As many of you know, both Nuala and I have been volunteers with SVP for many years and that we first met at a SVP meeting. Also, for the last eight years Nuala has worked full time for the Society in the Dublin Region. So when we came to Paris, the home of SVP as Frederic Ozanam founded the Society here in 1833, we wanted to go and visit the offices.
I emailed Rose Mc Gowan (Former Dublin Regional President, who is now the representative for English speaking Africa on the Commission for International Aid and Development) to find out if she would be in Paris when we were there. It turned out she was going to be there this week. (Some things are just meant to be!) So she arranged for us to visit on Wednesday 30th April.
We arrived and were given a great welcome by Stephane (who also makes a great cup of coffee) and all the staff. Rose was waiting at the door to meet us. Also to our surprise, two other Irish SVP volunteers, who we know were in the building, Brian O’Reilly, Vice-President General and Liam Fitzpatrick, Treasurer General.
SVP run a tight ship and there are only 10 staff for the whole international structure. We joked that with us there were almost more Irish people in the building than any other nationality!
You will see on our blog that we have a ‘donate to SVP section.’ We have asked people to sponsor us on our Gap year with all proceeds going to SVP. We set a target of raising €2,000 and so far we have got €340.We have reached our first goal so I would ask that you dig deep and please sponsor us as we are way behind target.