Rising from the Rubble:
Sonia Thomas is a very happy girl today as she is just getting ready to study general nursing and midwifery course. Youngest in a family of five, her father is in the prison serving a sentence. Her mother, who is mentally challenged, is in a care centre for women run by the government. She has an elder brother and an elder sister. As a teenage girl living in a tent in unsafe condition, with no adult family member or relative to look after and ensure her safety, Sonia was brought to Don Bosco Valsalya Bhavan in Ernakulum. She was in class VIII then and was on the brink of giving up her studies. Once at Valsalya Bhavan, overcoming the trauma associated with her childhood, she scored 80 per cent marks in her class X public examination. Two years later, in May 2017, she completed her higher secondary course too in flying colours. “Once I had lost all zest to live. But thanks to Valsalya Bhavan and the care, support and training I received there, I feel more confident and optimistic about life now. I want to pursue nursing, get a job and look after my parents”, says Sonia with gratitude and confidence brimming.
Back on Track:
Mahadev was born in a very poor family in a remote village in Kalburgi district, North Karnataka. He lost his parents at a tender age. “I was so young then. I can’t even recollect their faces,” says Mahadev. At the death of his parents Mahadeva, along with his younger sister who was hardly 4 years then were left orphans. Initially an uncle, a daily wage labourer tried to take care of the children. But with the meagre income he earned it was impossible for him to look after both the kids as well as his own family. He decided to leave the children at some orphanage. So in 2006, when Mahadeva was just 6 years, he was brought to Don Bosco PYaR. Once at Don Bosco, he made steady progress in all fields. He proved himself to be good at studies. He was always noted for good behaviour. Just a couple of months back, Mahadeva successfully completed his class X public examination securing excellent result. “I want to study and get a job. I want to look after my sister. I thank God for intervening in my life through Don Bosco. If not for Don Bosco PYaR and the fathers who helped me I would have just perished in poverty”, says Mahadeva.
From Darkness to Light:
Nayanakumari lost her father when she was just 14 years old. Due to extreme poverty, she and her sister had to discontinue their studies, and started working in a garment factory to support their family. After 4 years, coming to know of their sad plight one of the staff of Don Bosco Mysore guided them to the Direct SSLC programme for school dropouts at Don Bosco under the Karnataka State Open School. Nayanakumari enrolled herself as a student under open school scheme. She completed her SSLC and PUC in flying colours after which she joined for the 3 months skill training program at the Don Bosco Tech Mysore. Now she is a staff of Don Bosco. Nayanakumari says, “My life has totally changed after joining Don Bosco. My younger sister also completed her SSLC at Don Bosco and is presently doing PUC. Both of us are very happy. Don Bosco taught us the meaning of livelihood and personal management. We are proud to say that we are part of that great family - Don Bosco”.
Up from the Ashes :
Nazarath Mary hails from a poor family at Lingarajapuram, Bangalore. Her family considered her a burden since she had to be married off soon. It did not damage her spirit and instead she went on to prove that she could be a great blessing to the family.
As she was looking for opportunities, she received leaflets on free training at DB BEST Academy. She took up the hospitality management domain for skill training. Nazarath, slightly nervous in the beginning, soon gained confidence and acquired skills in the area of hospitality management. Currently she is successfully and happily employed at Cinepolis, Orion Mall, Bengaluru, as cashier and chef, drawing a salary of Rs. 8700 along with incentives.