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Final Reflections – Women’s Team April 2017

Thursday 13 April 2017

Trek to Donk, Day 4
Trek to Donk, Day 4

What can I say after the most fantastic trip EVER!! When my daughters Erin and Rebecca came home after their Saphara experience they had a mood of euphoria that I now feel. I got to meet the loveliest women on this trip who will always be held deep in my heart and I also want to give a big thanks to our leaders Susan and Flo who were just the best duo ever. Christine, I wish I had half your energy and enthusiasm – it was lovely that I could share your dream with you. This trip had a vast spectrum of experiences, from the opulence of the Taj Mahal, Imperial Hotel and having supper at the Irish Ambassador’s residence, to the trek down to the Donk School in the most tranquil setting and the Kaplani, SNEHA and Anurag schools which through education united the children, giving them a chance to improve their lives. The Women’s Resilience Groups which supports and trains women in various skills is amazing and we will always remember, drinking tea with our friends in the middle of the mountains, while they wore their new glasses!

I laughed a lot and I cried a lot throughout this experience but the smiles on the children’s faces made it.  Would I have missed this journey with a purpose NEVER. Thank you Saphara!

Susanne McLoughlin

Flo, you were a fantastic leader – and our Susan too. Thank you all so very much for allowing me to find the beauty and hope in the places where you did before, and for being part of something that will never leave me.

Thanks a million for the experience Christine.

Claire Savage

Ladies you are wonderful and I couldn’t imagine experiencing India with any other group of women.  It was perfect and an absolutely unforgettable experience, and I want to thank all of you for being a part of it. 

I would like to dedicate my final reflection to Surender. I personally couldn’t have spent enough time with him.  He is such a genuine caring, hardworking, forward thinking and humble guy – so full of knowledge I could’ve listened to him speak all day.

I’ll also use this time to mention his guys who helped each of us at some point during our Himalayan stay and without whom our work would’ve been a lot harder.

Karen Fitzpatrick

I’d like to say the trip was amazing. A big thank you to Flo, Susan and Christine for the massive amount of work that went on behind the scenes from day one. Meeting you all has been a lovely experience – the love for the children is visible in your faces (the photos are lovely) so big thank you to all.  I’m still processing all that I have seen… Must get the untouched journal out!

Janet Willis

You know that bit in the Bible where it is said that if God didn’t build we labour in vain to build? I see God in everything we saw.  He has blessed each and every project, child, and leader and teacher, together with all of us involved in Saphara. Flo and Susan encouraged and guided and directed us all with grace and heart.

I left part of my heart in India and the first word that comes to me is Agape – unconditional love.

Freda Fleming

Having finally got myself ‘back together’ today I’ve had a think about my final reflection. For me there are 3 key things that are my stand out points from what was a truly overwhelming experience: People, Opportunity, and Impact.

PEOPLE – We were introduced to some truly exceptional people, from the beautiful, mannerly and enthusiastic children in each of the amazing schools that Saphara supports.  The humble, generous, and patient helpers at our side throughout the trip – Surender springs to mind as do Flo and Susan.  To the inspirational and devoted Dr Reeta, who puts in so much effort and even at her time of life provides amazing passion and vision for the future of the children in the local marginalised communities. 

OPPORTUNITY – The country was just full of it! How people live – and how they want to live, the key to that future – education. The hope and the ambition that the young people have and the energy and eagerness to make the most of the opportunities offered! 

IMPACT – Appreciating how Saphara is helping opportunities to become a success – supporting schools and individual children, educating girls at the top of the mountain in resilience and assertiveness whilst creating meaningful futures for girls in the cities. A remarkable contribution from a remarkable group of people; Christine – and the whole Saphara family! 

Thank you so much to you all for the privilege. Until the next time!

Anne Marie Groom

It was a trip of a lifetime. Inspiring to meet so many people who care deeply for the children of India and to see the great work being done.  Flo, I can’t begin to imagine how you managed the organising of us all.  You worked so hard.  The love shone out of you when you spoke to the young people.  I feel lucky to have been a member of a great team of women who helped make the trip perfect.

Daphne Cuthbert

I have tried to put into words my thoughts… India was an assault on all the senses, with its smells, colours, and noises.  From the madness of Delhi to the serenity of the Himalayas, it was amazing.  There are so many words which I could use to describe the trip but none that really encapsulate the whole experience nor convey the impression left in my mind and in my heart.  We heard the differences that Saphara has made and continues to make to people lives.  We saw the passion shared by the teachers, Surender, Dr Reeta and all the Saphara partners and the dreams the girls and boys now dare to have and hope to realise.  We witnessed them all increase in confidence, valuing themselves and others in a respectful and disciplined way.  But my lasting thoughts will be the smiles of those children.  The positivity and determination of teachers and Saphara partners to influence change.  The work is far from over but hope is very much alive. 

I admire the vision Christine has and the people who now share that vision and are making a difference through education.

My thanks to her for making this trip possible, to Flo and Susan for all their hard work and passion making this an unforgettable experience. To all my new friends, the Women’s Group of 2017, thank you for sharing this with me. You will always have a special place in my heart.

Siobhan Lynch

“For in as much as you do it unto the least of my children you do it unto me”.

A picture paints a thousand words, and our pictures tell a wonderful story of a woman with a vision and a heart for the children and young women in such disadvantaged circumstances. Thank you, Christine, Flo, Susan and to all the Women of Saphara 2017 who helped to make this trip such a memorable experience!  I have been really blessed by getting to know you all! I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

Thanks especially to Flo, Susan and Christine for all the hard work and planning which went into making our visit to India so memorable!

To everyone who worked with me on the education team – you really rose to the tasks we worked on and gave the children such lovely craftwork to take home, for all the cutting and sticking and work you prepared in advance – you missed your vocation– you could all have been teachers! Thanks for everything! 

Ann Noble

I am so grateful to Christine and to the Women’s team 2017 for such an amazing week in India. I was so touched by the compassion, kindness and generosity of each woman on the team. I was blown away by the impact that Saphara has had through the Girls Resilience programme on girls in large cities and girls in the most remote areas of the Himalayas. The adolescent girls we met spoke with such confidence and it was such a joy to see the hope they have been given by nurturing their self–esteem and the belief that they can become agents of change in their community. From Donk Primary School in the mountains to SNEHA School in the city we witnessed the profound effect that education has on those from the poorest backgrounds and how it can transform their lives. I can’t wait to go back!

Flo Adair

I’ve been trying to think all day how I’d like to sum up our trip, but I cannot find the words! Thank you to Flo, for keeping her cool and for being such a wonderful role model, and to Susan, for all your quiet, but unwavering support.  To Christine and the Saphara family for making it possible, and to God, for watching over us. Meeting you all and fulfilling our goals has been a real honour.

Stacey Dobbin

I had heard Christine talk about the Saphara Girls Resilience programme over the last few years and thought it had sounded like a good idea. But it wasn’t until we met with the trainers, facilitators and the girls themselves that the true value of this programme really hit home. The stories they told of what the programme has meant to them, how it has encouraged, empowered and supported them in various difficult situations were both moving and uplifting. This is a truly valuable work that needs to be rolled out to all girls in India. Well done Saphara!

Susan McNerlan 

A HUGE Saphara Thank–you to our Women’s Team 2017.

For your reflective comments, your enthusiasm and your hearts for seeing lives changed through education.  

We are delighted that you are part of the Saphara family’s journey with purpose. 


Photo Credits: Flo Adair 

Posted in Women’s Team 2017
on Thursday 13 April 2017