Charity Bond Gives Hope to Street Children

Brentwood School’s strong bond with a charity protecting children living on the streets and in the slums of Kolkata, India, was strengthened this week with a special visit to the School.

The cricket-loving children and staff from the HOPE Foundation joined Brentwood pupils at a special assembly and then joined Second Years in some cricket practice in the nets.

The children, who have all been with the HOPE Foundation since they were very little, moving from the streets to the HOPE homes, have been given the opportunity to enjoy cricket and get involved in this through the charity.

The HOPE youngsters will be taking part in the Street Child Cricket World Cup held this weekend (4th & 5th May) in Cambridge before the teams move on to play the Street Child Cricket World Cup finals at Lord's on Tuesday 7th May. 

Brentwood School Science teacher, Miss Emma Faulkner, herself a volunteer for HOPE, travelled out to Kolkata last October to work with the charity. She explained: “The visiting children are 13-14 years old, all from Kolkata, and this was their first time out of the city so they were extremely excited and overwhelmed by the experience.

“The youngsters played some cricket with some of our Second Year cricket players and the children shared tips with each other which was really nice to see. Brentwood School cricket coaches were also on hand to give some coaching advice. It was a lovely visit thoroughly enjoyed by all.”

HOPE is dedicated to immediate and lasting change in the lives of this very vulnerable group of children. By providing healthcare, counselling and education, HOPE ensures children in its care enter adulthood equipped with the tools and support they need to live healthy and happy lives.

Brentwood School Charities Coordinator, Miss Claudia Martin, said Miss Faulkner’s personal connection with HOPE inspired the School to raise funds throughout the 2018 Michaelmas Term for this important cause. 

“Through our ever-successful Christmas Fair and Christmas Jumper Day we were able to raise £2300. We received a lovely thank-you letter on behalf of the charity, which was read out in assembly last term. Now, to have some representatives from the charity and some children that the foundation support visiting us is testament to the strong bond the School and charity have formed.”

The first Cricket World Cup for street-connected children is taking place ahead of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales. It will unite street children from around the world to play in their own international cricket tournament to raise awareness and tackle the widespread stigma and negative treatment they face.