Celebrity chef, Rachel Allen is travelling to India for the first time this week (Monday, June 16th to Saturday, June 21st) to help aid agency, GOAL shine a light on the plight of some of the people that the organisation is working with across Kolkata.The Ballymaloe cooking maestro, who is taking six days out of her hectic summer schedule, will visit several GOAL projects, including a programme for families living and working at some of the city’s municipal dump sites. Accompanied by 14 year-old son, Joshua, they will also spend time at a number of slum schools where GOAL is providing water and sanitation services.She will also help the organisation publicise the establishment of GOAL’s Indian office as a national non-governmental organisation, the first time in its 37-year history that GOAL is taking this step with one of its country programmes.Apart from learning about GOAL’s work with some of India’s poorest people, Ms Allen will also host a fundraising dinner for GOAL at a top restaurant in Mumbai, where the menu will showcase Irish ingredients based on some of her favourite recipes from Ballymaloe. She admits she is also hoping to pick up some exciting new Indian recipes and cooking tips along the way.“I'm both excited and privileged to be travelling to India with GOAL,” said Ms. Allen. “Hopefully, I can help in some way to raise awareness of the plight of the people that GOAL works with in Kolkata, and also help introduce the organisation to new audiences across Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai.“Although I have a huge passion for Indian cuisine, I’ve never been to the country before, so I’m very much looking forward to sampling some new foods and flavours over the coming days.GOAL CEO, Barry Andrews said: “The transition of GOAL’s office in India to a national entity is an exciting challenge for GOAL and we are delighted that Rachel is helping us to make this step given her profile within India and internationally. India was the first country to which GOAL delivered aid, so it is fitting that it is also the first country office that we are launching as a national NGO. This move will allow GOAL India to raise resources and funds within India to support our ongoing programming.“Despite the progress that India has made in recent years, the country remains home to one third of the world’s people. It still has some of the highest levels for maternal mortality; some of the world’s poorest sanitation services, and the highest number of out-of-school children,” Mr Andrews continued.“As a national NGO, GOAL India will continue to address these problems and we are confident that, over time, the organisation will expand its reach to other parts of India, sustaining and expanding on the fantastic work we have been doing in Kolkata over the past 37 years.”Ms Allen will fly back to London on Saturday (June 21st), where she will be guest of honour at GOAL’s UK Ball at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in Knightsbridge. For more information on GOAL’s work in India, please visit www.goal.ie
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