Carlow International Person
of the Year Award
to Michael Hopkins, who has been presented
Carlow Person of the Year Award 2006
for his dedication and commitment to the people of Calcutta.
Friends of Calcutta was formed in 1994 after
Michael Hopkins had visited the 'city of joy' for the first
time. From a simple jumble sale/bazaar held in St Mary's Hall,
Bagenalstown, the group [now a fully fledged Irish registered
charity] has become one of the leading lights in the field of
humanitarian aid and today the organisation funds 8 schools
educating 1800 children. The schools are located in 5 of the
most disadvantaged areas of the city, including Dhappa where
only last year a beautiful new building was constructed in the
heart of a refuse dump. There are also 2 schools in the remote
Sunderban Islands as well as a village school in Chatthua.
In 1998, following the visit of a large Galway
contingent to the city, Michael was nominated by Galway Junior
Chamber as their representative for Irelands Young Person of The
Year, an award he duly won and humbly accepted on behalf of
Friends of Calcutta. Over the last decade so much has been
achieved and Michael is especially proud that the ethos behind
the work has never changed in that time. 'When we began we made
one golden rule which we have steadfastly stuck by 'he recalls'
namely that 100% of all funds given to the organisation would be
used for that sole purpose'. Friends of Calcutta is a totally
voluntary organisation, no salaries and all travel expenses must
be met personally by committee members and all volunteers
wishing to either visit or work with the projects.
In November 2006 Michael Hopkins was honoured
by his own. So proud at all times to be from Carlow and
especially proud to be from Bagenalstown, Michael was voted
Carlow Person of the year. In an emotional acceptance speech
Michael expressed special thanks to his mother Brigid who's
whole hearted support had meant the world to him whether in his
beloved Carlow or 5000 miles away in his second home 'The city
I would like to thank the County Carlow
Association for Inviting me here as their guest tonight. I wish
them every success in the wonderful work they do here in London.
Source: Michael Hopkins
who attended as an, honoured guest, the County Carlow
Association London 39th Annual Dinner Dance on 13th October 2007
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