Inspiring Icons Insights
One shared vision
By: Sangeeta Maheshwari
Certified Metaphysics Practioner
Author | Inner-Happiness Mentor
“Failure can focus your mind on what you really want to do with your life”, confesses Tim Grandage, Founder and Managing Trustee of Future Hope India, as he spoke about his desire to be a doctor, only to become a banker before finally discovering where his heart truly was. A man who is compassionate, committed and caring. He looks after thousands of street and slum children in Kolkata who now have homes where they are looked after by responsible couples, dreams, education and aspirations which most of them fulfill. They now give more to society than they take, a far cry from the streets where they grew up.
It was 33 years ago when Tim founded ‘Future Hope’ in Kolkata, India. What he thought may last for a year or so became his life. Four years later Erica, then 24 years age, joined Future Hope as a young nurse from Holland initially for six (6) months and never went back to her country. She became the mother figure for all the children, and Future Hope has been her life purpose for the past 28 years.
Tim and Erica are blessed parents to their three beautiful children as well as to humanity. They are truly living with a vision to have a world where every child has hope and opportunity.
“It is important to have passion, yet not become too over emotionally involved or else you become ineffective.”
A values-based NGO is essential to forming any relationship, the most significant being trust, tolerance, self-belief, and commitment. Without these, it is impossible to ride the highs and lows and face challenges involved.
Creating Trust for children with no fear of failure, abuse or hunger.
Opportunity for children to realize their full potential.
Commitment to give them every chance of success, and to focus them to be determined.
Tolerance for a safer and more inclusive world.
Care to give children a stable home, healthcare, nutrition and education.
Seeing children who have no hope or future grow up with a chance to change their lives for the better, and become contributing members of their communities.
Future Hope now has an Indian CEO who runs a very good local team.
Many funders and donors do not recognize that each child is a 15-year commitment. Patience, passion, and trust are essential to help transform a child’s life. You cannot get quick results, and there are no short cuts. Some will fail.
There is a massive gap between ‘rich and poor’. If the prosperous start sharing even small amounts, there is no need for any child to stay hungry, homeless, uneducated and hopeless.
At Future Hope, children beam with pride when showcasing their Creative Arts and have Music, Arts and Crafts and Theatre coaching to churn their creative energies into manifestations. They recently performed the musical ‘Lion King’ on a big stage in Kolkata.
Tim believes that playing sports is a bridge to breaking barriers between people. They have practiced that belief by using Rugby, Cricket, football, hockey, rowing, tennis, and many other sports activities to empower and channel the energies of children. It has also dissolved the barriers and myths about street children and brought even the West Bengal Police or the Harlequins from the UK to play Rugby with the Future Hope children.
Future Hope Alumni have gone to Universities and qualified as Bankers, Computer Technicians, Marine Engineers, Teachers and work in five-star hotels and restaurants. Many of them return to mentor the younger children and to give back to Future Hope. They are encouraged to support others the way that they were supported. I have seen Future Hope Alumni compete and succeed in jobs and professions in an intense world of London, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong etc. Every child is encouraged, nurtured and guided to dream and how to realize their dreams.
Tim’s motto has been to dissolve the social, economic barriers with an open heart and to work with trust rather than thrust.
He has worked with the local families by respecting their space and beliefs rather than imposing his ways. He has patiently worked on the transformation of girls who were destined to child marriage to confident, educated women who pursue a career of their choice. Now, many young girls are role models for their communities, creating a snowball effect on others in the slums.
As part of a 5-year strategic plan, Future Hope is planning to expand and build a new campus on the 24 acres of land they own in Kashinathpur, Rajarhat on the outskirts of Kolkata. Here they will be able to educate 500 children in their own school and skills centre, with the ability to grow to 750 students, build more homes to accommodate 220 residential children, and create simple but excellent sports facilities. The new campus is not only for the Future Hope children but also for the local communities to benefit from as well.
There are various ways of supporting this noble, compassionate and life transformative journey. I would humbly urge you to visit their website and decide how you can make a difference to a street child’s life. Trust me, they will touch your heart.
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”
--- Mother Teresa
Future Hope is a charitable organization which provides opportunity through its homes, school, skills training, sports and medical programme for some of the most vulnerable children from the streets and slums of Kolkata, India. Every night children sleep alone on the streets and around the city’s main stations. Many are ill, most suffer serious forms of exploitation and all are vulnerable. Future Hope addresses the individual needs of destitute children and helps them to become independent, self-supporting, contributing members of society.
For more information, please see https://www.futurehope.net/