During a 2023 research sabbatical, the Revd Canon Dr Charlotte Bannister-Parker spent several months visiting sustainable development projects in India and Nepal. This exhibition of her photos offers glimpses of some extraordinary people and places where life is challenging, economically and environmentally, yet still full of promise, beauty and hope.

“Throughout my twenties, I worked for charities in many parts of India and Nepal, focusing on the roles of women, and of education, in economic development. After 20 years of ministry back in England, I spent a few months revisiting charities in the same regions. This research gave me a unique chance to chart the changes that have occurred in the lives of women and children living in complex and challenging landscapes.

One profound change that I observed, which forms the theme of this exhibition, was the increased power of women and young people who, despite living in very challenging circumstances, in fragile environments, are playing lead roles in transforming their lives and the lives of their communities. Women today are solar engineers, teachers, buffalo farmers, beekeepers, grassroots organisers, and many other things in addition to daughters, wives and mothers. They are beacons of light, working with, protecting, and teaching about our threatened ecosystems on earth.” 

Returning to India and Nepal after thirty years gives a true sense of hope. With support from grass-roots local NGOs that invest in ‘walking’ alongside women and their communities, more and more women are making their own decisions about their lives and their children’s future.  

The UN states that “We need more women, in all their diversity, involved in all levels, from climate negotiations, to forest and fields, especially in the regions hard hit by climate change.” The voices of women and their children are being heard. Their impact and work in nature has real momentum now even in the remotest places, and that was not the case a generation ago.  

When our world cries out in distress, as it does today, faced as we are with the climate emergency, ...the Spirit of hope helps us to glimpse a different future, and inspires us to work together to bring it to fulfilment.  - Sister Teresa White, 2021.

For further information about this exhibition please visit: 
The Hope4Creation Foundation, www.hope4creation.org.