Priyadarshini is a brilliant student and wants to be a doctor when she grows up. By the time she was eight she had lost both her parents and had to move in with her aunt who already had three daughters of her own and was the sole breadwinner. By the time Priyadarshini reached middle school, the family was living in a one-room house where only one person could fit, the girls would take turns doing homework. Her aunt could no longer afford to keep her in school.
Priyadharshini was referred to VCT by her school, she was given an Education Scholarship, and we also provided her aunt with a sewing machine to be able to run her own business. With the additional income, the family was able to move into a bigger home where all four of them could live. Priyadarshini, who struggled to express herself, also received extensive counseling to help her overcome her early childhood trauma and even found an emotional outlet in art.
Education shouldn’t be a privilege, it should be a right. An increasing number of children, girls, in particular, fall through the cracks of the education system. These children have dreams which they never reach, either for economic or social reasons. Having even a high school degree drastically increases their earning potential and puts them closer to their goals.
The Education sponsorship program looks for children like Priyadharshini, who often have great potential. We focus not just on financing their education, but on holistic success and well-being of each student. Regular house visits are conducted along with close monitoring of academic performance, students who need it are given counseling and their families participate in economic and family strengthening programs.
We believe that every child deserves an equal chance to succeed. Through this program, we are able to change the lives of so many children, but a little help would allow us to reach that many more, changing not just lives but communities.