In Sri Lanka, Shasimitha Has a Bright Future

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By Himangi Jayasundere, ChildFund Sri Lanka
Posted on 11/7/2016
Shasimitha

Ten-year-old Shasimitha hugs her mother, Karthayini.

In Shasimitha’s village in Sri Lanka, most people make their livings on fishing boats or in rice paddies, or by doing odd jobs between seasons. During the country’s civil war, the region went through terrible hardships, and life is just beginning to return to normal.

Shasimitha, who is 10, dreams of becoming a doctor.

Last year, she received a sponsor through ChildFund — an exciting moment. “I have seen sponsored children writing letters to their sponsors,” she says. “I was eagerly waiting for this day, and it has finally arrived.”

Karthayini, Shasimitha’s mother, is a lead mother in ChildFund’s program to teach children English, and she attributes many positive changes to the classes, as well as other programs. “We encourage children to speak English, and we have awareness sessions on the importance of education for children, and training to teach families about nutritious food, education and health. It’s helped me, as well as Shasimitha,” she says. The knowledge she has gained has changed her outlook on caring for her children — Shasimitha now has a space at home where she can do homework and keep her school materials.

Until recently, Shasimitha had never gone outside her village, when she and other children visited a school in a nearby town. There, she was able to see different methods of teaching and learning at a model primary school.

“I see a big difference in the school buildings and the way the teachers and students conduct themselves,” she says. “It’s neat and orderly. Anyone would be happy to study in this type of school.” The children also saw several historical sites they had read about in their textbooks.

Shasimitha’s hard work is paying off. She recently took her fifth grade examination and scored well enough to receive admission and a scholarship at a good secondary school, where she can continue through 12th grade and perhaps attend college. She looks forward to a brighter future with more opportunities to realize her dreams.

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