Abhilash’s journey breaking norms and finding himself

Abilash is a 15 year old from a remote tribal village of Koruvakuzhi in the Kanyakumari district. The only means of transport was a coracle that crossed the river twice a day. Abhilash lost his father in a terrible accident when he was young and his mother, Anitha, has been struggling to make ends meet. She is a daily wage labourer who manages to find work for only a 100 days in a year. This has a direct impact on their living conditions. But through all their economic hardships and pitiful living conditions, Anitha ensured she enrolled her three children in school. She always believed education was the way to finding more lucrative opportunities to improve the quality of living. However, Abhilash found understanding Mathematics and English challenging in school and always managed to get by.

But at grade 10 he struggled more and couldn’t manage to score well even though he tried his best. His school authorities too lost hope and even suggested he defer his exams and drop out, so that it does not affect the standard of the school and save the reputation. This meant that he will do the same odd jobs his mother does leaving him no further scope for education.

His mother was crushed as Abilash's education was their only hope for a better future.

Centre for Social Reconstruction (CSR) an NGO that employs community workers were informed of Abhilash’s predicament. CSR enrolled Abhilash in Special Coaching Classes that was supported by Lebara Foundation. As a result of thorough dedication from the teaching staff in the centre, Abhilash showed tremendous determination and progress, passing his exams successfully. Today, Abhilash with renewed vigour and hope, is all set to pursue his education and become a teacher to help other children just like him within his community. Lebara Foundation continues to inspire change through Abhilash and enable many more students like Abhilash dream bigger.

Kaushalya | Dream’s do come true after all

Kaushalya, at the age of 14 was brought to Samvedanaa, a home for children affected by HIV managed by CARDTS. She came in having lost all her childish quirks and smiles. Kaushalya’s childhood is not how you and I would imagine ours. Kaushalya’s lost her mother to AIDS when she was 10 years old, and her father quite eager to be married again.

She faced physical abuse by her step mother and was later abandoned by her father.

As an optimistic young girl with great resolve and determination, she set to finish her high school and pursue Nursing. Her goal is to successfully complete her course and be an independent woman. However, being HIV positive, meant she had a lot of barriers and challenges to face. The fear of stigma and discrimination was always hovering over her head and she was hesitant to interact with patients while on the job. CARDTS helped her face her fears. Lebara Foundation, the importance of education and supports Kaushalya’s higher education in the University.

Kaushalya will soon be a licensed Nurse and is looking forward to helping other young girls who’ve come from challenging backgrounds just as she did. She hopes to be there to support and guide them, something she felt she would have loved to have growing up. Lebara Foundation is proud to have sponsored the education of a strong willed young woman who will go on to raise standards of women and girls in society, shatter stigma related to HIV and AIDS and provide hope to other children affected with HIV.