The time has come to say goodbye to three of our wonderful Solas Project Interns; Andy, Laveda and Anne-Marie, who have been with us for the past year.
They began working in The Club last year and since then have become a big part of our team which we will greatly miss. From the minute these amazing people walked through the doors of Solas Project, they have showed such passion and dedication to our cause which has been great to see.
Andy worked with the Transition After Schools Club which is made up of 5th and 6th class children. This can be a difficult time for some young people as they are trying to deal with the transition in to secondary school, along with other difficulties they may have going on in their lives. We had a chat with Andy and he talked us through some of his highlights during his time with Solas Project;
"My highlights have been the consistent relationships I've been able to build with the kids... kind of like that family environment we talk about. It's really important, and unique to Solas Project I think. I've been able to get to know the children, and see them grow personally and socially, in competence and confidence.
Also, the opportunity to do lots of different things, like sports, mentoring, life skills, homework, fun stuff generally, all as different ways to engage kids in the club and in schools has been great. Dublin 8 has been a highlight in itself. It can be a hard place to grow up I think, but people look out for one another here.
The staff at Solas Project - just great people who are dedicated to what Solas Project does and they readily believe in people."
Laveda, who is originally from The Cayman Islands, moved here from Jamaica to complete her internship with Solas Project. As well as working alongside Andy with the Transition After Schools Club, she helped out with some of the Solas@School events, including Solas Business and Solas College. Laveda spoke of her experience with Solas Project;
"It's been a real pleasure getting to know the children. From moving past the initial wariness of our first meeting to knowing their likes and dislikes and various talents and personalities. There has literally never been a dull moment... Seeing their confidence and range of unique ideas was a great reminder of the depth of children's imaginations. You begin to feel the possibilities are endless and I think that's a very important platform for them to have... The staff and volunteers at Solas Project have been so supportive, committed and caring! They have all inspired, encouraged and challenged me to a new level of service and excellence which I hope to continue in the next chapter of my journey."
Anne-Marie also made the big move to come to Ireland from her home in Germany. For the past year, she has worked with the Junior After Schools Club which is our club for children in 1st and 2nd class. It is important for children at this age to have consistent support which is just what Anne-Marie helped to provide for them each day after school. Many of her highlights include seeing the children grow and learn new things throughout her time with Solas Project;
"I have so many highlights with Solas Project! Two of them which stand out for me are when the kids started to ride a bicycle or learned to swim. It was great seeing them taking those important steps. And then of course all of their sweet moments, for example, when they would write you a card saying 'I love you'. I could keep going with many more stories, but those were very special for me. I just had an amazing and unforgettable time with some very special people!"
Thank you all so much for your hard work and dedication over this past year. From all The Solas Project Team, we wish you the best of luck in the next chapter of your lives! x