Involve your Secondary School with HOPE

HOPE has been working with secondary schools and thousands of students all across Ireland since 2003 through fundraising and awareness programmes. Many schools have a strong tradition of facilitating charity work and we are fortunate to be invited to speak in schools all around the country about our work in Kolkata.

There are numerous ways a secondary school can become involved with HOPE, including our national fundraising event, Day of HOPE, our hugely popular Schools Immersion Programme, selling Butlers HOPE chocolates as a TY Mini Company, entering the Young Social Innovator Awards or hosting miscellaneous fundraising events.

To find out how you and your school can get involved, please get in touch:

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The Hope Foundation truly believes in 'students helping students' and the Immersion Programme is a tribute to this belief.Led by teachers, volunteers and HOPE staff, Transition Year and 5th Year students are afforded the unique opportunity to travel to Kolkata for one week and to visit the projects. They will witness, first-hand, the work of HOPE and the extremities of life in Kolkata.

Supported throughout their time in India, students are introduced to poverty, the realities of street children and the joy of HOPE. A week-long programme is prepared for students, who spend time visiting HOPE projects, interacting with children and adolescents who are in HOPE supported projects and immersing themselves in Indian culture. Our young Ambassadors will remember the experience for the rest of their lives, and become more aware of their place in society and how they can make the world a better place by caring for people who are less well off than themselves.


Students must fundraise a substantial, yet achievable sum, which will be donated to the projects. This process teaches the students about the value of such activities as well as learning the skills to creatively raise the funds to meet targets and deadline. It is a hugely positive and life-changing experience. It gives students the opportunity to engage in experiences not available in the classroom, encourages greater independence and enhances social and cultural development.

Students and schools participating on the Immersion Programme are fully supported by The Hope Foundation, with a dedicated Group Leader, structured orientation process and advice on fundraising every step of the way. Through achieving ambitious fundraising targets, these young adults are an essential element of The Hope Foundation's fundraising activities each year, and are directly responsible for more than half of the charity's annual fundraising which goes directly to over 60 projects in Kolkata.

Although it is better to get involved in the Immersion Trip as part of a school group, HOPE are happy to accept applications from students in schools that are not involved in the Immersion Programme.

Day of HOPE is a major fundraiser on our calendar each October, where students and volunteers around the country hit the streets to raise awareness and raise funds by selling our Butlers HOPE chocolate bars with the message 'every €2 counts'.

As we grow this event, we need more and more helpers to get out there and make some noise!

If you with your friends, family or school would like to volunteers to help out on the day, please get in touch today. Spreading awareness of HOPE and selling chocolate bars and is what it's all about.


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HOPE 21 - Secondary Schools - image 8 - school talks

A representative from The Hope Foundation will be more than happy to visit your school to give a talk to a class, a year or even the whole school on the work we do.

We can lead discussions and workshops addressing issues faced in India, including child labour, poverty, education, gender equality, child marriage and human trafficking.

Complete this form to download “CHILDREN AT WORK: Exploring Child Labour in Kolkata”

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    The Wellbeing module in Junior Cycle (which incorporates traditionally taught subjects SPHE, PE and CSPE) aims to provide students a strong sense of connectedness to the school, their community, society and the wider environment.

    A representative from HOPE is available to talk with any school, teacher or student that wishes to learn more about HOPE's work as part of their Junior Cycle studies.

    Click here to download our Teachers Resource Guide on the global issue of child labour.


    Teachers Resource Guide

    The TY Mini Company programme, run in many schools, is a hands-on introduction for students to the world of business and marketing. By working together to fundraise for charity, students gain useful experience in setting up and running a small enterprise.

    Students that select HOPE as their TY Mini Company partner will be encouraged to sell Butlers HOPE chocolate bars, Green Saffron Kolkata Chaap spice mix, or our handmade cards from our Life Skills income generation programme. Alternatively students may come up with their own product ideas.

    Butlers Chocolate Bars

    The Hope Foundation is very lucky to have such a strong relationship with Butlers Irish Chocolates. Butlers make the Hope Truffle Chocolate Bar, of which all proceeds goes towards The Hope Foundation. Each bar is sold for €2, and while €0.80c covers the costs of production etc, the remaining €1.20 is donated directly to The Hope Foundation.This is a great opportunity for your TY mini-company to the world of business and marketing, as well as fundraising and raising awareness of The Hope Foundation, and the street and slum children in Kolkata.

    Green Saffron

    HOPE also partner with Green Saffron, a multi-award-winning family business based in Cork, Ireland. In support of HOPE, Arun from Green Saffron has created his version of the classic Kolkata Chaap spice blend based on well-loved traditional recipes. It is a delicious peppery curry, perfect with meat, chicken or vegetables.All profits from the sale of Kolkata Chaap blend go directly to HOPE. Why not help make a difference and treat yourself to this delicious and unique Bengali blend?

    Unique Ideas

    If you are looking for unique business ideas for your TY Mini-Company, scroll down to General Fundraising Ideas to help your brainstorming. For a list of ideas from A-Z click here.

    YSI is Ireland's largest social awareness and active citizenship and education programme for 15-18 year old teens.

    YSI involves thousands of young people in Ireland each year in hundreds of projects and social enterprises which are youth-led, team-based and action-focused.

    If you're interested doing a project based on the social issues faced by The Hope Foundation in India, please get in touch with Carrie.

    You may also consider hosting a school fundraiser in aid of the Hope Foundation. Some ideas include: cake sales, non-uniform days, talent show, table quiz, jersey days, and Christmas carol singing. The Hope Foundation would be happy to provide some literature for display and handing out on the day, including posters, our annual report, our newsletter and information on child sponsorship and so forth.

    Testimonials for Immersion Programme
    • On the 3rd of March we embarked on our journey to Kolkata, India. It was one of the best weeks of my life. I met some amazing people, both Indian and Irish alike. The Hope Foundation volunteers and staff took us to many areas of Kolkata where we experienced extreme poverty like I had never witnessed before. We saw families living in slums and we also visited a dump site where families live and feed off the rubbish there. Everyone seemed friendly and one of the highlights of the trip was visiting the Chitpur crèche and meeting the kids there. It was good to see how the money we raised was being used. Another great moment had to be the Sari night where we all dressed up in Indian gear and had a party. It was a really enjoyable night. I gained so much from the trip but mostly, that despite the poverty in Kolkata, everyone seemed friendly and happy. I also learned that I should take nothing for granted in my own life.

      Frankie O’Reilly, Clongowes Wood College, Kildare.
    • “We travel, not to escape life; but for life not to escape us.”
      I feel this quote is extremely relevant to my trip to Kolkata. This unforgettable week has made me realise how fortunate we are, and how we should appreciate what we have. We visited numerous homes, crèches and the HOPE Hospital, and were struck by the wonderful affection of the kids towards us.Their beaming smiles and hugs will remain in my heart forever, as well as their appreciation for the little gifts we brought, (not to mention the time we spent with them)!
      “You gave us your time, the most important gift of all”. Probably the happiest and sunniest kids I’ll ever meet.

      Rachel O’Riordan, ScoilMhuireKanturk
    • “The immersion school trip is an amazing opportunity for young people to get a better understanding of poverty, living in such a small country we call Ireland many people don’t realise the extent for the poverty out there. It’s an experience you will never forget an is something you can’t just tell people about and expect them to understand, no you really have to experience it for yourself as its so hard to put in words how amazing this trip is. kolkata is a beautiful place with very nice people however there are a lot of bad too, but when there all I saw was the good. The children are so happy there and make you realise that there happy with the basics and that if they can be happy with just that so should we, so how come we have all this stuff we don’t need. These kids gave away the stuff we gave them, for example when we brought stickers for them they didn’t use them all they gave us some. There beautiful children who are happy, caring toward one an another and are amazingly talented and deserve the world.”

      Sicilia Wilson, Clonakilty Sacred Heart Secondary School
    • I chose to sign up and have the opportunity because I felt like it was time to give back to those in need. I’m so grateful for the life I love I wanted to show not only myself but my peers and family that I’m caring and loving and I felt HOPE provided this for me ….I’m 16 years of age and to think I travelled to Kolkata, India, and helped out so many children, got to know a different culture made loads of new friends and had THE BEST EXPERIENCE OF LIFE is not something everyone can say they done at such a young age. I’m glad and grateful I got the opportunity to be able to experience this AMAZING EXPERIENCE words can’t describe the feelings I have for HOPE. HOPE was a life change for me and many others too, I’m sure.
      Helping One Person Everyday is my new motto. HOPE has changed me and for the better – I’m more determined now to appreciate life as good as I have it and to be glad of such wonderful things in this world.

      Katie Wallace, Glanmire Community College