HW team 2017 Final Reflections
If Saphara has taught me one thing it would be that despite differences in colour, religion and background I have just as much to learn from the children at Kaplani and Sneha as they do from me. Both their ability and desire to better themselves through education is inspiring, and I hope that it’s something I can take back to Northern Ireland with me. I believe each of us is called to help those who are in need, and the fact I have had this opportunity to make a difference or an impact, however small, in these children’s lives is truly amazing – and I hope that anyone who is also given this chance to make a change, whether it be in India or your own community, grabs it with both hands.
Erin Daisley, Slemish College
The trip overall has been fantastic. I wouldn’t want to change the emotions and experiences that I had throughout my time in India, from the smells, sights and differences that were explored the Saphara India trip has given me personally so much to think about for my future. I also greatly appreciated the chance to go out to Kaplani, Donk and Sneha schools. I will forever remember my time there. Once in a lifetime is how I would truly describe this trip as it is the first time I have realised who much I take for granted. I feel very proud to be allowed to go on this trip with all of my team who I know I will stay in contact with.
Peter Verner, Priory College
This trip to India has been a life–changing experience. I am so thankful and privileged that I had the opportunity to work with these amazing children, who have also taught me so much. Getting to know these children and the areas in which they come from, have only helped me become more thankful and help me value everything in life. My highlight of the trip has to be seeing the smile on the children’s faces when they were able to remember and recite what we taught them. I hope that we have impacted their lives as much as they have impacted ours.
Bethan Millar, Cullybackey College
My time on Saphara was more than I could ever have hoped for. From the moment we arrived I felt welcomed by India and continued to feel that love and friendliness everywhere we went. I loved being able to both improve the English of the kids In Kaplani and SNEHA school but also putting a smile on their faces was a huge honour. Seeing first–hand the work Saphara does was an amazing opportunity and showed me how important the fundraising we do at home really is. I have made new friends and got to experience a whole new culture that I will hopefully get to see again! Thank you to everyone I was on this journey with and who helped make a difference in these children’s lives.
Rachael Gowdy, Sullivan Upper
This trip to India has been the most humbling experience I have ever had the honour to take part in. Arriving home, I have been asked by numerous people if it was a sad experience and honestly it wasn’t. Every single child that I encountered was so full of love and abounding happiness that it was extremely difficult to feel sadness during the trip. These children, although most of them were a lot younger than me, have taught me a wonderful lesson that it does not matter the colour of your skin, the money in your pocket, your religion, as long as you have love in your heart then the world can be an amazing place. I want to say a huge thank you to all of the wonderful children that I had the privilege to meet, I hope that I have been able to show them that they can dream big and as long as they work hard they can achieve those dreams. But I will never be able to thank the teachers and children for everything they have taught me. I would encourage any one that has been thinking of doing a trip like this to do it, you will not regret it. Finally, thank you to Christine and the amazing group of people that I was on the team with, you made the experience that much better.
Matthew Steele, Slemish College
To have the opportunity presented to me to go out to India and do something I am passionate about has been incredible. Being part of this team has impacted all of us greatly – not just the children we have been teaching. We have built new friendships and skills along the way. It has been fabulous, not only to experience the Indian culture and visit famous landmarks, but to see smiling, enthusiastic faces in the schools we were teaching in. Every student and teacher we met in the schools were polite and welcoming. The children’s value towards the simplest of things has shown me how a simple smile or encouragement can have a huge impact on someone. I have come away from this trip changed. This trip is an experience I will never forget and I am thankful for this opportunity.
Rachael Hutcheson, Priory College
I am incredibly thankful I had the opportunity to take part in the Halloween team with Saphara. I have developed many skills while working with the young children, such as confidence. I had an amazing experience working with young girls and boys trying to help improve their basic English skills. I have never felt so much joy until the children I was working with started to become more confident in themselves, even with the little English we were able to teach them. Working with Saphara has enabled me to become more empathic towards others and has really taught me to value everything I have in life. I have definitely come back from this trip a changed person.
Alyssa Alexander, Cullybackey College
I am so thankful for the amazing experience given to me through Saphara. I’m so glad I was able to meet lots of new people and teach the most enthusiastic and eager children I have ever met. The relationships created at both Kaplani and SNEHA schools are something I will always reflect on. The kids at these schools taught me so much – their resilience, their happiness and their commitment to their education. I am so grateful to have shared this experience with such an amazing team of students and leaders.
Connor Mills, Sullivan Upper
Overall this trip has changed the way I look at things and how I think about things. Especially after visiting Kaplani High School I will definitely value my education more and learn not to take it for granted.
Aeron Harrison, Priory College
I really loved India. Walking out of Delhi airport felt like stepping on to an alien planet – but I loved every second of it. Teaching was unbelievably rewarding. The kids really appreciated us being there and I am gutted to be leaving behind all my new mates at Kaplani and Sneha. The trip has definitely given me a newfound appreciation for my education and has inspired me to take advantage of the opportunities we take for granted. India has to be one of my favourite places in the world and I’m determined to come back in the future.
Michael McKenna, Slemish College
My time in India with Saphara has far surpassed all of my expectations. I loved every minute of it, from exploring a beautiful country to working with the most amazing children. I am so thankful that I was able to experience a completely different culture and it has deeply changed my perspective. I found a satisfaction in working with those children that I haven’t found in anything else through their incredible eagerness and positivity despite living in such poverty. I met some truly inspirational people in India, both students and teachers in Kaplani, Donk and Sneha schools and I am so thankful for how much I have learnt and the opportunities I was given. I would do it all again in a heartbeat!
Kate Campbell, Sullivan Upper
The highlight of my trip would definitely be the trek to Donk. It was amazing to experience how the children have to travel to school every day and, even with the 2 hour trek, how they still love their education. The work that Kaplani, Donk and Sneha do is amazing and I was so proud to be a part of it. I feel totally honoured and blessed to be able to say I have had the experience of teaching children in India with such a great team of people. Teaching these children has also taught me to appreciate and be grateful for all I have as these children have nothing and yet portray so much joy and happiness. The emotions and experiences I had on the trip are some that I will cherish for the rest of my life. The highlight of my trip has to be giving out gifts in Kaplani; the 3 kids I was working in a small group faces lit up after being given a ruler and knitted teddy and a lolly, their faces showed true happiness over something, that at home, would be taken for granted.
Shealyn Smyth, Slemish College
The last 10 days in India have been amazing and, I know it’s clichéd but, life changing as well. I now understand why people talk about these sorts of trips changing them and I really feel the trip has changed me. The children we met are a true inspiration with how proud they are about their education. I think if everyone in western education had the same work ethic the possibilities would be endless for so many people. It’s a trip I will never forgot from the 15 people I went with who couldn’t have been better and all the children we worked with. I am so thankful for the opportunity to go out and do this work and I would love to go out again. I couldn’t have hoped for a more fulfilling experience.
Paddy McCleave, Sullivan Upper
I’d just like to say how grateful I am to be a part of such a wonderful team and to be selected to help children in need of it. I think that this trip really has changed my life for ever. Never will I complain about school or how far I have to walk to school after teaching those children, not only that but I think I have found my new passion in teaching as the feeling I got when we taught the kids is one I’ve never felt before.
Calum Smyth, Slemish College
I believe that the opportunity to go to India has been an incredible experience for me. I have many fond memories of the people that I went with and I hope to see them all again soon. India is truly a remarkable place and has allowed me to be more open to doing more trips in the future. However, above all I’ll remember the kids – their wonderful smiles and brilliant senses of humour and their ability to turn seemingly dire situations into amazing opportunities. I have no doubt that with Saphara’s guidance they will go very far in life and be able to make a great contribution to their communities.
Rhys Ditty, Priory College
on Sunday 12 November 2017