Suas has its origins in the St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) in Trinity College, Dublin. Suas was founded in 2002 by Michael King who led fellow members of the SVP, friends and growing group of interested people to dedicate time and energy to the vision of Suas.
The vision for Suas as an education-focused overseas development agency that faciliated the involvement of student volunteers came out of the work of the SVP in Trinity College. The establishment of Suas was both the product of one persons vision and dedication, and the collective energy of an ever-increasing group of supporters, volunteers and staff members.
Once the idea for Suas was articulated and its constituent programmes were formed, Suas quickly outgrew the confines of Trinity College and key supporters were drawn from the wider development and business community.
By 2004 Suas had overseas education programmes with partners in New Delhi, Kolkatta, Nairobi and Mombassa and had developed a volunteer and development educaiton programme that was increasingly recognised for quality and innovation.
Colman Farrell replaced Michael King as CEO in 2004 and the organisation went from strength to strength. Under Colman’s leadership the fundraising base of the organisation was consolidated and significant quality improvements were made in Suas’ programmes. Notable achievements included the development of Bridge 21 and the Ireland-based literacy support programme. By 2012, Suas enjoyed an annual income of €1.3 million.