Image of two colour elephants with text - celebrating 25 years of Hope in the city of Joy. Visit Kolkata, 2-20 November 2024

HOPE in the City of Joy



Visit HOPE’s projects and also experience the cultural heritage of Kolkata

Immerse yourself in the trip of a lifetime to Kolkata, India, where you will visit HOPE’s projects and experience the authentic and rich cultural heritage of the ‘City of Joy’.

As part of a small group of supporters, you will be warmly welcomed by HOPE’s team on the ground in Kolkata. You will have the opportunity to visit many HOPE projects, meet children benefitting from our programmes, and see first-hand how your support – and the funds you have raised – create positive change in the lives of street-connected children and give them the chance of a brighter future.

Over nine days in Kolkata, including two days of travel, there will also be a chance to explore the cultural and historical highlights of India's cultural capital.

Supporter Aarti, HOPE UK Trustee Seema, and HOPE Head of Fundraising Juliette smile with children from Chitpur Creche
HOPE staff and supporters on a visit to Chitpur Creche
Kolkata - India's capital of culture

You will meet traditional Bengali artisans, explore the literary and intellectual heart of Kolkata, taste traditional food, visit local theatre, and experience Bengali culture in all its splendour. Local tour guides will show you the authentic city, including the artisan quarter, Howrah area and flower market, Tagore’s birthplace, and the home of Mother Teresa (see itinerary below). 

You will also have a unique opportunity to attend HOPE’s Foundation Day to celebrate the organisation’s 25th Anniversary.

HOPE’s annual Foundation Day is a truly joyous occasion where the children from our projects come together to perform Bengali dancing, singing and celebrate local culture. This year will be an even more special occasion, as HOPE celebrates its 25th anniversary, and will welcome special guests and ambassadors to be part of Foundation Day.

On this trip, you will discover that Kolkata is a place of deep contrasts and, despite the poverty, the ‘City of Joy’ has a profound cultural depth, and the spirit and warmth of the Bengali people shines and touches every experience.  

Your visits to HOPE’s projects will leave a lasting positive impression and will give you hope for the future of these marginalised children and communities. You will see how HOPE’s work over 25 years has made, and continues to make,  a positive and lasting impact in the lives and futures of so many street-connected children and slum-dwelling communities.

If you are interested to hear more about this experience, please email Juliette Whittaker, HOPE UK Head of Fundraising: juliette@thehopefoundation.org.uk.

Two craftsmen creating a wall carving
Craftsmen creating a wall carving

FAQs

What are the dates of the trip?

The dates are Saturday, 2 November until Sunday, 10 November 2024. 

What is unique about this trip?

Unique to this trip are visits to HOPE’s projects, with an opportunity to engage with the children and communities, and HOPE’s team in Kolkata.  You will see first-hand the impact of your fundraising efforts and support to HOPE. Note: To participate in this trip, all participants are required to commit to raise a minimum of £1,500 in advance, which will benefit HOPE’s projects in Kolkata.

Over the past 25 years, HOPE has developed significant expertise in facilitating both individuals and groups of supporters and visitors to experience our programmes and places of interest in Kolkata.     

Where will I stay?

Accommodation will be at the Tollygunge Club (or equivalent standard hotel).

How much does the trip cost?

The total cost is approximately £3,750 per participant. This comprises:

  • £1,500 (minimum) raised as a donation to benefit HOPE’s projects in Kolkata*.

  • £950 paid to HOPE by 30 July to cover costs of accommodation and local transportation in Kolkata, breakfast, lunch, water, excursion tickets, and local tour guides (to be arranged by HOPE UK**).

  • £1,300 (approx.) to cover costs of return International flights from the UK, E-visa, travel insurance, evening meals and any incidentals (to be arranged by the participant, with guidance from the team at HOPE UK).

Please note that costs of flights and accommodation are subject to slight change.   

*The minimum £1,500 donation/fundraising element will need to be paid to HOPE by 30 October 2024, and can be raised via fundraising or made as a private donation. Importantly, any trip costs (eg, flights, accommodation, E-visa) cannot be covered by the fundraising or donation element.  These costs must be covered by the participant privately and, under charity fundraising legislation, cannot be from donations made to HOPE from the general public.  If required, HOPE can provide further fundraising guidelines.

**Of the £950 cost element, a £500 deposit is required to be paid to HOPE UK on or before 30 July to secure a place; the remainder £450 needs to be paid by 30 September.

What is covered by my £950 paid to HOPE?

The £950 element of the total funds will cover eight nights’ accommodation based on a double room (single supplement), breakfast, lunch, water, local tour guides and local transport. This does not cover international flights, E-visa for India (approx. £30), travel insurance, vaccinations, evening meals or any incidentals (which will need to be arranged and paid for separately by the participant).
From the £950, a £500 deposit is required to secure a place on or before 30 July 2024.

How can I fundraise the minimum £1500 donation for this trip?

When you sign up, HOPE UK will send further information about setting up a fundraising page and provide tips to help reach your target!  We know that fundraising can be daunting, so the team at HOPE UK can help promote and support your fundraising journey to help you reach (or exceed) your target.   

What is on the itinerary?

 (Subject to slight change)

Day 1

Saturday 2 November

Flight from UK to Kolkata

Day 2

Sunday 3 November

Arrive into Kolkata (met by HOPE)
Acclimatise (optional visit to the Botanical Gardens)
Group to meet for dinner and be introduced to HOPE staff in Kolkata.

Day 3

Monday 4 November

Visits to HOPE Projects and lunch at HOPE Lifeskills Café
Dinner with group

Day 4

Tuesday 5 November

Visits to HOPE Projects and lunch at Lifeskills Café
Hooghly River sunset cruise

Day 5

Wednesday 6 November

Cultural Tour of the City
Howrah Bridge & Flower Market
Kumartuli Quarter (artisan area)
College Street and Coffee House (literary area)
Dinner with group

Day 6

Thursday 7 November

Historical Day
Victoria Memorial
Mother Teresa House and/or Black Hole of Calcutta
HOPE’s Night Round Mobile Medical Unit

Day 7

Friday 8 November

Cultural Day (North of Kolkata)
Tagore House & Museum
Dinner with group

Day 8

Saturday 9 November

Free time – Markets & Shopping
25th Anniversary HOPE Foundation Day Celebrations

Day 9

Sunday 10 November

Travel home

Do I need to be physically / medically fit to participate?

A reasonable level of fitness and stamina is required, but the group will be transported around the city to the various HOPE projects and cultural and historical sites in a minibus or taxis. Medical fitness is required and any underlying or pre-existing illnesses must be revealed to HOPE pre-travel. Vaccinations will need to be arranged by the participant and are required pre-departure.

How hot will it be in Kolkata in November?

The temperature averages 28–30 degrees in November.

Who will be in the group with me?

There will be a maximum group of 12 participants, plus a member of the HOPE UK team and a local guide.     

How do I sign up?

Email Juliette Whittaker – juliette@thehopefoundation.org.uk – and pay HOPE a deposit of £500 (non-refundable) via donation button. You will then be sent further information and guidance about this unique and inspiring trip. 

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