Ciara Kennelly and Sarah Butler. Snail Race Charity Fundraiser for The Hope Foundation. February 24th 2018. Venue: Courtney's Pub, Lucan, Co. Dublin. Event Photographer Simon Peare

Two Lucan teenagers will be travelling to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in India to volunteer with the Hope Foundation later this year.

Ciara Kennelly and Sarah Butler (both 17) have been raising funds for the foundation and will travel to Kolkata in October to work with street and slum children in a city where 1.5 million people live in deplorable conditions.

The 5th Year Kings Hospital students told Dublin Gazette that they were inspired to get involved in the project by a group from their school who travelled over last year.

“We were really impressed with the feedback and everything and we were really encouraged by it so that’s why we decided to do it,” said Ciara.

“We liked the idea that you have a fundraising target and you raise it and then you get to go to Calcutta and you can see the efforts that you made through fundraising, the projects that they go to.”

The girls will be part of a group of 20 students and three staff members who will travel over to see the work that the Hope Foundation do with the children of Kolkata

“We’re obviously very grateful that we’re able to go to a great school and we have houses but over there some of the kids, they’re living on the streets with their families,” said Sarah.

“Obviously that’s very devastating but it will be nice to see the work that Hope do.”

Ciara and Sarah have to raise €2,500 each for the foundation before they embark on their trip and held a charity Snail Race night in Courtney’s Pub on Saturday to raise funds.

The event took a lot of organising and the girls said they were grateful for the support and guidance they received from their parents and teachers in organising the event.

“Our parents did a lot to help us and we had an auction and a raffle at the snail race so that took most of the organising,” said Sarah.

“We had to get raffle prizes and auction prizes and everything and then in the brochure for the race night we had ads so we had to find people to buy those and people to

sponsor the races.”

The charity night proved to be a great success and the students have more charity events planned to raise funds, including a school ball in March and A Taste of India event.