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Fair City star goes back to school

Fair City actress Aoibhinn Garrihy has travelled with the Lotus Child Charity to the Chaulgola Community, south of Kolkata, India, as part of the Buds to Blossoms Project.

Garrihy, who plays Neasa in the hit soap, will spend this week working side by side with the local community building a multi-purpose resource centre which will serve as a school for more than 150 children each year, an adult education facility, a base for income generation programmes, and a base for health camps.

The actress is one of 18 volunteers who have raised money to fund not only the building costs, but also the running costs of this resource centre for the next number of years.

After the initial set-up, funding and support from Lotus Child, the Chaulgola Community will assume responsibility for the resource centre with support from the charity.

Alannah Smyth of Lotus Child says: "This project is about prevention, partnership and empowerment through education. This school will provide education to 150 children each year from five surrounding villages.

"By providing children with education within their community, as well as providing their parents with the opportunity to earn an income, the community is strengthened and the children and families can remain in their community rather than having to migrate to Kolkata, where many will end up living on the streets or in the slums.

"This project is about preventing these children from becoming street children in the first place."

>Anna Coogan

For more information, see www.lotuschild.ie