Education is very important for everyone and everywhere around the world, and there are measures taken to combat the issue of drop-outs. Lack of interest can be tackled, but access to Education is an issue that is perennial.
18 years old Sanjeevini Vethanayagam is living with her parents, 2 brothers and 2 sisters in Old Gomathola, Estate in Udagama, Galle. Their family is very poor and they live in one of the small houses in the estate.
Sanjeevini’s father is sick and is unable to perform any hard work to earn a living for the family. He accompanies his wife who picks tea leaves in Wattawala estate, to do menial jobs to fulfill their family’s daily expenses. Their combined average monthly income is only Rs 8000/- to Rs. 10,000/-, which is insufficient to feed the kids with regular meals and to provide them with good education.
“Most of the days, myself and my siblings eat once a day while my parents go to work on empty stomach”.
To overcome this situation, Sanjeevini decided to discontinue studies and support the family by earning a decent income.“My mum family’s responsibilities” said Sanjeevini, who is now bearing part of her family’s responsibilities along with her mother. As the eldest in her family, she had to discontinue her education with O/L, and was forced to give up on her passion to continue to study A/L.
But we know, change is inevitable. And what was in store for Sanjeevini was a “future”.
When I met the reverend of our village Rev. Father Gracian, he suggested me follow a vocational training course that will help me to earn some income to support my family. He also guided me in deciding what I want do for future. He sent me to Balapittiya, Galle nun’s convent where LBR in partnership with Mosvold conducting resident based vocational training center.
When Sanjeevini explained her situation to the organization, she got admission to a one year course in Beauty Culture and Tailoring. She completed the course in the end of February 2017. Presently, Sanjeevini is doing on-the-job training (OJT) at Zero beauty parlour, which is a well-known service provider in this space. She earns Rs 10,000/- during OJT. The beauty parlour will provide the opportunity of a full-time job based on her ability and skills, which will help her earn a minimum of Rs 25,000/- per month.
With proper guidance and the right training, interventions become meaningful. Today, Sanjeevini is all excited about her opportunity. “I can give reasonably comfortable life for my family. My brothers and sisters can continue their studies without any interruption. We will have food on our table. My father can get medicines”, and her list went on. Thus, LBR continues to inspire lives!