VOLUNTEER: Michael Shannon, from Lissivigeen, plans to volunteer in Kolkata, this summer. Photo: Michelle Crean
By Michelle Crean
A 20 year-old UCC student is planning to give his spare time to help the poor and needy this summer.
Michael Shannon, from Lissivigeen, Killarney, will work as a volunteer teaching assistant in Kolkata, India for two months, from June 19 – August 19. He was inspired to go after he saw the work carried out by Suas Educational Development in these disadvantaged developing areas including supporting classroom learning, extra-curricular activities, giving one-to-one support to children through English. As well as educational support, Suas offers financial assistance and ongoing technical expertise to its partner schools as well as basic human rights education.
Suas Educational Development is a registered Irish charity that supports access to quality education in Ireland, India and Zambia for over 10,000 children a year. When Michael learnt about their work he was keen to get involved to help give children in India, who are at high risk of child labour and early marriage, a better future.
Before he heads off Michael has to raise a minimum of €3,499 to cover basic costs such as accommodation, insurance and flights. And with vaccinations and training costs he needs to fundraise approximately another €1,000.
To do this, the third year chemistry student, is organising a number of fundraising events in the coming weeks, including a church gate collection in Killarney, a non-uniform day in Lissivigeen NS and a coffee morning.
“Even if I could help a few kids, it might have a knock on effect,” Michael told the Killarney Advertiser this week.
“It will be tough but it will also challenge me.”
So far Michael has raised €1,000 from a table quiz in college, a car boot sale and from his online fundraising page.
To support Michael go to his page www.idonate.ie/indiavolunteerprogramme2019.