Self-Worth - What Hope Torch is About...

...a child told he or she isn't good enough.

...a child misdiagnosed as rebellious or abnormal.

Do these statements bother you? They bother us too!

Hope Torch is a registered public benefit trust that believes every child can lead a fulfilling life when they begin to believe in their own worth. Hope Torch focuses on the child's development, builds constructive relationships and creates an environment that highlights their worth.  

Our Vision

Hope to Reach the abandoned, destitute, and orphaned Children for a life that is enriching to themselves, their families and those around.  

Our Mission

Hope Torch seeks to improve the self-worth of orphaned children by delivering services in the areas of health and education in order to create an environment which highlights the value in each, individual child.  

What Is Hope Torch

As the mission states, Hope Torch is an organization with a long-term vision of empowering orphaned children to build lives for themselves that not only allows them to sustain themselves but also is enriching to others. Most orphans will survive. The orphanages do an excellent job in preparing them to survive. This is purely a result of the commitment the owners and founders have for the children.   Hope Torch believes that every child is meant not to merely survive but to lead a fulfilling life. To accomplish this, Hope Torch seeks to ameliorate the situations of the orphaned children in a three-fold approach. First, Hope Torch will focus on the child’s health and hygiene to remove as many physical obstacles as possible. Second, Hope Torch will target educational needs to strengthen the belief that the children have in themselves and their own abilities. Finally, Hope Torch will create an environment in which the worth of each child is brought to the forefront.  

Arun Durairaj - Managing Director

IMG_4010 I'm Arun Durairaj, the one on the right. For fourteen years, I've worked in IT. I've had a passion for kids for as long as I can remember, and a belief that they are the most underestimated people out there. That's pretty much all that qualifies me for this work.

Why I work here: I believe that each child starts out life with unlimited potential. As they get older, society puts shackles on that potential. I'm just excited to see what we might uncover in each of them.

To the Kids: Dear Kids, anyone who tells you that you are not good enough, doesn't know you very well. I hope you learn just three things. Be strong enough to not waste your time. Desire to serve a purpose. And, most importantly, believe that you can serve that purpose.

Idhiyaraja G - Program Admin Lead

7271_490037821062215_1974188210_n I'm Idhiyaraja G. from Chennai (Tamilnadu). I did my under graduation BCom at Trichy,and I did my post graduation master of social work at Madras Christian College. In my post graduation I had lot exposure and education in the community and field work organizations.

Why I work here: I personally have lot of passion to work with children which I developed in my post graduation. When I came to know about the programs and the work style of the organization what, I felt was entirely different from what others are doing in the society. I thought it would be challenging, but it will be interesting were I can use my skills effectively.

To the Kids: Hi my dear children, "nothing is impossible" without our hard work, so work hard towards your dream with always positive attitude. I wish you all will have bright future way to go.

Saranya Rithesh - Program Admin Lead

Saranya Rithesh

Why I work here:

To the Kids:

Feba Peter - Program Admin Lead

Feba Peter

Why I work here:

To the Kids:

Alan Potter - Program Admin

Alan Potter

Why I work here:

To the Kids:

Anupriya M - Program Admin

Anupriya M

Why I work here:

To the Kids:

Madhulika Singh- Program Admin

Madhulika Singh

Why I work here:

To the Kids:

The Board

Pauline Daniel
Technical Consultant
Arun Durairaj
Managing Director – Hope Torch
Arvind Paul
CTO - Simplywin
Vijay Swamidass
Technical Team Lead
Ankur Mohindra
DDS - SMILEWORKS of Redondo Beach
Priya Mony
Trade Marketing MBA Intern at Moët Hennessy USA
Anju Sabu
Cartoonist & Creator - “Oh, Dakuwaqa!”
Alex Valle
Principal - Global Business Strategy at Google

Our Alumni

Allen Justin
Program Admin
Sarah George
Program Admin
Twyla David
Program Architect
Clement Rajkumar
Client Communications

What Hope Torch Does

Hope Torch supports and funds projects in health and education that have a clear purpose, measurable outcomes, and evaluations for the long-term success and benefit to the child. All projects will have a clear purpose of improving the self-worth of the children. All funding will be delivered in the form of a project that meets the criteria set in the mission statement. All projects will be monitored and evaluated for their completion and success. Hope Torch will provide complete transparency between the donors and the projects they are funding.  

What Hope Torch Does Not Do

Hope Torch does not fund orphanages; it funds projects. Hope Torch does not finance administrative expenses for the children’s home, including staff and other personnel. Hope Torch does not raise funds for infrastructure that is not associated to hygiene. Most orphanages are in the business of providing these basic needs. It is the responsibility of the children’s home to provide these to the satisfaction of the licensing child welfare body. The purpose in the mission statement is to build the self-worth of the orphaned children through measurable projects and services. Hope Torch does not support indefinite time projects. Hope Torch would not support any project or funding that is not clearly defined, is not connected to health and education, does not build self-worth of the child, and is not clearly measurable.  

A Focus on Health

A young girl sitting in the classroom struggles to see what the teacher is writing on the board. In her heart, she is convinced that the struggle is because of her own inferiority and not something that should be corrected.   The number one obstacle to a satisfying life is health. Inadequate health instills a feeling of helplessness which, combined with the “orphan” status in society, creates a mental block to success. The child who cannot run and play because of asthma will simply believe that they are weak in comparison to the other kids. The first impression on any child that has a medical disability is pity. Not only do others feel pity for the child, but also the child starts to feel pity upon himself.
2013-08-12 17.29.59
Hope Torch will seek support and implement projects that address both the individual health needs, such as providing glasses and inhalers, recurring medical treatments, and surgery, and the needs that impact orphanages as a whole, such as proper drinking water, routine eye exams and vaccinations, etc. These projects will be measured for their completeness and the evaluation of the child’s subsequent improvement.
Self-pity is the reason a child lowers his expectations and standards of himself. Society is conditioned to accept whatever the individual feels of himself. The child must realize that they are not to be pitied and deserve better. When this happens, society will follow suit. By improving the health and hygiene of the child, Hope Torch removes the most obvious obstacle to building self-worth.  

An Impact on Education

In most countries, education is one’s only bridge to opportunities in adulthood. Without education, most societies do not consider a child as worthy of success.   At an early age, children are classified as academic achievers based on just a few interactions with teachers, administrators, and even parents. Once this label is ingrained in the child, a self-fulfilling prophecy ensues and the child believes that they can succeed which translates to actual academic success. Alternatively, those children who have academic struggles early on in their education are marked as underachievers, failures, and even troublemakers. They develop a resentment for education and an educational system that has already labeled them as failures and removed hope for success.
2013-07-06 19.56.11
Projects such as general tuitions, English training, reading comprehension, and others, build a child’s confidence and excitement for learning. The success they see and feel early on leads to a self-image that is capable of academic achievement.
2013-07-10 17.31.04
Hope Torch seeks to improve the confidence and skillset the child has enabling them to succeed in their long-term education.  

A Relationship with Donors

One challenge that exists in almost all orphanages is their ability to connect themselves with sponsors, donors and other organizations that can provide support and services that result in long-term relationships.   Most orphanage funding is a black box. When individuals and charitable organizations give, they donate funds with either no knowledge of how the support will be used and more importantly, was the support successfully utilized. In this style of giving, there is no accountability on either the donor or the beneficiary for the proper application of the funds. Without accountability, there is no relationship between the donor and the orphanage. In addition, there is no real joy or satisfaction derived from the benefit given to the children. Instead once the donation is made, the donor is completely detached from the funds, and the orphanage is completely detached from the donor both in terms of this donation as well as the possibility for future donations. In essence, after the donation, they both go their separate ways.   Hope Torch seeks to change this black box paradigm to giving by providing the ability to communicate the utilization and the result of the funds to the donor. Through the Hope Torch website, the funding is reported as individual projects with metrics for success (or failure) being presented to the donors. Donors can follow along and visibly see the success of their funds. Orphanages can transparently illustrate the successful utilization of the funds that would garner more donations from either the same donor or other prospective donors as well.  

A Portal to the Outside

The Hope Torch website serves two core purposes: to provide transparency on all past, present and future projects and to provide orphanages with exposure and marketability to donors.   Donors are able to feel connected to orphanages when they are able to see more frequent updates concerning the children and the utilization of their funds. Hope Torch will provide a social networking experience to transparency with orphanages. Orphanages are encouraged to provide frequent updates to their various activities and in doing so will gain exposure from prospective donors. This exposure will fuel engagement and encourage further funding of projects.

Project Funding

All project funding would be made through the website and the associated payment gateways. The payment gateways will retain a certain transaction fee, currency exchange fee, and other fees for their services. These transaction-related fees will be excluded from the donation and will not be reported as part of the contribution.   A project that has a set start date will be funded based on the amount that was collected to date. The orphanage would receive the funds regardless of whether it matched the total cost of the project or just a portion of the cost.   Should a project be cancelled prior to the start of the project, the donors will be informed and be given the choice to donate to another project or to have their funds returned minus any financial transaction fees (no administrative fees would be charged).   Hope Torch will either fund a project up front or reimburse the project that is underway. There will be a statement of accounts provided for every project. The statement of accounts would show the utilization of the orphanage funds towards that project.   More than ensuring that every dollar donated goes to that specific project, Hope Torch understands the challenges that orphanages face in financing their projects in this way. Instead, Hope Torch will ensure that the project was executed for the benefit of the children and reported all related metrics to the donors.  

Administrative Costs

As a rule, all projects will be created with the purpose of funding a specific orphanage project. Hope Torch will not create projects for internal funding. Hope Torch will retain 7% of all project funds for administrative costs.   Administrative Costs would include website maintenance, employee salaries, and infrastructure costs. In addition, administrative costs may include any project funding and delivery costs that Hope Torch might incur in order to better serve the orphanage. At the end of every year, any balance exceeding the corpus will be dedicated to projects in the following year.   Should Hope Torch require funding for its own future projects, such funding would be collected through external support and not through the website.