The Law Society is aiming to raise €300,000 to fight homelessness in Dublin and Kolkata in the 23rd annual Calcutta Run.
Solicitors and members of the legal profession are encouraged to run, walk, cycle, or hike to collectively cover 30,000km over 10 days in this year’s virtual run taking place from 17 September to 26 September.
President of the Law Society, James Cahill, said: “Now in its 23rd year, we have once again set an ambitious fundraising target of €300,000 in aid of our two partner charities, Peter McVerry Trust and the Hope Foundation.”
“Since its inception, the solicitors’ profession has raised a staggering €4.6 million to help fight homelessness in Dublin and Kolkata. This has made a lasting impact to many and we are proud that every euro raised through the Calcutta Run goes directly to these life-changing charities and to
Peter McVerry Trust: Jasmine’s story
Jasmine, 22, was first put in care when she was 11 years old. Last year Jasmine received her own apartment through Peter McVerry Trust’s services.
“After 11 placements and at 18 years old, I aged out of the foster care and residential systems and was put into homelessness services. I was homeless for about four years and I found that really hard,” said Jasmine. “I was first placed with Peter McVerry Trust through the Capital Assistance for Care Scheme; a scheme for young people leaving care.”
“Peter McVerry Trust knew straight away that I was a young person who needed help. They took me in and the week before Christmas I got an apartment. I was six weeks pregnant and I was delighted. Without Peter McVerry Trust’s support, I would have been out on the street. I was under pressure to move out of the homeless service I was in, but I had nowhere to go,” she explained.
The Peter McVerry Trust provides much more than just housing services. They offer detox programmes, housing and learning supports, and assign their clients key workers for continued assistance.
“My key workers are amazing, it’s great to have them there to help and support me. If I have a question or an issue, I just pick up the phone and call them. They direct me in the right way and give me the advice I need. Without that support and a secure home I wouldn’t be able to do the things that I can do now. Now I can raise my own children in a home – something I never had when I was young.”
The funds raised by the Calcutta Run will enable the Peter McVerry Trust to furnish 20 more houses across Ireland, making them into homes for people in the community, like Jasmine, that need them.
The Hope Foundation: Nayna’s story
Snehneer Home is one of the many projects supported by the Calcutta Run through the Hope Foundation. It provides an integrative approach to childcare covering healthcare, nutritious food, counselling, education and recreational supports for HIV positive children, like Nayna.
Nayna was just six years old when she was placed in Snehneer Home by Kolkata’s Child Welfare Committee. With Snehneer Home’s support, Nayna enrolled in school, received treatment for her health conditions as well as counselling to help her overall wellbeing. At Snehneer Home, Nayna could experience normal childhood activities such as games, art and crafts, dancing, and celebrating festivals and cultural events.
In the face of adversity, Nayna, who is now 18 years old, has passed the Higher Secondary Examination and is studying sociology at an open university. She has a bright future ahead of her thanks to the support of her caregivers at Snehneer Home.
Through the Hope Foundation, the Calcutta Run can continue to support Snehneer Home, and other projects like the HIV Emergency Response Unit and Kasba Home, and help more vulnerable children, like Nayna.
“I encourage my colleagues and the public to participate and donate to this year’s event so that together we can help change more peoples’ lives, provide hope and help to end homelessness,” said Mr Cahill.
For more information or to see how you can donate to this year’s virtual event, see: www.calcuttarun.com.