Hope is life deals with the fact that many women are victims of violent crimes only because of their sex. According to the UNO, especially women and girls in developing countries are in danger. The assumed number of victims is alarmingly high, but not verifiable because abuse and humiliation of women is mostly not reported to the police or made public. A sad example is the following: In India, the number of women has been dropping in such an alarming way that UNO experts complain about it to the Indian government and ask them to take action immediately. But the sad reality is that, even today, countless female foetuses are aborted and little girls as well as grown-up women are brutally abused, exploited or killed…

Hope is life is dedicated to approaching this delicate subject and building a project that protects, strengthens, supports and educates the women concerned and to inform them about their rights. At the same time, Hope is life sensitises the social environment of the victims to make these people think over their attitude towards women and to encourage them to start developing in a positive direction.

The project

The main target group of this project are women and girls who are victims of domestic violence. They live in remoted regions of the Indian state Odisha and in Nepal. Many of them come from poor families; their education is very low and traditional.

The men and boys involved in various conflicts are also part of this target group, regardless of whether it is a family conflict or a neighbour conflict, or if it is a matter of caste or religion.

To provide the basis for a non-violent community, women, men and children are informed about violence and the equality of man and woman and are sensitised to these subjects. Seeing the advantages of a peaceful communal life encourages the villagers to deal with the subject permanently. It is not our intention to humiliate the men by making the women stronger, but to make also the families and the whole village community stronger. Sensitisation and mutual understanding are our basis for non-violence.

Hope is life started this project together with the SFDC. In these project regions, we have already achieved first successes. The SFDC integrated this work in their preschool project. The preschool project ensures the formal education of girls and boys in preschool age to increase their chances concerning their future work lives. The students are shown how to live peacefully together and informed about violence against women and girls. At the same time, we educate and sensitise the parents in the framework of our women’s project. Therefore, the permanence of both projects is ensured.

Thanks to the success and the fact that many other regions show an interest in living a peaceful communal life, Hope is life was able to expand the projects to further villages. Since the heavy earthquakes in April 2015, we have also been supporting women in Nepal. We give them the opportunity to cope with what they have been through and to develop new strength. After the processing of the traumatic experiences, we will also approach the subject of violence against women and work on it in the same way as in India.

Project goals

1. Setting up a team of local workers

We educate local women in taking action against violence. The women are natives of the project villages, know the other villagers and are respected and accepted in the community.

2. Defusing situations of violence and preventing them

In the villages we have chosen for our project, the villagers are informed about the attitude and the values of non-violence, empathy, tolerance and understanding by means of non-violent communication. Like this, they become capable of defusing situations of violence and/or preventing them. To achieve this, we use a tool specifically developed for these regions. It is easy to handle and can effectively be put into practice. The women educated by Hope is life also meditate with some families. If there are no problems with the schedule, these workers will teach the attitude of non-violence at village schools as well.

3. Determining basic needs and working out solutions

Together with the villagers, we determine unsatisfied basic needs and work out a plan of measures in order to satisfy them. The subjects we deal with are nutrition, water supply, education…