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22nd October – 4th November 2017

Our vision for Yoga For HOPE is to accompany you on an authentic life changing journey to meet the wonderful light filled street and slum children of Kolkata whilst funding and supporting the incredible ongoing work of The Hope Foundation.

What is Yoga For HOPE?

Yoga For HOPE was established in 2009 by yoga teacher and dedicated supporter of HOPE, Mella Murphy, to help raise much needed funds to support HOPE’s projects with the street and slum children of Kolkata.

It is a programme designed for Yoga teachers and enthusiasts to share their knowledge and pass on the gift of Yoga to the children in The Hope Foundation’s protection homes in Kolkata, West Bengal, to help enrich their lives. It was Mella’s way to say thanks to HOPE having met her husband, Donal, on HOPE’s Himalayan Walk in 2006 (read her story on page 7)!

After 5 successful years Mella passed over the group leadership to past Yoga For HOPE participant Suzi von Mensenkampff in association with Gillian Houlihan, long standing supporter of HOPE and Yoga For HOPE Co-Leader. Suzi and Gillian are proud to carry Mella’s vision to the next level taking people on a spiritual journey to meet the children of Kolkata.

Suzi is a Certified Chopra Vedic Master who will bring a daily Meditation Practice, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga and Ayurveda for Perfect Health to the itinerary having trained at The Chopra Center University in California with Dr. Deepak Chopra.

Gillian is a Certified Pranic Healer who has studied the teachings of Grand Master Choa Kok Sui, the Founder of Pranic Healing, in Kolkata, Ireland and in the UK. She has experience in Reiki, Spiritual, Pranic and Distant Healing which she has married beautifully for the last 38 years with her caring role as a pharmacist. Gillian recently qualified in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga Teacher Training at The Chopra Center University in California with Dr. Deepak Chopra and Master of Wisdom Meditation Training with David Ji.

What is on the itinerary?

Together Suzi and Gillian have an inspiring vision for Yoga For Hope 2017. This year’s participants are going to experience two contrasting aspects of India. We will arrive and dive into a packed schedule visiting projects and seeing the wonderful work of The Hope Foundation in the bustling city of Kolkata.

We will include visits to HOPE’s projects  to meet and do yoga and have fun with the children. We will also visit some of the Pranic Healing centres and have an opportunity to experience and learn more about this system of healing. There will be an opportunity to visit St. Teresa’s tomb and some of the sights that Kolkata is renowned for.

We will then retreat to the Himalayan foothills and some quiet time to reflect. We will be guided by a Yoga Master in a 2 day Yoga workshop. This is an incredible opportunity to deepen your yoga practice in a magnificent setting. Experience daily sunrise meditation and lots of time to reflect and reconnect with nature as our guides take us to visit some of the beautiful temples and lakes in the district.

Pelling is a scenic hamlet in the district of West Sikkim, India. The Himalayas and the Kanchenjanga may be viewed at close quarters from Pelling. The land around Pelling is still a virgin territory and is bathed with alpine vegetation, with numerous waterfalls lining the hillside.

Places we will visit in and around Pelling include the local monastery, the rock garden and waterfall at nearby Rimbi, the Khecheopalri Lake (God’s Footprint). This lake is considered to be one of the Sacred Lakes of the State both by the Buddhist and the Hindus. The Lake remains hidden under the rich forest cover. The birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake surface!

After 5 nights we then return to Kolkata for HOPE’s Foundation Day and more project visits.

Visits to HOPE’s Projects

A unique aspect of this journey is visits to HOPE’s projects in Kolkata. We believe it is vitally important for participants to see first-hand just where their fundraised money is being put to use. Most importantly participants will get a chance to meet with some of the children on the projects and visit schools, medical facilities and craft cooperatives run by HOPE together with our Indian partner groups. This is a unique opportunity to see your fundraising in action. You will never forget your time visiting the children of Kolkata who have been given so little but have so much joy to share.

Participants will also attend HOPE Foundation Day, our annual celebration of the achievements of HOPE and our partners and beneficiaries in Kolkata. Children from HOPE’s projects will treat you to a vibrant live show with all of HOPE’s staff, partners and guests in attendance (1st Nov).

Sound amazing to you? Then come join us!!!

Your FAQs are answered below!

Download Yoga for HOPE 2017 Info Pack + Application Form below


Message from Suzi & Gillian, Yoga For HOPE Group Leaders

Inspired by Mella Murphy’s passion for yoga and dedication to The Hope Foundation we are proud to carry her vision to the next level on Yoga For HOPE 2017. We are excited to bring you on this journey to Kolkata to meet the children and visit the projects & to the foothills of the Himalayas to experience a Yoga Retreat in India..

Yoga is more than a series of movements; yoga is a way of life. Emphasizing what is important; presence, humility, grace, kindness, honouring your body, hope, change, stillness through meditation and physical postures.

Yoga keeps us grounded through the challenges and hard times, rejoices with us in the good times, and heals us in the sad times. It offers us stillness and silence when we need calm; it is a place of energy when we need uplifting.

Yoga is the union of our body, mind and spirit with our environment and we really get to experience this union during our time in India. We laugh, we cry, we sing, we dance, and we also take time out to find the stillness and silence within. We heal and gain a deeper understanding of who we are and what makes each of us unique.

It is a very special experience for both of us to guide these groups on their journey with HOPE to India. It is an expression of our yoga, to connect with each of them. Yoga is our connection.

Over the past years, we have found that it is the people that make it a memorable experience every time we travel to India. We now have an inspiring collective and we stay connected long after our return home. The Yoga for HOPE group provide a wealth of resources, presence and open-hearted sharing which facilitates the growth in all of us!

Our vision is to accompany you on an authentic life changing journey to meet the wonderful light filled street and slum children of Kolkata whilst funding and supporting the incredible ongoing work of The Hope Foundation.

If any or all of this programme inspires or delights you, if you are curious or even feel daunted by the way it resonates with you, or if you would like to talk and connect with us to find out more about Yoga For HOPE please feel free to call us:

Susan Forrest: + 353 21 429 2990, The Hope Foundation Head Office, Cork, Ireland

Skype: Suzivonm

Email: / /

Facebook: Yoga For HOPE / The Hope Foundation



Suzi & Gillian

Frequently Asked Question

Do I have to be a Yoga Teacher or Therapist to take part?

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You do not need to be a Yoga teacher or therapist to take part. However you do need to have some yoga experience and an interest in yoga/meditation/healing/ayurveda. Our vision is to bring like minded people on this spiritual and healing journey. We value every member of the group and recognise that each person has a gift in connecting with the children and staff in unique ways.

How much do I have to raise to take part?

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Each participant is asked to raise €3,800 to take part. You can choose to fundraise or pay yourself, or both, depending on what suits you. HOPE will supply information and support on fundraising to all participants.

Out of these funds, less than half will go to cover some of your travel costs with the balance going as a direct donation to HOPE’s projects.

When do I need to submit these funds?

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The following instalments of funds are requested:

1) Deposit €380: On Registration
2) Balance €3,420: by 16.10.17

*Flights: Participants are required to book their own flights to Kolkata. Please contact Susan in the HOPE office for further details before booking your flight.

What is covered by my fundraising?

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Your €3,800 will cover: internal transfer to the Himalayas, hotel accommodation, breakfast and evening meals, tour guides, all transport in India.

It does NOT cover: your flight to Kolkata, visa for India (€52 for Irish passport), garda vetting clearance cert, vaccinations and malaria tablets, single room supplements, pranic healing experience, changes to flights, travel insurance, extra insurance requirements or off-itinerary activities.

How can I fundraise for Yoga for HOPE?

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When you sign up to take part, HOPE will send you further information on fundraising and you will receive support from our Cork and Dublin Offices. Enlist as many helpers as you can to help you reach your target! It may feel daunting however, once you begin to think in terms of generating fundraising opportunities, there are no end of possibilities! A previous participant committed to making the journey 8 weeks before departure and was truly amazed by the manifestation and generosity that quite simply appeared following that commitment – this will happen for you!!

I have very little yoga experience / I am a beginner, does this matter?

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This will not matter. Group leaders Suzi von Mensenkampff and Gillian Houlihan are very experienced and will guide and support you should the need arise. As we have discovered from our previous Yoga For HOPE programmes, the children teach us all more than we could ever teach them! It is their uninterrupted ability to be present and open that helps remind us to do the same. Our Yoga is viewed purely as a gift to be shared, and is a fun avenue to connect and bring peace to the children and ourselves. The emphasis is really on sharing time and energy with the children.

Will I feel overwhelmed by what I see?

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Kolkata is unlike any other city and there will no doubt be elements of the trip that you are likely to have never experienced: However you will be fully supported by the staff and Yoga For HOPE organisers to ensure you ALWAYS feel safe, supported and at ease. There is always someone available to you at any time throughout the programme and beyond.

I am not able to make the trip this time but I want to help?

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There are several ways in which you can help, by holding your own fundraising events eg. coffee morning, table quiz or raffle etc.

How do I sign up?

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Fill out the registration form included with the information pack (download above) and return to hope with a deposit of €380 plus 2 photocopies of your passport

Send to:
Susan Forrest, Yoga for HOPE, The Hope Foundation, Silverdale Grove, Ballinlough, Cork.