On the 3rd of March we embarked on our journey to Kolkata, India. It was one of the best weeks of my life. I met some amazing people, both Indian and Irish alike. The Hope Foundation volunteers and staff took us to many areas of Kolkata where we experienced extreme poverty like I had never witnessed before. We saw families living in slums and we also visited a dump site where families live and feed off the rubbish there. Everyone seemed friendly and one of the highlights of the trip was visiting the Chitpur crèche and meeting the kids there. It was good to see how the money we raised was being used. Another great moment had to be the Sari night where we all dressed up in Indian gear and had a party. It was a really enjoyable night. I gained so much from the trip but mostly, that despite the poverty in Kolkata, everyone seemed friendly and happy. I also learned that I should take nothing for granted in my own life.
HOPE has been working with secondary schools and thousands of students all across Ireland since 2003 through fundraising and awareness programmes. Many schools have a strong tradition of facilitating charity work and we are fortunate to be invited to speak in schools all around the country about our work in Kolkata.
There are numerous ways a secondary school can become involved with HOPE, including our national fundraising event, Day of HOPE, our hugely popular Schools Immersion Programme, selling Butlers HOPE chocolates as a TY Mini Company, entering the Young Social Innovator Awards or hosting miscellaneous fundraising events.
To find out how you and your school can get involved, please get in touch.Madeleine@hopefoundation.ie