Hope House is now managed by Kids with Destiny

Dear Friends of Kids with Cameras,

2010 was a benchmark year for Kids with Cameras, and we have some very exciting news to share with all of you. Our Hope House Capital Campaign has been completed! A recent grant of $150,000 from the Newman's Own Foundation, and two $100,000 grants from the Johnson Redlich Foundation and the John and Marva Warnock family have matched our anonymous donor challenge and grassroots fundraising efforts, and will complete our $1.2 million dollar endowment campaign.

This money has allowed us to buy a five-acre parcel of land to build HOPE HOUSE, a guesthouse for educators and visiting artists, and a laundry clinic for sex workers who would like to leave the world of prostitution for a job and alternative educational opportunities.

It has always been the intention of Kids with Cameras to find a dedicated partner in Kolkata to carry on our legacy. We are pleased to announce that we have entered a formal merger agreement with a Kolkata based charity named KIDS WITH DESTINY. Effective January 1, 2011, Kids with Cameras, a Salt Lake City, Utah and New York based charity will merge with KIDS WITH DESTINY, a Salt Lake City and Kolkata based charity. Kids with Destiny is dedicated to serving underprivileged children in India, and the operations of Hope House will be one of its flagship programs.

Kids with Destiny's team of Indian professionals will manage and facilitate Hope House on behalf of Kids with Cameras, and operate public health clinics in the red-light district of Kolkata. The girls living at Hope House will receive a free-first rate education, in addition to physical and emotional health services. Their mothers will be given the option of working on the Hope House campus laundry facility that will service the hospitals of Kolkata. Adjacent to this campus is a dormitory for a nursing college. Kids with Destiny will partner with the College of Nursing for students to have a mentoring relationship with the children living at Hope House and to administer public health clinics in Sonagachi, the red-light district of Kolkata.

This partnership and now merger of KIDS WITH CAMERAS and KIDS WITH DESTINY will allow us to have a comprehensive health and educational outreach in Sonagachi. We have worked for over five years building this relationship and the leadership of Ruhi Prasad and Amitabh Singh at KIDS WITH DESTINY is astonishing.

Ruhi grew up in Kolkata, India. After serving as a banker by profession for a number of years, she left this behind to give leadership to the Hope House initiatives and the red light medical clinics that help sex workers and their children in Kolkata. Ruhi personally overlooks to the education, nutritional and healthcare needs of over a thousand poor children living in and around Kolkata. At present, Ruhi is also engaged in the construction of the laundry facility in Kolkata that will give employment opportunity to rescued sex workers from the Sonagachi red light area.

Amitabh Singh grew up in Kolkata, India and for many years served as a faculty member of St. Xavier's College in Kolkata. Formerly the CEO of Calcutta Mercy Hospital, Amitabh is an author who also spends his time traveling and raising support for the free treatment of 40,000 children and the poor in India. Amitabh's brother Sanjay serves as the Vice President of Strabucks in Seattle, USA. Both he and his brother are board members of Kids With Destiny and long time friends of KIDS WITH CAMERAS and Board Chair, Geralyn White Dreyfous. Amitabh and Sanjay while based in the United States are engaged with Ruhi in the Sonagachi work, including development of public health clinics in Sonagachi, the collaboration with the College of Nursing and laundry facility for women from Sonagachi, and Hope House.

You will be receiving quarterly updates on the construction and completion of Hope House from the architect and Yale College Professor, Tom Zook, and Stephanie Moore, MD, an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and Kids with Destiny board member who will be designing all our medical and public health programs. We expect to break ground in the first quarter of 2011 and hope to be completed for the opening of the 2012 Academic year in April of 2012.

KIDS WITH CAMERAS has established a separate education endowment fund to support the children featured in Born into Brothels and the original Kolkata photography workshops through their college education. Thanks to you, our supporters, this fund will allow Avijit to finish his schooling at NYU, Shanti will complete her hotel management program in Mumbai, Manik is completing his high school education at Future Hope, where Gour is also learning English and computer skills. Furthermore, we are supporting Madan at film school in Kolkata, and Binod at a Fashion Institute in Mumbai. Current Executive Director, Lisa Robinson, will be traveling to Kolkata in the coming months. While there, we will hire a part time social worker, who will act as an on the ground advisor to the kids from the movie still living in Kolkata. KIDS WITH DESTINY and our long running partners in India, Future Hope, will be trustees of the Education Endowment.

You can still contribute and follow Kids with Cameras efforts with Hope House and the kid's educational endeavors by supporting Kids with Destiny. This expanded mission will allow us to have viable partners and a sustainable community for the children we serve through Hope House. It will also allow integrated public health programs to be piloted for the mothers and sex workers who would like to break the cycle of poverty and violence in their own lives.

Directors of Born Into Brothels Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski will remain in the lives of the children in the film through Hope House and independently. They will have the Kids with Cameras database to communicate with you about their ongoing film and photography projects. If you want to be in touch with Red Light Films and Ross Kauffman, he can be reached at www.bornintobrothels.com or www.redlightfilms.net. His personal email is: rosskauffman2011@gmail.com. If you would like to be in touch with Zana Briski Photography, she can be reached at: contact@zanabriski.com.

We are very proud to finally have completed our capital campaign to build HOPE HOUSE. It is the legacy project of Born into Brothels and KIDS WITH CAMERAS and it is time to transfer the assets of the capital campaign and foundation to the actual custodians of our dream.

Thank you for your continued support over the years, we couldn't have done any of this without you.

Happy New Year from the entire Kids with Cameras, now the Kids with Destiny team!

Sincerely yours,

Lisa Robinson
Executive Director, Kids With Cameras

Missy Dawson
Capital Campaign Director

Geralyn White Dreyfous
Chairwoman of the Board and Executive Producer, Born into Brothels


Top photo courtesy of Kids with Destiny (L-R): Amitabh Singh, Dr. Jim Long, Sanjay Singh, Dr. Stephanie Moore, Ruhi Prasad, and Bonnie Buntain Long, Bottom photo courtesy of Avijit Halder. In photo: Madan, Binod, Avijit, Manik, and Shanti