Over 20 volunteers participating in Be the Change 2012 are in their last week in Kolkata. Each volunteer has been assigned to a HOPE project where they have been assisting teachers and leaders for the past month.
Each member of the group has shared their energy and talents to help the street children attending creches and coaching centres as well as children in HOPE homes. The reality of life in this hot, noisy city full of contrasts is very different to life in Ireland – the smiles of the children shine out against the backdrop of extreme poverty.
The streets and slums are home for thousands who live in the open air or in tiny make-shift dwellings, for example, beside the city’s main dump, no toilets, no running water apart from community pumps. HOPE runs a coaching centre here where 150 children attend for support to help them stay in mainstream school. Here they get a nutritious meal, get help with homework and support with problems related to child rights issues, for example, domestic violence.
The Irish volunteers have each, in their own way, made a difference.
Would you like to volunteer with HOPE in Kolkata? Find out more here: