A shared dream

After leaving college in 2003 our chairperson and co-founder Sarah McDevitt decided to try and gain work experience while also engaging in her passion for charity work. As a first step, she volunteered with an Irish NGO in Dublin and organised charity concerts all over Ireland. During that time Sarah was given the opportunity to travel twice with that NGO on shorter trips to Kenya and Tanzania to work with children. On those trips, she met a lady called Leah Ambwaya, the Director of Terry's Youth and Resource Center in Machakos Kenya and a beautiful and powerful relationship began. 
Sarah decided to return directly to work with Leah in Machakos. She was keen to understand the everyday lives of these children and how she could directly impact their lives across education and future opportunity.  Before leaving two of her former fellow volunteers reached out, Esther Walsh and Gerardine O Driscoll, they were keen to join the trip. Esther's daughter Claire Walsh decided to join along with her friends Valerie Joy and Aine O'Donovan. Finally, two of Sarah's work colleague's Anna Brannelly and Karen Dessain-Gelinet completed the team.  
The group travelled to Kenya that year, becoming life long friends and they came together to found Help Us Give Smiles.  
Charity Number: CHY19376