The Omid-e-Mehr Foundation (established 2004 in Iran), the Omid Foundation (established 2006 in the UK), and the Omid Foundation (USA) (established 2008 in the USA) were founded by Marjaneh Halati, a London-based social psychologist and psychotherapist. The Omid concept is her brainchild, and it is her vision that has created its distinctive holistic approach to helping its vulnerable young female clients achieve self-awareness, self-determination and self-sufficiency in modern Iranian society.
Our Mission is to strengthen the social, emotional, and economic competencies of disadvantaged young women (aged from 15 to 25) in Iran, providing them with a sense of self-worth and with the opportunities to experience a full range of life options through self-empowerment, education and training.
Our Clients have typically been put into care from an early age, run away from abusive homes, or live in extreme poverty. They often suffer from severe mental health and emotional difficulties, mostly stemming from their experiences of neglect, of physical and sexual abuse, and of exposure to drugs and violence. We value and nurture the voices, hearts, and minds of these underprivileged and vulnerable young women and help them transform their lives. We believe that through love and care in the context of sustained relationships where practical and emotional needs are addressed, our young clients will be able to overcome the traumas of the past and will eventually be able to take responsibility for their emotions and behaviour. Starting with a small group of 15 clients in late 2004, Omid now caters to approximately 90 clients at any one time, more than a quarter of whom are Afghani immigrants.
The following data gives an indication of the profile of our clients:
- Age at time of entry: 58% above 20; 42% below 20.
- Formal education at time of entry: 54% completed high school; 42 % some high school education; 4% lower level of education.
- Family and social situation at time of entry: 50% lived in family environment; 22% lived with single parent; 24% lived in local authority facilities; 4% lived alone.
- Field of employment or internship after ‘graduating’ from Omid: 20% secretarial & administrative; 8% information technology; 8% seamstress; 6% beautician; 24% accounting; 10% graphics; 6% accepted to and enrolled at university; 18% other (i.e. clients who did not complete the program, or who chose not to seek employment).
Our Legal Status: We are a non-political organisation, operating through three registered charities (one in Iran, one in the UK, and one in the US):
- Omid-e-Mehr Foundation (a charity registered in Iran, registration number 18047), which undertakes both the day-to-day care of our clients in Tehran and local fundraising.
- Omid Foundation (USA) (a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organisation, registered in the USA, EIN no. 90-0406873, with an OFAC license issued by the US Treasury, license no. IA-11134), which undertakes strategic planning, fundraising and activities in North America.
- Omid Foundation (a charity registered in the UK, registration number 1115318), which undertakes strategic planning, fundraising and activities in Europe and the rest of the world.
Our Management and Organisation: As charitable foundations, all three foundations are supervised by boards of trustees (all of which are chaired by Marjaneh Halati) which formulate and approve long-term goals and objectives, formulate and adopt policies, develop financial resources for achieving goals, adopt and monitor annual budgets and financial development plans, and monitor the achievement of goals and objectives. In the operations in Iran, the policies set by the board of trustees are implemented by an operational management team which is supported by more than 20 full and part-time (paid and volunteer) employees and external specialists, most of whom are teachers, social workers, and clinical psychologists who provide counselling services.
Our Sources of Funding: We are privately funded relying on donations received from charitable trusts, corporations, and individuals.