Can an American teenager really change the li v e s of young children half - a - world away ?
At just 14, Anjali Bajaj did. She travelled to India to start teaching disadvantaged children to read and write English, so they would have a better chance of freeing themselves from a life of poverty.
At just 14, Gu rbaz Singh did. He started a sports academy in India, so some of the country’s poorest children, many of whom work to support their families, could do something that most American children take for granted, play.
These are just two of the inspirational Silicon Valley teenagers featured in Ambassadors of Hope , a feature - length film documenting India’s massive child labor work force, and the American children who are trying to make a difference in the lives of these children who are being robbed of their chi ldhood and their right to an education.
“I thought that nearly two decades of working in the news industry would prepare me for some of the harsh realities I'd encounter, but I was mistaken.” – Vera Anderson
During filmmaker my first trip to India in 2013, I was struck by the number of children working in the streets instead of learning in the classroom. The numbers are startling: 50% of the nation’s children do not attend school regularly. Instead, they work in harsh, often dangerous or abusive conditions, in mines, factories, hotels, restaurants, or as domestic servants. The Indian government puts the number of working children, some as young as five - years - old, at 12 million. Some non - governmen t agencies (NGOs) put the number much higher, at 60 million.
“What I discovered amongst the thrilling bustling life in New Delhi was a young workforce. The images of babies at work has stayed with me to this day.” – Vera Anderson
India’s child laborers are the backbone of the nation’s economic engine, working to help keep their impoverished families from starving. Poor working children often grow up to be poor adults, thus repeating a cycle of poverty that all but ensures generation after generation of children forgoing education in favor of the basic necessities of life, food and shelter.
Despite the nation’s “Right to Education” act, for many the promise of free, compulsory education remains a dream. That is where groups such as Home of Hope are stepping in. The Silicon Valley nonprofit has been providing free, high - quality education to vulnerable children in Southeast Asia since 1998. And for the past seven years, teenagers working with the group have been creating some of the most successful and life - changing programs for those children.
“There may be hope in sight for these children because a new generation of empowered students, here in the cradle of technology, want to make that unrealized dream of an education a reality.” – Vera Anderson
Please support our efforts to produce this film. We have finished filming and now we're working to raise 10,000 dollars to edit the film.
Every dollar raised will go to production costs.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
- Cheryl Brandon
- Edmund Soriano
- Glynis Holloway
- Michelle Orta