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OMID-E-MEHR: empowering disadvantaged young women in Iran

Omid is a non-political, privately funded charity, registered in Iran in 2004. Omid focuses on providing care, support, education and training for severely disadvantaged young women in Tehran, aged from 15 to 25. These are women who are faced with relentless emotional and financial deprivation, are desperately vulnerable to anti-social influences, and struggle to remain engaged in society. All are in urgent need for help.

Our aim is to create a better future for such young women, and also to enable them to achieve self-determination and self-sufficiency in modern Iranian society. The entire approach is based upon capacity building and empowerment. Offered in a nurturing environment, our programme challenges each client to develop her inner gifts and helps her to acquire the tools to succeed in life.

BBC programme: The Story of Leila

Sold into prostitution aged 9, then saved from the hangman's noose at 18, Leila tells her life story for the first time. Her life provides a rare insight into Iran's underbelly and is a tribute to the brave army of women fighting for human rights - with results.

Today Leila is 22. She is being taken care of at Omid-e-Mehr Foundation ('Omid') in Tehran. A beacon of light on a landscape which offers compassion to abused and destitute young women.

Leila tells her life story to a psycho-therapist, Marjaneh Halati. Leila has allowed it to be recorded by an Iranian filmmaker, Hamid Rahmanian, who is completing a film ('Screaming under the blue sky') about four of the young women at Omid who are working to improve their lives.

The programme which has been produced together with Julia Rooke of the BBC will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Thursday 29th November at 11am GMT and Monday 3rd December. It will also be online.

A short version will be on BBC World ServiceRadio - its goes Online Thursday 29th November at 0906. (On air about 6 times across the world time zones.

There will also be a written feature on the BBC News page.

Additional Information

Click here for more about our activities and programmes shown on our website. Feel free to contact us with your questions and enquiries at or at the address below.

Get Involved

You can help make a difference by volunteering time, fundraising, or donating money.

Donations can be made:

  • directly to the Omid-e-Mehr Foundation (in Rials)

  • through Friends of Omid

  • through the Charities Aid Foundation

Click here for more details or if you wish to make a donation.


Join our mailing list

Click here to join our mailing list and stay informed about our programmes.


Marjaneh Halati, Friends of Omid, Flat 21, 39/40 Queen's Gate, London SW7 5HR, UK
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7584 6949

... Payvand News - 11/29/07 ... --

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