North Belfast 2015

FABIndia!

4th July 2015

After 13 hours of travelling we finally arrived in the beautiful city of Delhi! It’s completely new scenery with a hustle and bustle that I’ve never seen or heard before. The heat is overwhelming! I’ve never appreciated water as much as I do now.


The journey to the hotel was one I have never experienced before, Delhi is such a vibrant and alive city even at such an early time in the morning! The driving in the city is absolutely wild! Cars take over one another left, right and center and never have I heard so many car horns in one journey, I don’t really understand whether it’s out of frustration, caution or just drivers talking to each other.


We briefly stopped at our hotel to drop our stuff off and we were met by some very friendly staff that seemed as excited for us to be there as were. We then went to the town markets in order to get some lunch and Indian clothes. The lack of beef proved a struggle in searching for a Big Mac but I happily settled with chicken. After lunch we ventured to Fabindia to become intertwined with the Indian culture. The shop displayed a wide array of beautiful tops and bottoms of all styles and sizes so it was quite difficult to pick a favourite outfit.


Once suited and booted we went for dinner with the Irish Ambassador – Mr. Feilim McLaughlin and his family. The dinner was a perfect mixture of Irish and Indian foods with stew at one end of the table and tandoori chicken at the other. Mr McLaughlin spoke to us of the main goals of our mission, how beneficial it is to ourselves that we can see poverty and its causes, be aware that we can help and appreciate all that we have in our western European lives.


After an extraordinary 1st day in India I can say that I am loving it so far! I had a great sleep last night at the hotel and an even greater breakfast this morning. We’re going to the Taj Mahal tomorrow and I am buzzing to say the least, very excited for what the rest of the journey entails, and we haven’t even started teaching yet

Martin Smith, St. Malachy’s College Belfast


Being Tourists

5th July 2015

Hey, it’s Clare and Siobhán here.


We’re just back from a fabulous day at the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. We had a very early start of 5.30am with breakfast at 6.00am to get ready for the 4 hour bus journey that awaited us. But it was worth it once we arrived at the Taj Mahal– it was simply breathtaking!


When we first arrived, we were hit by the insane heat (and humidity)!! It’s fair to say everyone was pretty thankful for our light Indian clothes today. We were met by Depak– our fantastic tour guide for the day. He gave us an explanation of the whole history, architecture and making of the “Taj”.


The “Taj” was an unforgettable experience! The symmetry and intricate detail of the building was amazing and gave for perfect ‘Instragram worthy’ photographic opportunities. Inside the building was just as spectacular as the outside and a much cooler, familiar temperature for us Irish folk.


From there, we moved on to lunch in the beautiful Trident Hotel, where the service, staff and cuisine were second to none. We had the chance to sit outside and chill beside the beautiful pool (unfortunately not in it though!) and had a relaxing hour before heading on to our next attraction– The Agra Fort.


Again, just like the Taj, the history and red brick architecture was outstanding, as we had 360 degree views of India, with the Taj visible in the distance. With the extensive knowledge and assistance of Depak we got an insight into the vast amount of interesting history contained in this building.


We ended the day with our favourite thing– shopping! We visited a beautiful marble shop and scarf shop selling all sorts of stunning items in many shapes, sizes and colours– loads of gifts were bought (for the family of course)!


We were faced with some difficulties throughout the day as many beggars and sellers were coming up to us. It felt hard to just walk past them at times as this was our first real experience of meeting these people and seeing first–hand the vast poverty of this country.


However, this was a truly unforgettable day with many memories made and photographs taken! We’re excited for the experiences that lie ahead and can’t wait for our early 5.00am start tomorrow as we head on an 8 hour train journey to Dehradun to begin our teaching!

Clare Pierce and Siobhán Comer


Up To The Himalayas

6th July 2015

This morning we had a very early start at 5:00AM. After finishing up our packing and grabbing some breakfast we departed from Hotel Singh and headed in taxis, to have our first experience of the Indian railways. The train journey lasted 6 hours, we spent most of it eating, sleeping, playing spit and chatting.

After arriving in Dehradun, we collected our belongings and took a (relatively) short taxi journey to the cooler area of Mussoorie, 7,000 ft up in the Himalayas. We saw amazing views of the landscape and finally, after a very long day, we arrived at our second hotel. We took a short break to unpack and get organised and we are now starting our teaching schedule for our first day at Kaplani High School tomorrow!


The whole team is very excited to get in amongst the children and get our main purpose of our trip started. We are all having a great time, despite the long hours of travelling, and we all are sure it will be well worth it!

Euan Loughrey & Jack Venables



Journey With Purpose

6th July 2016

Today was a wonderful start to our teaching – our real purpose in coming to India.


As we arrived at Kaplani HS we could hear the excitement of the children waiting in the classrooms. For me, this is always a special moment and as I introduced our young people to the Kaplani pupils, they jumped to their feet with ‘Good morning teachers!’


We taught English and Science and by the end of our lessons our young people had bonded with their pupils well. Challenging, rewarding, humbling and inspiring were the young people’s comments afterwards.A practice trek into the town was rewarded with delicious ice cream. We are still planning lessons for tomorrow amidst much laughter and anticipation. Everyone is well and happy!


Thanks to all at home who are remembering us in your prayers.

Christine


Encouragement

7th July 2016

After getting the nerves out of our system yesterday we were excited to go back to our classes to teach again today after much preparation last night.


School began with an assembly led by the pupils themselves. It was filled with music and prayer with English also being incorporated. We were amazed at the respect and discipline shown by the pupils and really felt welcomed by the school as a whole.


This week we are teaching class 8 (equivalent to year 10 at home) and our first lesson today was Science. These lessons are focusing on speed, and today the pupils carried out an experiment by dropping paper helicopters which they had made and decorated from the balcony. They then had to record the time the helicopters took to reach the ground. We can definitely say we have never seen anybody as excited to use a stopwatch in our lives!! One of the pupils, Pretti, who was very young and previously quiet quickly grasped the concept of speed was able to help the other girls. We found this particularly rewarding as it showed our hard work had paid off.


We are using our Personal Development classes for purposes other than completing over due homework (perhaps unlike home – sssh!)! Today the focus was on health – in particular body parts. We began with a game which tested their vocabulary of body parts which was fun for everybody – especially Martin who seemed to enjoy it most of all!! The students then created two life size cardboard cut outs by tracing around their classmates. This helped them learn body parts and put wonderful smiles on their faces lifting our spirits. At the end, it was funny to see everyone covered in body part labels; they had great fun sticking on each other, us included!


To finish the school day, we continued with our English lesson from yesterday which involves each child making a pop up book which they could bring home to show their families. One boy, Amit, worked particularly hard to create his own story rather than using the template provided. We found this so encouraging because he was willing to do something unique rather than copying everyone else!

It’s been a great day and the kids have really our spirits up despite being so far at home! We’re already looking forward to tomorrow when we might learn some more Indian dancing at lunch time!!

Una and Ciara


Big Smiles

8th July 2015

I don’t think any of us have ever been so excited to wake up in the morning! We rolled out of bed, straight to breakfast table and then bounced our way (in the car) to Kaplani.


We arrived at Kaplani at the same time as many of the children and we’re not sure whose smiles were bigger! One thing that took us all by surprise was how they were still excited to see us and still just as excited to learn from us – on our third day of teaching.


Our English class gives us a chance to work with the children of Class 10 at a more personal basis as we each led a small group of 3 or 4. We found that the more reserved kids really came out of their shell when they were in smaller groups. It was amazing and so encouraging to see how much pride the children were taking in the stories they wrote with us.


At lunch there were very enthusiastic games of tag and rugby. It really fills you with happiness when a member of your class seeks you out at lunchtime to play or dance. Lunch was one of the most incredible and crazy things we have ever seen!


Kyle – “I have never been so exhausted; after Vikas wanted me to lift him–so he could be big like me– every child did… And there was always another ‘just one more time!”


After lunch we had a really amazing lesson in Personal Development, identifying qualities that made a good friend. We came to class with a list of options– but the children didn’t need any help. Every one of them had a seemingly endless list of qualities and they all knew exactly what made a good friend. One part of the class we loved was when they got to make a wall display, and a part they loved even more was getting a photo with it!


During our Science class we taught the children about the relationship between speed, distance and time using helicopters we made in the previous class. The ease at which they picked up the maths made both them and us light up and I know that we have been glowing ever since. As we arrived back at the hotel we discussed our day’s work (if you can call it that) and we realised how much we have learned from the children we have been teaching. And it’s an incredible feeling one we have yet to be able to put into words!


Tomorrow is our last day teaching at Kaplani and it’s going to be rough! We have only known these children for about three days but the mark they have made on our lives is massive. We wish them all the luck in the world in their futures and we hope, even if it’s just a minuscule way, that we have helped them in some way!

Clare, Kyle and Niamh


Fond Farewells

9th July 2015

We have another birthday on the team! Euan is 18 today! To celebrate both boys’ birthdays we had pizza and cake tonight and the teachers decorated the dining room! What an exciting night! The pizza definitely pleased the boys!


Singing rehearsals for our cultural assembly in Kaplani High School started bright and early at 7.45am and it’s now safe to say we know both theme songs to Toy Story and Shrek very well!


After arriving at the school before 9.00am we took part in our last assembly before taking our final English lesson. The students completed their pop–up books in small groups with Sunita and Sandhya’s standing out because of their superb English vocabulary. Everyone in Class 6 really enjoyed making their pop–up books, especially those in Megan’s group who seemed to get really into it – chanting and shouting what noises a lion makes! Tara, Kathleen and Caitlin were extremely touched after Class 6 stayed in over lunch to make cards wishing us farewell and thanking us for everything!


After lunch Class 6 headed upstairs with the other boys and girls to Class 9’s room to participate in the cultural exchange. This included performances from Classes 6–10. We were particularly happy with our own class as we could see some students making improvements in their English, such as Padem.

After our cultural assembly, our class had decorated the blackboard displaying their appreciation of our visit which was lovely! After each member of the teaching group received an abundance of cards from appreciative students, Jack and Megan were brought to tears (Ruairi’s heart of stone didn’t quiver!!!).

Presenting the class with presents at the end of our visit was the icing on the cake, and we could see again the class shared our emotions on our final goodbye. The final send off was tearful as they waved us goodbye from the school’s balcony.


Kaplani is a very special place and will always remain close to our hearts. Watching our class grow in confidence over the last four days has been a privilege and we hope Donk and Sneha will be just as fulfilling.

Ruairi, Jack and Megan


Craft Lessons at Donk

10th July 2016

We rolled out of bed (early as usual) full of nerves and excitement as we prepared for our trek to Donk. It was dry when we started our trek downhill and our spirits were high. Half an hour in, the rain came bucketing down and we hurried to get out out raincoats and umbrellas. The monsoon season has definitely started.


A very kind, local woman opened her doors to us and welcomed us in to her house. Although it had just two rooms seven people lived there. Not only were we astounded to see to the simple and small living conditions in which they lived, but we were also astounded at her generosity welcoming 22 people in her home dripping wet.


When the rain began to die down, we continued on down the rocky track in the monsoon. It wasn’t long before the small primary school of Donk came into sight. We arrived to cute smiling and exciting little children, children who have travelled in flip flops through the same wet weather just to get to school.

We were teaching some craft lessons and so it was great to get stuck in after the walk. We found it easier for those teaching older, primary–aged children to interact and have conversations with the children, but those teaching nursery children were just as touched at the level of interaction with tickling and handclap games.


The two rooms of the school were damp and cold with no electric light and the windows have no glass, such a contrast to the warm, bright and clean classrooms we have at home. Lat year, the nursery children did not have tables and chairs but we heard how Saphara has funded these so this year they have newly installed tables and chairs to do their work on!


We used those table and chairs to good advantage in the craft lessons with the children. The younger children made butterfly mirrors and decorations and the old children made baskets and stained glass decorations. It was brilliant to see their faces as they worked on their projects!

With the rain still pouring down, we headed out on our trek back up to the taxis. We saw students from Donk walking past us in flip flops through the pouring rain, and with leeches and bugs, unphased and used to this daily walk. It left us grateful for the warm and comfortable transport system we have back at home, especially as we knew that these soaking children weren’t returning to a warm, comfortable hotel room, making us realise how lucky we are.


When we returned to the hotel, we had a warm shower, warm bed and warm dinner waiting for us whereas we were aware of the cold thought of the children and families that live in the one or two room houses with no windows or no warm bed and once more, we were all grateful for what we have.

Today we are learning more about poverty and justice through the Global Awareness weekend. Certainly, yesterday at Donk was a day that will stay fixed in our minds as we continue our comfortable, healthy daily lives in luxury.

Ellen G, Kathleen and Jakub



A Weekend to Reflect

11th July 2015

On Saturday morning Surrender, they director of MGVS, came to our hotel to talk to us about the work Saphara does and the changes we can make in Mussoorie. We all agreed we found him a very inspiring speaker and were amazed by all he has accomplished. For the rest of the day we took part in various activities relating to global awareness.


To conclude the day a few of the group travelled to Mussoorie town to buy some sweets and fizzy drinks for later that night watching Slumdog Millionaire. We found this movie extremely eye opening because we have now experienced first hand the poverty in this country.


This morning we each shared out thoughts, quotes and songs with each other in a reflection based on what Saphara is all about in The Happening. It was quite emotional which we all found very beneficial and we were able take something away from it that one person might have said. It is a credit to how well our group has bonded that we were all so comfortable sharing our feelings and opinions.


We then descended down the mountains from Mussoorie to Derahdun and met with the East Belfast team who are a week behind us to tell them a little but of the week ahead, as they are going to teach the classes we left in Kaplani. We hoped we made them less nervous!


Afterwards we began planning our lessons for SNEHA, including our conversation classes which we are all looking forward to. We’re now sitting in a restaurant near the hotel waiting for our dinner, eagerly awaiting the teaching tomorrow!

Euan, Ellen and Malachy


First Day at SNEHA

13th July 2015

We all woke up this morning tired from travelling and lesson planning yesterday, but all still very eager and excited for our first day at SNEHA.


Breakfast was one of the best we’ve had so far, until Connor knocked half the food on the floor which the hotel staff weren’t happy about, Scundered!


We arrived into SNEHA just as assembly started and the atmosphere was electric as the children sang the school song and national anthem. SNEHA is completely different to Kaplani but just as fascinating; it’s much bigger school with at least 60 pupils in each class starting in nursery right up to Class 12 (Year 14) and 1100 in total.

Initially we found the increase in size and noise challenging but the more lively atmosphere created an exciting teaching environment. It was lovely to get the chance to take the children outside for parts of the lessons as there was ‘so much room for activities’ (to quote from ‘Step Brothers’!), these lessons were very successful and we all loved being with new classes.

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This week in English in Class 3 we are focusing on phonics with different activities such as sorting and bingo games which the kids really enjoy. We are using the book, ‘Rumble in the Jungle’. This is great because it’s a lively and engaging way to get the students to read and learn in English.


The last class of the day were the conversation classes where two of us sat with a small group of senior students. Each day has a different theme and today was emotions so we looked at feelings like ‘annoyed’, ‘hopeful’ and ‘surprised’. We both really enjoyed this class as it’s amazing to form genuine friendships with students our age develop a closer connection throughout the week which was one of our goals coming to India.


We are now looking forward to planning our lessons for tomorrow after the great day we’ve had.

Kieran & Connor xo


Walking Through the Jungle

14th July 2015

This morning we woke up excited for the day and had a great breakfast to start our day and back to teaching Class 1.


This week we both have been looking at the book ‘Walking Through The Jungle’ with the children and encouraging them to improve their reading. The children have been really enjoying the lessons and this morning we were doing arts and crafts with them. Today we worked on building a jungle display for the classroom. Even the boys enjoyed making the flowers!


During the day we visited the marginalised communities near SNEHA where a lot of the children live. It was hard to believe that such well dressed and determined children come from this background, but hold so much enthusiasm and inspiration. Although we found it hard to view, we felt it was important to see the poverty first hand so we can really see what a difference Saphara has made to the lives of so many children. Seeing poverty first hand and seeing it on TV are two very different things.

After visiting the communities, we spoke to the founder of SNEHA, Dr Reeta. She spoke about setting up the school and how much of a difference the fundraising and support from Saphara has made to the school and its pupils.


Our last class was our conversation class with class 11 and 12, in which our topic was personal development and hearing their stories. I (Caitlin) was working with a boy called Vasuach, who aspires to be a doctor and help people growing up in poverty but as a hobby, he loves to cook. The school principal came over and told us that every other night, Vasuach cooks a number of meals and delivers it around the community. This is so inspiring because he has very little himself yet he was still determined to help others in the same position.


Next it was time to go back to the hotel and we talked over our day in our school teams. It was good to hear everyone’s reactions to today’s work and it really showed how much everyone on the team cared about the children that we have been teaching.


After lunch, we started to plan for tomorrow’s lesson with class one and for our last conversation class with the older ones. After seeing where the children come from first hand, it gave us more inspiration to give 100% for tomorrow’s lessons.


We went for dinner in a western restaurant and although the food was delicious, it was hard to come to terms that we were tucking into a meal that many children don’t have the opportunity for.

Tomorrow morning we are taking part in SNEHA’s assembly and we were learning their school song (which they sing beautifully and with so much pride), I’m a Believer and Lean on Me. The team are all brilliant singers and the jazz hands were out for I’m a Believer! We can’t wait for tomorrow as it will be so exciting to take part in assembly and teach the kids again.

Caitlin and Henry


Our First Assembly

15th July 2015

Another sweltering day in Dehradun waking up to a nice breakfast with our vikrams waiting outside. The vikrams make the journey to SNEHA exhilarating and exciting. Arriving a bit earlier than usual this morning, we were all nervous but excited to perform at the assembly. With help from Michaela we had prepared the songs ‘Lean on me’, ‘This Little Light of Mine’ and ‘I’m a Believer’ which were a huge success among the SNEHA students.


As usual they sang the Indian National Anthem, which is becoming increasingly familiar with our whole team. One of our favourite parts was joining in the SNEHA song with the entire school, which was so electric and left us all with goosebumps. Assembly ended with a short poem prepared by both the student team and us, talking about our time teaching in SNEHA.


Both of us are teaching Class 2 in SNEHA, which has been so fulfilling and fun. It’s indescribable to see the impact we are making on these children considering the poverty they come from. We have been focusing on the book ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’, which the children have been loving. The children are so enthusiastic when it comes to singing jungle songs and making animal noises.


In today’s lesson we taught class 2 about phonics; focusing on S and T sounds. A carousel activity was arranged to keep them engaged but also give them different ways of leaning, and having fun at the same time.


In our other lesson, we used craft to distinguish between emotions of happiness; sadness; anger and excitement. The children love to do the activities outside as it gives them the opportunity to run around, it’s getting them to settle down that’s the challenge!!


Conversation classes followed, and it’s so nice to see the relationships develop between ourselves and the Indian students that are the same age as us. Getting to know our similarities and differences is mind blowing, as these people live in different worlds than us, yet both Monika and Tara hate paneer!! Maeve’s conversation class got interesting, as JD decided she should try and burst a balloon simply by sitting on it!!


We ended our day at SNEHA by getting henna tattoos. Everyone was buzzing as they are so beautiful. The girls got designs on their hands and boys got their names in Hindi. This was important to give the women of the community business and we got to experience a different part of the Indian culture.

Tonight is our final night in Dehradun which we are all gutted about. It was definitely a worthwhile experience and we will never forget about SNEHA. We only have one more teaching day which is hard to believe and then the 6 hour train to Dehli again tomorrow. See you soon Love Maeve and Tara x


Thank you SNEHA

16th July 2015

Hey, Clare and Siobhán here. Today was our final day teaching at Sneha! As always the 1100 Sneha pupils began the day with an amazing assembly, led by our favourite, Nadesh! There is always such an electric atmosphere with all the pupils singing and dancing– simply unforgettable!


I (Siobhán) was teaching Class 1 this week. Today we focused on teaching the children about the 5 senses. We finished the lesson by giving every child a gift of a hand knitted pencil case filled with stationary, made by Jack and his family. The gifts were incredible and the Class 1 pupils absolutely loved them!


I (Clare) was teaching Class 2 this week. Our final lesson today was based on nouns and adjectives from our class book, ‘Rumble in the Jungle’. We gave our class gifts as a thank you, and the smiles on their faces were something I will truly never forget.


We finished our day at SNEHA with a cultural exchange assembly. The SNEHA pupils put on a wonderful display of Indian dancing, music and even a routine to “I’m a Barbie Girl”! The atmosphere at SNEHA was magical and the cheers and claps from our team, the student team and the pupils was ecstatic. We contributed to the cultural exchange, led by MT (Michael) through the “Cha–Cha Slide” in the pouring rain, but everyone’s spirits remained high, celebrating the work of SNEHA and Saphara.


Assembly finished with a few kind words for Nadesh and Estermam, the principal of SNEHA, thanking us for all our hard work throughout the week. What impacted the team the most was the gratitude expressed by these two inspirational figures and made us realise that the work of Saphara really makes a difference to the lives of everyone, and its importance in providing a positive environment for the kids of Dehradun to progress.


Spending the last few minutes with the students from our conversation classes – pupils from Class 11 and 12, really touched the team as it was heartwarming to see the impact we had on them after just 3 lessons. I (Clare) know I will always remember the boys from my group and our funny conversations about cricket and Ireland.


We’re writing this sitting on the train to Delhi, with four people squeezed into a 3 seater just for the “craic, banter and giggles”. Long day ahead of us tomorrow with sight seeing, shopping and 7 hour lay overs – it’s sad that it’s near the end of our journey with the most amazing team and unforgettable memories but I think everyone will be happy to get home to Ireland’s “ summer” weather and a roast dinner! *hint*hint*

Clare and Siobhán



Final Reflections


We asked our fabulous North Belfast team for some final thoughts on our 7–hour layover in Dubai Airport. This is what they said:

Siobhán Comer


This was definitely the most unforgettable trip of my life. The children of Kaplani, Donk and Sneha were truly inspirational and will be really missed. Best two weeks ever!

Ellen Groom


Without a doubt, Saphara 2015 has been the best few weeks of my life as a result of the many great memories and bonds with the team and the students. A life changing experience which I will never forget!

Ellen Reid


I have been so honoured to meet the most creative, ambitious and motivated children through teaching over the last few weeks. I wish all the kids from Kaplani, Donk and Sneha good luck in their future. No doubt they will continue to shine in all they do.

Megan Norris


The 16 days in India have been absolutely incredible, made all the more special by our fabulous team and of course the wonderful children we have met in Kaplani High School, Donk and Sneha. I have really enjoyed every minute of this trip, and teaching the children in the schools has been the most rewarding and fulfilling experience of my life.

Martin Smith


From start to finish, Saphara has been so amazing! I have been gifted with some unforgettable memories and teaching has been truly rewarding, definitely one of the best experiences of my life!

Malachy Loughrey


The last 16 days have been the best of my life. The trip has been insane and inspired me to do as much good as I can in the future. I have met some amazing people, such as Nadesh, that I will never forget. Overall an amazing experience!

Connor Devlin


Without a doubt the most life changing experience of my life! There have been so many unforgettable memories between our team and teaching the children of Kaplani, Donk and SNEHA. It was a real pleasure to be a part of Saphara this year.

Ruairi McGinn


It has been a true honour to teach the children of Kaplani, Donk and SNEHA alongside a fantastic group. I am truly grateful that I have been a part of the North Belfast Saphara team and it has been an experience that I will never forget!

Kathleen Reilly


‘Some infinities are simply bigger than other infinities’. This quote has stuck out to me while I have been teaching in India. Although I wish my infinity was longer I was happy for the little infinity I got to share with each school as they all taught me how to smile at the darkest times and they made me laugh every day. I am so grateful for every one of the kids I met.

Clare Pierce


Without a doubt, Saphara 2015 has been the most memorable, heart–warming and inspiring experience of my life. I have loved every minute of it, from teaching in Kaplani and SNEHA and forming unforgettable relationships with the children, to the infinite number of laughs, games of Spit, Banagrams and Mafia along the way.

Niamh Carroll


Saphara has been an incredible experience and will stay with me forever. I feel so privileged to have been able to meet so many amazing people, especially the children in Kaplani, SNEHA and Donk. I hope that we were able to make half as much of an impact on the kids as they made on us. I’m so grateful to have shared this experience with such an amazing team!

Henry Cavan


Before I left for India, people who did Saphara before told me that it would be the best experience of my life. I was skeptical but thought I would have a good time anyway. I was wrong, Saphara has been one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had and would thoroughly recommend you to do it if you can.

Una McCoy


During my 16 days in India I have met some of the most amazing people in my life; the school children, Nadesh and Surrender as well as the team themselves. Honestly don’t think I’ve met a better group of people in my life and couldn’t have gotten through it without them. The laughter and craic helped keep spirits high as we saw the most eye–opening scenes I have ever witnessed. Truly amazing experience!

Kieran O’Reilly


Teaching at Kaplani and SNEHA these past two weeks has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done, seeing how Saphara helps such a large number of children is incredibly inspiring and encourages me to go on and do similar work in the years to come.

Jack Venables


The past 16 days has been the most difficult 16 days of my life emotionally but even though it has been tough for the whole team, the way this amazing team has pulled together and helped each other through it to achieve what our journey was set out to do. Teaching kids in SNEHA, Donk and Kaplani was so fulfilling and possibly the best feeling I’ve ever had seeing the kids so happy in such poor conditions and it has encouraged me to push on and do more in years to come.

Caitlin O’Callaghan


Realising that the poverty we see on TV is very different to seeing it first hand and knowing that the positive and determined children live with those conditions was the most challenging thing I think I will ever come across. However, teaching these children and watching their little faces light up when you enter the room leaves you speechless because they are truly inspiring people and I feel so blessed to have had the chance to spend time with them and our amazing team!

Ciara Cooke


This Saphara trip has been the most amazing experience of my whole life. I have witnessed things I could never have imagined, met amazing people with truly amazing hearts and helped make a change myself through teaching the kids in SNEHA, Donk and Kaplani. I will never forget these past 16 days with such a great bunch of people.

Euan Loughrey


This trip was amazing. We met some inspirational people and helped some inspirational kids. We experienced various schools and got to know some of the kids really well. Although some parts were challenging, it was a rewarding experience, which by the sounds of it, has helped us all realise what we want and need to do in our futures.

Kyle Johnston


Some of the things I have done, seen and felt these past two weeks are impossible to put into words; but I can definitely say it has been the most incredible experience I have ever had. The people I have met, kids I have taught and the things I have learned have been truly remarkable and I thank Saphara for making this all possible!

Jakub Jankiewicz


I am proud to be part of this team. We all worked together, helped each other, got along with each other but most of all, we helped the kids together which really made a difference.

Maeve Higgins


India has been the best experience of my life without a doubt. Teaching in Kaplani, Donk and SNEHA was enlightening and it will continue to inspire me in the future to make a difference. I feel so proud to be part of this team and I will never forget this amazing Saphara trip.

Tara McGrogan

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Encounter. Transform.

Saphara

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Holywood, Co. Down
Northern Ireland
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Created by Graham Richardson for Saphara 2019