Thursday 15 November 2018

Bringing Hope: Rose of Tralee meets street children on 'inspiring' visit to India

Helping hand: Rose of Tralee Kirsten Mate Maher visiting children in Chetla Lock Gate slum and railway community in Kolkata. Photo: Arthur Carron.
Helping hand: Rose of Tralee Kirsten Mate Maher visiting children in Chetla Lock Gate slum and railway community in Kolkata. Photo: Arthur Carron.

Laura Lynott

Rose of Tralee Kirsten Mate Maher is "relishing" her role as an ambassador for the Hope Foundation as she sees first-hand its work in Kolkata.

The Irish charity, which works to protect the street and slum children of the Indian city, said her trip was "inspiring".

The Waterford Rose spent time with children at the Hope Creche, where she sang to them.

She is visiting the city with the director of the Hope Foundation, Maureen Forrest.

The group also visited the Bhoruka Girls Home, which is supported by the foundation's major annual fundraising event, the Calcutta Run, and spent time talking to and playing with the children.

The Hope Foundation has already helped 2.7 million children and poor families and operates more than 60 programmes.

All smiles: Rose of Tralee Kirsten Mate Maher with children at a slum near Bhagar dump in Kolkata. Photo: Arthur Carron.
All smiles: Rose of Tralee Kirsten Mate Maher with children at a slum near Bhagar dump in Kolkata. Photo: Arthur Carron.

It says children living on the streets of Kolkata are exposed to horrendous physical and sexual abuse.

Many are forced to work from just five years of age to earn money for food and so cannot go to school.

Irish Independent

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