One of the main focuses for development is to change opinions, thoughts and attitudes to certain ideas for the benefit of the whole community. This isn’t about a single group imposing ideals on another, but the stimulation of communication and the provision of education so all parties can learn, discover and move forward.
The interactions within the team are what drive each trip, and at the heart of a good team is a sense of cultural and cross–community discovery. Our young people are chosen from a mixture of traditionally Catholic, Protestant and Integrated schools and have every opportunity to explore their different backgrounds in the context of a completely new culture. Reflection time every evening is therefore vital for emotional wellbeing, giving our young people a platform to discuss, comment and learn.
True development will only happen when a community believes in its own potential. Through all our educational and vocational schemes we are trying to provide the skills required for communities to become fully self–sufficient, and foster an environment of complete respect and equality.
Everyone we work with, Indian or Northern Irish, is on the same Saphara journey. Therefore, it is important that we create an environment where we all can learn and exchange ideas regardless of background.
“Mutual respect underlies all we do – and it is always encourages me to see that our Northern Irish young people quickly realise how motivated, determined and capable the Indian children are, in spite of their material poverty.”
Christine Burnett, Saphara Founder
Since 2009, Saphara has taken almost 500 young people, teachers and educational and healthcare professionals to India.