While many will no doubt of heard of the Hope Foundation and the huge work they have done for Street Children in Calcutta in India, few will have had the experience of seeing at first hand the work this truly remarkable charity does.
However recently thanks to the work of the foundation, twelve street children from Calcutta visited Rockwell College in Cashel to tell students at first hand of the help the foundation has given their city.
Indeed it was fitting that the presentation was held in the college as for the last five years Rockwell, under the Guidance of transition Year co-ordinator Patrick Egan, has been sending groups of transition year pupils to the Indian city.
According to Mr Egan - “Each pupil has had to raise up to €3,300 to fund their trips and they have to do this by various means, including bag packing days in local supermarkets in Clonmel and Thurles, hosting Golfing outings, 10Km walks sponsored cycles, meals at Indian restaurants etc”.
He said that he was “particularly indebted to Ms Amanda Kelly in Tesco in Clonmel for all the help she had giving the students in arranging bag packs for Hope’’.
Master of Ceremonies and Rockwell 6th Year student Aoife Purcell, who herself travelled to Calcutta in February 2011, said that she “had been blown away by the experience”. She told the gathering that to date Rockwell had sent 32 students to Calcutta and they had raised a combined total of €106,000 for the Foundation.
She said that she was very struck by the HOPE Foundation motto, ‘A World Where it Does Hurt to be a Child’
Others to address the gathering included Jean O’Donnell, a 5th Year student who went to Calcutta in February 2012 and she said that she is looking forward to going back some day.
After a video was shown of the Rockwell experience in Calcutta, two street children from the city addressed the gathering.
Modeeka and Sinaha revealed that the country as a whole is improving thanks to the work of Hope and it now has a 74% literacy rate which is much greater than ever before.
Rockwell College principal Ms Audrey O’Bryne spoke about the work of the organisation. She told students “Hope is a fragile word. But hope is the strongest thing we all have”. She added what while the Hope Foundation has done wonderful work for Calcutta, the 32 students from Rockwell have also benefitted hugely from their experience in terms of the knowledge they have acquired. The launch was also attended by a number of students from the CBS High School in Clonmel and teacher Ms Caroline Kenny.
In February 2013 Rockwell will send 10 students to Calcutta accompanied by teacher Ms Aoife Mulcahy. The students who will travel are James Heffernan (Cashel), David Cremmin (Kenamre), Nicola Buckley (Lattin), Ellie Morrissey (Bansha), Gerard Hourihan Clancy (Boherlahan), Betty Barlow (Clonmel), Kara Dunne (Clonmel), Darran Fehilly (Clonmel), Chloe Maher (Clonmel) and Elliott Stone (Cork).