In October 2015, five students from Sacred Heart Secondary School in Clonakilty were chosen by their teachers to join The Hope Foundation’s School Immersion Programme. The Immersion Programme gives Transition and 5th Year students the unique opportunity to travel to Kolkata for one week and to visit HOPE projects on an educational and cultural visit to witness first-hand the word of HOPE and the extremities of life in Kolkata.
As part of the programme, each student must commit to raising a minimum of €2300 for HOPE, as well as covering all their private costs including flights, vaccinations and travel insurance.
The five students from Sacred Heart, Anna Lovell, Sicilia Smith, Hannah Ryan, Clodagh Walsh and Mai Chan ran a number of fundraising events, both together as a group and individually, including coffee mornings, Butlers HOPE chocolate bar selling, a school disco, and a sponsored walk. Not only did these 5 very hard working students raise their target of €2300 each, as a group they raised an additional €3500, which they decided to donate towards the HOPE Hospital in Kolkata. In total, the 5 girls raised an astonishing €15,000!
After their visit to Kolkata in March with HOPE this year, we asked the girls to share a little more about their motivation to fundraise for HOPE:
“It wasn’t until we were chosen for the School Immersion Programme did we realise how much we actually wanted to travel to Kolkata. The five of us were thrown straight into the madness of the fundraising. We had coffee mornings, a fashion show, a 5km walk, discos, flag days and an Indian movie night. We had the most amazing support from our friends, families and local businesses in Clonakilty.
The street children are some of the most interesting and kind people you could ever meet. Kolkata is such a welcoming and friendly city and the people we encountered were just wonderful. We managed to raise €3500 additional fundraising before leaving for Kolkata. With such a large amount we knew we could really make a difference so we have decided to put this money towards the HOPE hospital as we feel it is the heart of HOPE.
We got to see another culture that is so different to the little island we call Ireland, our home. The five of us have come a very long way and we are so glad to have shared this once in a lifetime experience together.”