With desperate poverty and homelessness severely damaging the life chances of girls in one of the world’s biggest and poorest slum areas, Bishop Libby has launched this year’s Harvest Appeal to raise thousands of pounds towards their housing and basic education.
St Elizabeth’s Hostel in Kolkata, India, is the focus of this year's Harvest Appeal, which will run in parishes and schools throughout the Diocese of Derby from September to the end of December.
The diocese has a long mutual association with the Church of North India, not least through links with schools over many decades.
Drawn from some of the poorest slums in the city, St Elizabeth’s is a refuge for up to 86 girls at any one time.
Sometimes homeless and always underprivileged, the girls at the hostel are provided with accommodation, food, clothing and other basic necessities as well as an education up to Higher Secondary level.
As a result of the pandemic, financial support has either been cut or is at severe risk in what are sometimes considered as low-priority areas, such as girls’ education.
Bishop Libby is determined that the long-term development of girls at St Elizabeth’s should continue.
Education helps them overcome social and financial challenges and to access jobs and income that will enable them to live independently and sustain themselves.
Without the support of St Elizabeth’s, most of the girls would receive no education at all, making it likely they would remain in poverty like many thousands of other girls and vulnerable to exploitation, often by the sex trade.
Bishop Libby said: “Many of these girls come from truly desperate situations, and lacking the basic tools to be able to change that. St Elizabeth’s work is so inspiring – a shining example of our partners in the Church of North India making known the good news of the Kingdom of God.
"The joy and opportunity it brings are clear to see on the faces of these girls, and I know the people of Derbyshire will join with us help us raise the money needed to keep this wonderful institution alive.”
How to donate
Individual online donations
You can make an online donation to the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal at www.justgiving.com/campaign/harvestappeal2021.
There is the option to Gift Aid these donations.
Church and School donations
Where possible, participating churches and schools should send their donations (including any reclaimed Gift Aid) by BACS transfer – details for this transaction are:
Bank account name: Derby Diocesan Board of Finance
Bank account number: 85463671
Sort code number: 60-12-01
Payment Ref: HARVEST2021
When churches / schools send their donation by BACS, please notify us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include payment details – (i) date & (ii) amount.
This is important to us, as your email will ensure your donation is identified and a “thank you” will be sent.
Cheques should be made payable to DDBF Ltd and sent to
“The Bishop of Derby’s Harvest Appeal 2021”
c/o Derby Church House
A Ray of Hope
Suriya’s mother succumbed to domestic violence and soon afterwards her father left her along with three of her siblings. Her maternal aunts support them financially and their grandmother aids the education of her sister. Residing at the hostel has helped Suriya cope with serious economic problems and the food crisis at home. She responds well in class and has performed well in her exams.
The death of Priyanks’s father left her family in a critical financial position. Her mother struggles to make ends meet by doing housekeeping work but for meagre pay. For monetary reasons her siblings have to reside with her paternal family. Staying at the hostel has affected her positively. She has been able to put aside her past and is doing well in her studies.
KumKum has lived in a rented house with her mother since her father left them when she was only a year and half old. Mother and daughter were under great financial pressure so KumKum decided to enroll herself for boarding. Their lives are still full of struggle but the hostel had been a ray of hope at a time of despair. She is studying well and scoring good grades and some, if not all, of their educational and financial problems have found a solution.
Sonia hails from a Christian family of two elder sisters, mother, father and grandmother. Her mother works at a grocery store which she started during the pandemic. Her father repairs electrical goods and sells religious books at the market. They have had financial troubles for a considerable period but her parents have always supported her and her siblings’ education. She has scored a well-deserving 79.8% in her Madhyamik Exam 2021.
Priya Halder from Bardhhaman never knew her father’s love. Her mother, with the help of St.Thomas’ Home Howrah, kept her in the hostel to pursue her education. Priya is talented in recitation and has come first in a competition organised by the State Government. She was awarded a memento and a book - she has made us proud. She gets financial assistance as girls in the OBC, Minority and scheduled Caste quota receive financial help from the state government.
Thank You in anticipation of your generous support for the Bishop of Derby’s Harvest Appeal 2021