The Schools Immersion Programme is an amazing accomplishment and I’m proud that our school has had the opportunity to get involved. The HOPE Staff provide a detailed overview of the project from the off, and students are given a clear fundraising aim. The sum is substantial but achievable. Organisational and entrepreneurial skills are developed quickly, but the true winners are the Junior Students being plied with cake, quizzes and sports tournaments!

Immediately on arrival in India the students are greeted with a garland of marigolds and immersed into Kolkata. A diverse team of HOPE leaders support the students, encouraging questioning to develop a deep understanding of the complex cultural and economic society in India. The students expect to see poverty and sadness. The poverty is certainly there, on an unimaginable scale, but what is unexpected is the level of joy and happiness found in the children’s homes. The Immersion Programme has become an integral part of our TY Year, and for all the students involved it has been a most positive and rewarding experience.

Kelly McEntee, teacher in Rochestown College

I heard of HOPE through a girl who previously went and was inspired by her experience. I chose to sign up because I felt like it was time to give back to those in need. I’m 16 years of age and to think I travelled to Kolkata, India! I got to know a different culture, met the children HOPE work with, made loads of new friends and had THE BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. It is not something everyone can say they’ve done at such a young age. I’m glad and grateful I had the opportunity to be part of this AMAZING EXPERIENCE. HOPE has been life changing for me, and many others too.
Helping One Person Every day is my new motto. HOPE has changed me for the better – I’m more determined now to appreciate life, as good as I have it and to be glad of such wonderful things in this world.

Katie Wallace, Glanmire Community College, 2016 Schools Immersion Programme participant.