Dr Michael Brennan (Department of Social Science) and Richard Barry (Plas Caerdeon) have just returned from a fortnight in Sri Lanka with Global Hope, where they worked with nine Liverpool Hope University students at the SOS Children's village in Anuradhapura for orphaned and abandoned children.
Together, they engaged in a wide range of sporting, team-building and craft-based activities, sharing their knowledge and skills whilst also learning about Sri Lankan culture and the principles underpinning the SOS Children's Villages project itself, which operates in 125 countries across five continents.
Highlights of the trip included a celebration of Sri Lanka’s Mother's Day, a talk by a senior Buddhist monk and a visit to a UNESCO world heritage 'stupa', a site for the internment of Buddhist relics and place of meditation. There was also an evening where staff and students were given the opportunity to make and eat Sri Lankan food, play Sri Lankan board games such as Carrom, and dress in traditional Sri Lankan clothing.
Would they recommend the experience to other students and staff at Hope? “Absolutely!” says Dr Michael Brennan. “We have all been changed by the experience, impacting the lives of the children we have had the privilege to work with, as much as they have impacted ours. The hardest part was saying our goodbyes to the children and friends we made at the SOS village in Anuradhapura.”
Global Hope is the University’s international education programme, which gives staff and students the chance to engage with issues of social justice across the globe. .