YOGA For HOPE – Kolkata and the Himalayas

tue01novAll Daytue15YOGA For HOPE – Kolkata and the HimalayasKolkata & The Himalays(All Day) Event Organized BySusan Forrest

Event Details

Our vision for Yoga For HOPE is to accompany you on an authentic life changing journey to meet the wonderful light filled street and slum children of Kolkata whilst funding and supporting the incredible ongoing work of The Hope Foundation.

What is Yoga For HOPE?

Yoga For HOPE was established in 2009 by yoga teacher and  dedicated supporter of HOPE, Mella Murphy, to help raise much needed funds to support HOPE’s projects with the street and slum children of Kolkata.

It is a programme designed for Yoga teachers and enthusiasts to share their knowledge and pass on the gift ofYoga to the children and the carers in The Hope Foundation’s  protection homes in Kolkata, West Bengal, to help enrich their lives. It was Mella’s way to say thanks to HOPE having met her husband, Donal, on HOPE’s Himalayan Walk in 2006 (read her story on page 7)!

After 5 successful years Mella passed over the group leadership to past Yoga For HOPE  participant Suzi von Mensenkampff in association with Gillian Houlihan, long standing supporter of HOPE and Yoga For HOPE Co-Leader. Suzi and Gillian are proud to carry Mella’s vision to the next level taking people on a spiritual journey to meet the children of Kolkata.

Suzi is a Certified Chopra Vedic Master who will bring a daily Meditation Practice, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga and Ayurveda for Perfect Health to the itinerary having trained at The Chopra Center University in California with Dr. Deepak  Chopra.

Gillian is a Certified Pranic Healer who has studied the teachings of Grand Master Choa Kok Sui, the Founder of Pranic Healing, in Kolkata,   Ireland and in the UK. She has experience in Reiki, Spiritual, Pranic and Distant Healing which she has married beautifully for the last 37 years with her caring role as a pharmacist. Gillian recently qualified in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga Teacher Training at The Chopra Center  University in California with Dr. Deepak Chopra and Master of Wisdom Meditation Training with David Ji.

What is on the itinerary?

Together Suzi and Gillian have designed a programme for Yoga For HOPE 2016 which includes a workshop with aYoga Guru, a Pranic healing experience, visits to HOPE’s projects, a visit to Yogananda’s Ashram and birth place along with sightseeing in Kolkata and the foothills of the Himalayas!

2016 is a very special year as it is the 10th year anniversary of Donal and Mella’s meeting! They have invited us to celebrate this very important milestone with them. They are having a  blessing in one of their favourite placesPelling, so, Yoga For HOPE will take place in the foothills of the Himalayas in addition to Kolkata this year! We are very excited to have Mella join us to share some of her wonderful yoga and wisdom.

Pelling is a scenic hamlet in the district of West Sikkim, India. The Himalayas and the Kanchenjanga may be viewed at close quarters from Pelling. The land around Pelling is still a  virgin territory and is bathed with alpine vegetation, with numerous waterfalls lining the hillside.

Places we will visit in and around Pelling include the local   monastery, the rock garden and waterfall at nearbyRimbi, the Khecheopalri Lake (God’s Footprint) (see middle pic above).

This lake is considered to be one of the Sacred Lakes of the State both by the Buddhist and the Hindus. The Lake remains hidden under the rich forest cover. The birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake surface!

Visits to HOPE’s Projects

A unique aspect of this journey is visits to HOPE’s projects in Kolkata. We believe it is vitally important for participants to see first-hand just where their fundraised money is being put to use. Most importantly participants will get a chance to work directly with the children on the projects and visit schools, medical facilities and craft cooperatives run by HOPE together with our Indian partner groups. This is a unique opportunity to lend a much-needed helping hand. You will never forget your time with the children of Kolkata who have been given so little but have so much joy to share.

Participants will also attend HOPE Foundation Day, our annual celebration of the achievements of HOPE and our partners and beneficiaries in Kolkata. Children from HOPE’s projects will treat you to a vibrant live show with all of HOPE’s staff, partners and guests in attendance (9 Nov).

Sound amazing to you? Then come join us!!!


We invite you to join us on this amazing journey. Would you like to take part? For more details, call Susan on 00 353 21 4292990 or email:

Your FAQs are answered below!


Download Yoga for HOPE 2016 Info Pack + Application Form below

 yoga pack          


Who can go on Yoga For HOPE?

Yoga For HOPE is open to all and everyone interested in participating. However you do need to have some yoga experience and an interest in yoga/ meditation/ healing/ ayurveda. Our vision is to bring like minded people on this spiritual and healing journey.

Do I have to be a Yoga Teacher or Therapist?

You do not need to be a Yoga teacher or therapist to take part. However you do need to have some yoga experience and an interest in yoga/meditation/healing/ayurveda. Our vision is to bring like minded people on this spiritual and healing journey. We value every member of the group and recognise that each person has a gift in connecting with the children and staff in unique ways.

Will I feel overwhelmed by what I see?

Kolkata is unlike any other city and there will no doubt be elements of the trip that you are likely to have never experienced: However you will be fully supported by the staff and Yoga For HOPE organisers to  ensure you ALWAYS feel safe, supported and at ease. There is always someone available to you at any time throughout the programme and beyond.

I have never practised Yoga before/ or feel I am a beginner, does this matter?

This will not matter. Group leaders Suzi von Mensenkampff and Gillian Houlihan are very experienced and will guide and support you should the need arise. 

I don’t feel I could teach the children Yoga with my limited knowledge?

As we have discovered from our previous Yoga For HOPE programmes, the children teach us all more than we could ever teach them! It is their uninterrupted ability to be present and open that helps remind us to do the same. Our Yoga is viewed purely as a gift to be shared, and is a fun avenue to connect and bring peace to the children and ourselves. The emphasis is really on sharing time and energy with the children and their carers.

What % of the funds I raise will go to the project?

Each Participant is asked to fundraise €3,700. Less than half of this money will go towards your travel expenses i.e. flights, accommodation, food etc. The rest will go directly to The Hope Foundation’s projects with the street and slum children of Kolkata.

Do I need to get Vaccinations?

Yes. All participants on Yoga for HOPE must take full responsibility for getting all the necessary vaccinations for India, obtaining malaria medication and bringing adequate supplies of any existing medication. As HOPE has no qualified medical staff, please do not contact our office for details of the required vaccinations for this trip. You will need to attend your own GP or a travel medical specialist in this regard.

If you choose not to get shots or take medication or prefer to use alternative medications, that is your personal choice and HOPE can bear no responsibility.

Will I need a visa?

You will be required to make your own visa application. Application details will be provided by HOPE.

How much do I have to raise to take part?

Each participant is asked to raise €3,700 to take part. You can choose to fundraise or pay yourself, or both, depending on what suits you. When you sign up to take part, HOPE will send you further information on fundraising and you will receive support from our Cork and Dublin Offices who will help you make a fundraising plan.

Enlist as many helpers as you can to help you reach your target! It may feel daunting however, once you begin to think in terms of generating fundraising opportunities, there are no end of possibilities! A previous participant committed to making the trip 8 weeks before departure and was truly amazed by the manifestation and generosity that quite simply appeared following that commitment – this will happen for you!!

I am not able to make the trip this time but I want to help?

There are several ways in which you can help, by holding your own fundraising events eg. coffee morning, table quiz or raffle etc.

Message from Suzi & Gillian, Yoga For HOPE Group Leaders

Inspired by Mella Murphy’s passion for yoga and dedication to The Hope Foundation we are proud to carry her vision to the next level on Yoga For HOPE 2016. We are excited to bring you on this journey to Kolkata to meet the children and their carer’s & to the foothills of the Himalayas to  celebrate Donal & Mella’s 10 year anniversary.

As a Chopra Certified Vedic Master Suzi feels guided to share the experience that Yoga For HOPE has brought to her life and her experience of Yoga and Meditation. It is both humbling and inspiring to bring these gifts to the children of Kolkata. Yoga becomes the connection, there is no separation, we are all one.

Yoga means union of our body, mind, spirit and environment and we really get to experience this   union during our time in India. We laugh, we cry, we sing, we dance, and we also take time out to find the stillness and silence within. We heal and gain a deeper understanding of who we are and what makes each of us unique.

Gillian brings a wealth of experience from her years of working closely with Mella and Yoga For HOPE and her bond with the children of Kolkata. As an empathic healer, Gillian combines Reiki, Spiritual, Pranic and Distant healing which she has married beautifully for the last 37 years with her caring role as a Pharmacist.

It is very much the group of people that come together who provide a wealth of resources, presence and open-hearted sharing which facilitates the growth in all of us!

If any or all of this programme inspires or delights you, if you are curious or even feel daunted by the way it resonates with you, or if you would like to talk and connect with us to find out more about Yoga For HOPE please feel free to call us:

Susan Forrest: + 353 21 429 2990, The Hope Foundation Head Office, Cork, Ireland

Skype: Suzivonm

Email: / /

Facebook: Yoga For HOPE / The Hope Foundation


Our combined vision, is to accompany you on an authentic life changing journey to meet the wonderful light filled street and slum children of Kolkata whilst funding and supporting the incredible ongoing work of The Hope Foundation.


Suzi & Gillian


november 1 (Tuesday) - 15 (Tuesday)


Kolkata & The Himalays

Your Cart