independent

Wednesday 17 September 2014

The Cahn family movie

Esther hayden

Published 12/02/2014 | 05:22

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The Cahn family from Glenealy hosted a series of short films from their recent fundraising trip to Mongolia in Wicklow town last Tuesday.

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The films, which were shown in the Space Inside's art session at Wicklow Sailing Club, were organised to thank the people of Wicklow for their support and also to let them see how their help was distributed in Mongolia.

During the summer Suzie and Mike Cahn from Glenealy together with their four children, Eli (18), Rosa (16), Sammy (13), and Finn (11) went on the trip of a lifetime to Mongolio taking part in the GoHelp's Mongolian Charity Rally.

The rally which was organised to help the less fortunate was a massive adventure for the family, one which began with the task of fundraising for a vehicle to bring them to Mongolia.

The rally involved the Cahn family buying, driving and donating a packed vehicle to the GoHelp charity which is headquartered in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.

Heavily involved with the promotion of sustainable local food through community gardens, the OOOBY (Our Of Our Own Back Yards) project and their training work at Carraig Dulra farm in Glenealy the Cahn family felt the GoHelp project was a very worthy cause.

Suzie and Mike were undaunted at the prospect of the journey with their children having volunteered on organic farms in Europe for six months some seven or eight years ago travelling around in a camper van.

Before they went on the trip Suzie said the motivation behind the trip was simple. 'I suppose there are a couple of reasons really - to give ourselves and the children some perspective on the recession was one reason. I suppose we are all in a recession depression and I think it's important to remind ourselves that there are a lot of people less fortunate than us. There is also the sense of adventure and to experience some of that adventure. We want to combine helping others while at the same time giving ourselves an adventure.

'Sometimes people doing things for charity don't like to say that there is something in it for them but often there is and for us it's an adventure. We've been doing a lot of work with Irish unemployed people over the last 2-3 years and although this has given us great hope for the future in Ireland, seeing the new directions people develop, we can be overwhelmed by the media generated doom and gloom.

'We needed to gain a new perspective on the whole recession thing, and thought it might be good to remind ourselves that despite our countries problems, we have so much more going for us than so many people in the world. We wanted to bring our kids along to see, but also help children suffering another level of hardship.'

The Cahn family was one of three Irish families who took part in the rally driving overland and each family brought a rugged vehicle or ambulance with relevant supplies for the charity's use.

Once the team arrived in Mongolia they handed the vehicle over to GoHelp who in turn use them in their own projects - medical care and hot meals, education for children and developing women's enterprises and food growing projects.

In total they raised almost €6,000, all of which went directly to GoHelp's charity projects in Mongolia. This included cash, the vehicle, children's clothing (including a full enough Irish football kit for a full team), school supplies, spare parts and tools. None of the funds raised were used for travel expenses - these were paid for from the Cahn's own savings.

The family arrived in Mongolia having driven to England before going through France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan before passing through Russia again to reach the border of Western Mongolia with the journey taking five weeks.

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