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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.