SoH Friends & Partners
Lord Buddha said, “Mind is not a dustbin to keep anger, hatred and jealousy. But it is the treasure box to keep love, happiness and sweet memories.” SoH firmly believes in it so, SoH is always grateful to her friends and partners to help her for working with her keeping hands in hands. Actually the journey of love and friendship had begun from the very day in 1990 when the founder of SoH felt love for those street urchins. His heart’s door was opened at the very time when one of them asked him to teach them instead of giving them foods or kinds. The journey of love has completed a long three decades and SoH hopes she will keep going on if the love and favour of her friends and partners remain the same. Confucius said, “The beginning of the journey of thousands mile with a single pace” SoH also belive her journey of loving the destitute children will also cover thousands mile if the friends are beside her.
The school is much dependent upon donations, both private and corporate in many cases. In 2010 we were extremely fortunate to receive a huge boost to our finances from Lindex (Sweden) who took on the financial responsibility of paying all our staffing costs at the school. This continues to provide a huge benefit to the school, allowing for longer-term planning and greater job security to our staff. The staff at Lindex also privately fund the High School Scholarship program, covering the schooling costs for all SoH children who go on to High School. This offers a fantastic encouragement to further study.
Our other main source of income is from our quarterly garment sales. We rely heavily on our garment donors, including Lindex, to make regular donations. We hosted several sales at the Nordic Club in 2015, with great success, but due to security concerns moved within the AISD compound (with the proviso that only AISD families attend). The Board will continue to monitor what is possible in this area. Our board members source garment donations, advertise and promote the sales, arrange transportation of garments and unpacking/packing of boxes on the day. We are grateful for the help we receive from our friends and colleagues who volunteer their time at the sales.
We will mention some key donors here, but a more complete list of our invaluable contributors is found below.
Primary Financial Donor
Lindex is one of Europe’s leading fashion chains with over 460 stores on 16 markets. Their mission is to offer inspiring affordable fashion. Lindex assortment includes several fashion concepts in women’s, kids and lingerie for women interested in fashion. It has a significant part of its ready made garment production here in Bangladesh. Read more about Lindex fashion at www.lindex.com.
Lindex celebrated 60 years in 2014 and included the School of Hope in its celebratory video. See the video at http://about.lindex.com/en/section/sustainability/. SumanTripathi, Country Manager, says:
‘’It feels good to give something back to the local society. We’ve supported the School of Hope’s activities for many years now and have donated garment samples for the clothes sales. We know that the money made from these garment sales helps in the running of the school. We’ve gradually developed our partnership with the school and it is extremely fruitful, and now since 2010 we also play our part by paying teachers’ salaries.’’
Sara Winroth, who is the Corporate Social Responsiblity coordinator at Lindex adds:
‘’the main guidelines of Lindex social commitment is that our contribution shall be concentrated on women or children and lead to self help, and that is exactly what School of Hope’s activities are about.’’
The SoH is deeply appreciative of Lindex for its ongoing generous sponsorship of all school salaries as well as active board participation and all round support. It remains the case that the SoH could not provide the education it does to so many children, without this support. We thank Lindex and we look forward to an ongoing relationship with the company. The private funding by Lindex staff of the High School Scholarship program underscores that the company commitment to SoH is genuine. This program offers so much to students – an incentive to aim high, reward for hard work, and assistance in persuading parents to allow them to continue their studies.
Regular Non Financial Donors
Garment sales continue to be the primary fundraiser outside Lindex’s financial contribution. Garments are donated for sale by Lindex and also by other companies including Oryx, Europoint, Next, Square, Target, Kmart and numerous individuals with connections to the local industry. These sales provide us with important, funds that we use to cover a range of costs at the SoH, including rent, utilities, repairs, school lunches and supplies. The security concerns in late few years reduced our ability to raise funds – this will be a challenge to navigate in time ahead in order to keep the school running. But we hopeful for the best. During garments sale Homebound fully cooperates with all logistics support.
Friends of SoH
In a rapidly changing environment SoH needs to be ready to adapt to the changing needs and context of our community in East Vatara. Our students continue to do extremely well academically and, with the continued support of Lindex and our other sponsors, the future is looking hopeful.
Our hearty respect to following friends who helped or are helping from time to time to cover our journey. They are helping us with many types of helping from financial sector to academic sector, from logistic support to garments sale purpose, from awareness building support to medical support, from training purpose to entertainment purpose all times we get them beside us.
This summary doesn’t cover everyone who contributes in one way or another to the school. Please find a more complete list of our supporters in the main body of this report. If we have not mentioned specific names and details here, please forgive us! Each and every contribution to SoH counts and makes a difference… from buying garments at our sales, painting the school and visiting the students, to significant corporate contributions.
- Lindex is our main sponsor – Lindex pays for our teacher’s salaries, and high school scholarships; and in 2015 installed Emergency signs and fire alarms;
- Lindex, Next, Oryx, Europoint, Target, Kmart, Square, Pacific Enterprises, Lenny Fashions, Newtop Trading, Triumph International, Sainsbury’s, Tuli Treading and Threadmill– our corporate garment donors make our garment sales possible;
- Bengal Meat – provide donations of wonderful meat for school meals up to 2016;
- Petregaz – provide a constant gas supply for the school kitchen with gas bottles provided as needed up to 2016;
- HSBC – previously held the VHF bank accounts and established a VHF Endowment Fund in 1997. These accounts and the endowment fund were transferred to full VHF Board control in early 2015, and are now held with SCB;
- Square Pharmaceuticals – committed to twice yearly donations of medical and toiletry supplies, plus small donations of high quality garments for our garment sales;
- International Fund for Economic Development (IFED) – IFED donated all our 2015, 2016 supplementary textbooks (regular textbooks were obtained for free this year from the government!). Judy Anderson, an expat living in Dhaka, worked closely with our Principle and Administrator again this year to complete this donation;
- TESSCO and Feroza Fashion – donated all our 2015, 2016 school uniforms to our kids;
- Bangladesh Health Society, Nederland(BHSn) – visited the school in January again this year and checked all the children’s teeth. They also donated sufficient funds so that all the dental issues they identified could be resolved by a high quality local dentist;
- Chris Pender, Chevron’s Drilling Superintendent, very generously donated 10,000 BDT per month to the school for day-to-day running costs. 2015 is the second year he has supported the school. He also surprised us again with a wonderfully generous gift of 70,000 BDT to buy end of year gifts for the children. Thank you so much Chris!
- Michelle Quiah and Homebound – funds our Dairy Program so that each child to receives milk or yogurt 3 times per week. This is a significant contribution which makes a real difference to the children’s nutrition. She also provides extensive help throughout the year, always finding a way to answer the Board’s requests for help or advice. Homebound also provides free manpower for many works at the VHF from painting, moving garments to and from sales, and fixing school building issues. In 2016 Homebound will also be storing all our garments between sales;
- International School Dhaka – ISD has had a long connection with the VHF and students annually assist the VHF in various ways as part of their community commitments. In 2015 the ISD students hosted VHF students with weekly (scheduling permitting!) access to their computer facilities. This not only improves their computing knowledge, but we feel, offers a unique opportunity for children from very different background to interact;
- Picard – Picard attends most VHF garment sales to sell its beautiful handbags, with profits generously donated to VHF;
- IUBAT – provided health checks to al students
- JCI – ran a dental check camp and provided legal information for all VHF families;
- Albion Group – this year they provided a range of medicines for use at school;
- The volunteers of Dhaka – many volunteers provide crucial assistance to the VHF, from helping at our garments sales, offering advice to dedicating time on the Board;
- Commercial Bank of Cyclone –helped the school with some teaching purpose kinds in 2016 and 2018;
- Dhaka East AP, World Vision of Bangladesh – helping SoH with kinds, academic aids, food staffs, registered sponsorship programs for some of the siblings of our students, food and monetary help during the Covid pandemic awareness building workshops to the students from 2016 till now in many ways;
- All For One – helping SoH at many times with food support during Covid pandemic with the help of DNCC Mayor, providing awareness building programs for adolescence health care for both boys and girls, helping the entertaining programs in school premises;
- BYLCA – provided awareness building programs in 2016, 2017 and in 2018 with the students both in house and outgoing emphasizing on child violence, road safety and safe touch;
- AbintaKabir Foundation – a neighbor school of SoH, often helps with many types of teaching kinds;
- Eye Care Program MSS – helps often with eye care program and prescribed glasses as well as eye treatment to our students freely;
- Toys R Yours – helps our all kids of the school (250+) with toys as gifts for entertainments;
- IUB Social Welfare Club – with thesupport of Ahmed Group helps out kids with warm clothes during the winter as winter aids in 2018 and 2019;
- NSU Social Service Club – helped a group of performers. Our kids, to perform in the university program in 2018 which helped us to know people about our activities;
- Grace International School, Australian International School – help our kids in awareness building program as well as garments sale purpose;
- Nordic Club, International Club, AISD and ISD – helps in our garments sale venue purpose