Successful Sponsorship leads to Independence

A Successful Journey Out of Poverty

Have you ever wondered how kids who grow up in an orphanage eventually find a husband or wife, get a job and then start a family? The journey from being an orphaned child to becoming a self-sufficient young adult requires a lot of help along the way. Below is the story of how two siblings overcame tragedy thanks to Nambikkai Illam Orphanage and a successful sponsorship.

Meet Deva Raj and Yasotha

On June 3, 2007, the Nambikkai Illam orphanage gained two new family members: Deva Raj and Yasotha (both circled in the photo above). Deva was eight years old and Yasotha was six – and in their few years of life, the two had only known grief. What Deva and his younger sister, Yasotha, would quickly learn after arriving at Nambikkai Illam, is that with a little bit of help, their lives would be changed dramatically through education and love.

Deva and Yasotha - Sponsored children
Deva Raj is on the left and his younger sister Yasotha is on the right

Their life before arriving at the orphanage was extremely difficult. Their family lived in a tent on a miniscule plot of land given to them by Deva’s uncle. They were five in total: Deva’s parents and his two siblings (an older brother and a younger sister). Deva’s father was an alcoholic and eventually died from tuberculosis. The small piece of land where they lived in a tent was taken from them after their father passed away to settle a debt.

Street kids living out of tents


The mother and her three children suddenly had no place to live and had to sleep on the streets, begging for money to stay alive. Five years after their father’s death, their mother also died. The three children were left alone on the streets with no one to comfort and protect them. Fortunately, someone saw their desperate situation and brought them to Nambikkai Illam orphanage.

Families living and begging on the streets of India

Loving Care at Nambikkai Illam

Once at Nambikkai Illam, Deva and Yasotha both received help from a loving sponsor named Donna. Thanks to Donna, Deva not only learned new things in school, and had time to play cricket with his friends, but he eventually completed community college with dreams of attending a university.

I am doing well in my studies. It’s not possible to achieve my goal by scoring low marks. So I never waste my time. Please believe me that I will always value the study opportunity you gave to me and I hope my hard work will surely bring good rewards to my life. – Deva

Yasotha also took to Donna’s help and exceled at Nambikkai Illam. Outside of school, she pursued activities such as painting and storytelling. In school, Yasotha loved her math and science courses. Yasotha was motivated to finish school and become a successful nurse as she loves helping those in need.

Yasotha is very affectionate, loving, likes to be close to everyone. Independent able to do things by herself without anyone’s help. She leads others in a correct way though she is little. Good academically, writes well and has good handwriting. She serves others happily in the home. Every one in the home likes and loves her. She is brainy and sacrifices her food or anything for others. When we give correction, she accepts with pleasure. – Sister Anitha

Study time for all the children at Nambikkai Illam

College Bound

Wanting to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Deva submitted a World’s Children scholarship application. Thankfully, Donna wished to continue sponsorship for Deva Raj and Yasotha, which allowed him to attend college. In the spring of 2022, Deva Raj completed his mechanical engineering degree.

I feel happy to extend my gratitude to you for helping me this year in my studies. I have great news to tell you that I have completed my 1st year diploma in mechanical engineering at Periyar Polytechnic College – Vellore. It was possible only through your financial support.   -Deva

While Deva finished his degree in Mechanical Engineering, his beloved sister, Yasotha, was also completing her degree in Nursing with a focus in pediatrics. Aside from her studies, Yasotha has also won prizes in dancing and drawing competitions. Creativity and academics have inspired Yasotha to work hard and create a life filled of joy.

deva and Yasotha - teenage years

Rewarding Careers

Today, Deva works as a mechanic at a local shop. The pay is low, so Deva continues to look for work in Chennai and Bangalore where the pay rate is much higher. The nuns at Nambikkai Illam are helping Deva prepare for his job interviews as they wish to see him find a career that he deserves. While Deva was becoming a young man, Yasotha completed her degree in Nursing with perfect grades. Today, Yasotha is working as a home care nurse. Both Deva and Yasotha are so grateful for the help and loving support given to them by Donna and the nuns at Nambikkai Illam.

Deva and Yasotha as adults - careers in full swing thanks to sponsorship

Celebrations are in Order

Not only is Deva a career man but he is officially a married man! Deva met a girl in the village and they formed an amazing bond. They fell in love and married shortly after. The lucky lady’s name is Rajeshwari and his family at Nambikkai Illam couldn’t be happier. The wedding was celebrated with Deva’s Nambikkai Illam family – including the orphanage’s nuns, Yasotha and friends. To cap it all off, Sister Amutha Theos gave Deva a beautiful gold ring as a wedding gift and welcomed Rajeshwari to the Nambikkai Illam family.

Deva receiving a wedding band

Deva’s bride

Rajeshwari had a similar story to Deva. Although she didn’t lose her parents, they did not wish to support her – leaving her on her own as a student at the Nirmala Matha Home for Children, a home World’s Children supports. At Nirmala Matha, Rajeshwari completed education up until the 11th grade. Now that Rajeshwari lives closer to Nambikkai Illam, she will be able to complete her 12th year of school with the intention of starting nursing school quickly after. With a nursing degree, the nuns are convinced the newly married couple can live a normal life avoiding the difficult lives that their parents lived.

Bride, Groom and Friends & Family

Incredible Resilience Leads to Success

Both Deva and Yasotha are so grateful for the help of Donna and the nuns at Nambikkai Illam. Deva and Yasotha’s stories are proof that education makes an enormous impact on children. Education is the key to ending the cycle of poverty. Without help from their sponsor, Donna, and the nuns at Nambikkai Illam – Deva and Yasotha would be on the streets, living a life of despair and poverty, the same life as their parents did before them.

Interested in helping a child like Dev Raj or Yasotha? Learn more below.


Loretta Worthington, Board Member

Loretta Worthington

Loretta Worthington

Board Member

Loretta met David Purviance on a chance trip in 2006, while seeking to be of service to the vulnerable children in India.  Since then, Loretta has been a longtime supporter of World’s Children as a donor, sponsor, and previous Board member.  She had the wonderful opportunity to return to India twice to visit several World’s Children orphanages, and even identified the Happy Home orphanage and petitioned to bring it into the WC family. Loretta raised funds to build a well at Happy Home, where it now has clean water for all the children and staff.

Loretta currently works with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services as the Program Manager for the six Medical Hubs – the child abuse evaluation clinics for the County. She also serves as the Program Manager for the County’s Gender Health Program, serving patients seeking gender-affirming care in a safe environment.  Before her work with Los Angeles County, Loretta spent many years serving non-profit organizations in CA and in MN, her last as the Executive Director of a statewide non-profit in MN. She has a long history of volunteer work including Board Member and Board Chair service, grant writing and fundraising experience, program development, and creative leadership, all serving our most vulnerable and disenfranchised populations.

Loretta holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Services, a Master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology, and a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.  She lives in Los Angeles County with her partner, Myck, and their rescue kitties, Scooter and Thunder.

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