Dear Friends of the Hope Project,
I want to tell you about two ongoing Hope programs that continue to inspire us!
The first is The Storydancer Project (TSP), at TheStorydancerProject.org. For twenty years, our dear friend, international Storydancer and TSP founder/director, Zuleikha, has spent three to four months of each of those years at the Hope Project, offering self-care movement and music programs. Over recent years, she has trained six Hope Project facilitators in her Transformative Self-Care Practice to disseminate throughout the school, its programs, and the community. Creating a friendship that fosters connection, beauty, and love, her annual arrival is met with joyous anticipation. She is a true community builder who has given counsel to each executive director, staff member, and health director, sharing gratitude, compassion for others, kindness, authentic presence, and playfulness.
The Storydancer Project has been in partnership with the Hope Project for many years. We focus on self-care exercise through our trained facilitators at Hope. We work inside of the Basti where the community is traditionally Muslim, often living in poverty, with large families, and where the majority had never exercised on any regular basis.
Over time, through TSP’s self-care facilitation in the school, vocational trainings, medical clinic, and out in the community, as well as through the mobile health units, we have seen the way that health for body, mind, and spirit is now making its way into the community members at large. This is due to the consistent presence of the Hope Project, and our work together. The Hope Project is a beacon for efforts to educate people in so many areas. Even during the pandemic, the Hope Project found ways to continue these works with so many community members! Helping Hope creates a better world from the Basti neighborhood outward. We are pleased to be able to continue this work.
Another program that fosters much enthusiasm and excitement is Kids In Nature. As Zuleikha has said, Hope is a beacon of potential for children; Kids in Nature has been having an impact on kids for over twenty years. Starting as a bus ride to other states in India and to the ocean, kids experienced the wonder of the sea and countryside, far from home, camping for the very first time. Now we are developing a campsite park surrounded by nature where they will experience how to grow food and care for animals, all of which will enhance awareness of the balance of nature.
City life for children who are poor or homeless is one of stress and survival. Being in nature allows them the freedom to just let go and play fully and safely. The pandemic limited camping for the last two years, so we are very excited as we anticipate our first camping experience in our new park this October. The park is three to four hours away from Delhi. Children and their families, from both Delhi and Rajasthan, will be coming together to create a campsite with clean water, a vegetable and fruit garden, and an opportunity to plant trees around the land.
One of Hope Project’s guidelines is to value the integrity and uniqueness of each individual, and to foster their individuation, self-reliance, and self-care. Zuleikha and so many others in the 47- year history of the Project have contributed to this practical ideal. The Project is a beacon of love, harmony, and beauty that binds so many people around the world. It is a model for building community.
Your donations have been a lifeline for so many. Please consider how you can contribute to our continued work at Hope Project India.
With deep appreciation,