Over the Easter holidays, five Transition Year students and two teachers from Pobalscoil na Tríonóide, Youghal, embarked on the journey of a lifetime across the world to Kolkata, India. Sophie Lawlor (Youghal), Jordan Lupton (Clashmore) Adam Danaher, Chloé Walsh, Dara Motherway (Killeagh), along with their teachers Ms Edel Charles and Ms Shyrelle Walsh travelled with HOPE to see first-hand their amazing work with the street and slum children.

Why did we get involved? We wanted to make a difference to less fortunate children, gain a once in a life time experience and meet new people.

We were blown away by the generosity of our communities. Through different fundraisers such as a garden party, afternoon tea, table quizzes, barbeques, coffee mornings, flag day collections, Christmas coffee evening, bag packs, craft fairs, TY hoodies and a non-uniform day, we raised an amazing €14,750 for the HOPE Projects.

 Each day in Kolkata we would visit at least two HOPE projects in the morning. For lunch each day, we normally went to the HOPE Life Skills Café where adults are taught skills such as cooking, computers and English. In the evenings we would visit more projects, cultural sights and take part in different activities such as Henna, Indian dancing and a Sari night.

 Our impression of Kolkata was how of happy and joyful the people are, it really is the city of joy. It was also a big change from Irish cities, it is packed with people all day and driving is absolutely crazy. It is also very colourful but very dirty out on the streets as well.

 Our most striking memory was how grateful the children are for all things that are given to them even as little as a toothbrush. They simply shocked us with how happy they were and filled us with joy.

Being home feels very strange and I think everyone on this trip learned so much from it. We are all now very grateful for everything we have here and the opportunities we have.

 We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone in our communities who helped us to achieve and exceed our fundraising targets. We are extremely grateful for all of the support and kindness we have received.

 Sophie, Chloé, Dara, Jordan and Adam

Sophie Lawlor  Chloe Walsh Jordan Lupton and Adam Danaher


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