The imposed quarantine has afforded me quality time to reflect on our work in India and the role that ‘hope’ plays – for us in the west and indeed within the communities we work with in India.
Whether you are working from home, furloughed, out of work, self-isolating or caring for others, these are lonely and uncertain times. Life may feel like it’s on hold right now – but we humans cannot subsist without our hopes and aspiration. We all depend on one another. The weak on the strong, the old on the young and so it continues.
Here in the West, we all benefit from relative wealth, social security, access to health care and a home of our own, whereas the communities we work with in India lack all of this. COVID-19 will bring already existing social ills and inequalities to the surface and an escalation of worries about what the future might have in store for the most vulnerable.
Amid all this fear there is much to be hopeful about. If this crisis was unthinkable a few months ago, so too was the notion of so many people doing good for others, or of streets filling with the sound of neighbours clapping and singing together. Empathy and care for others are becoming the new normal and that’s something we should be celebrating.
Again reflecting on our work, This report tries to capture the pivotal role that ‘hope’ plays in raising aspirations for the most vulnerable and may prove to be the missing link in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty. The challenges that confront us and solutions that unite us should have no barriers.
My hope is that many may come out of the quarantine with an improved, more compassionate view of the world for those that have very little. Making our own small contribution, we can all play a part in ensuring that hope has no barriers.