community are not registered as citizens of India, and because of this they are not entitled to use any of the State facilities, like doctors, hospitals, schools etc.; meaning if it weren't for the amazing work the charity are doing to help these children, most if not all of them would not have access to many of the day-to-day things we take for granted, such as general hygiene and food.
The Hope Foundation ensures that all the children who attend the Creche get registered, and because of this they can begin their formal education when they leave the Creche at 6 years of age, this is immensely important as it means that unlike all the other Slum & Street children, the children who are in The Cathy O’Shaughnessy Creche are guaranteed jobs after they finish school. This is extremely life-changing for them and their families, as without the charity, this support for the children is non-existent.
They believe that "every child deserves an education and see the Creche as the first step in this process, a leg up", and we at BITA are honoured to help support this cause and would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this project, and worked so hard to change the lives of the people in the Slums. By offering this opportunity to young children, the hope is to introduce them to education at the earliest stage so that they have a chance of improving their circumstances as they get older.
With the help of generous donations, the charity is currently supplying relief support to the families of all 40 children who attend the Creche as well as the wider Chitpur community, and these relief packages include groceries and hygiene materials.
If you would like to show your support for these children and their families, you can donate to this vital cause via their website: Cathy O'Shaughnessy Hope Fund (cathyshopefund.ie).