Sometimes my job here can be frustrating and tough but then I see a child and he/she makes everything I do so worthwhile and yesterday that happened. His name is Pradip and many may remember his story as I have told it before but it just gets better. Pradip has been with NEF almost since the begining. His siblings were the first children we sponsored in 2004 but we did not try to sponsor him until the following year. He is the eldest son and was already in school. I decided the next year that he should also be sponsored and I got him a good sponsor but when we went to see him he was not in school and was running on the streets and had needle marks on his arms. I thought he was too high risk to sponsor but his sponsor wanted to continue with him. Six weeks later I returned to see him and he was very sick and needed his gall bladder removed which we arranged with the help of his sponsor again. Somehow this was a turning point for Pradip. I went to see him in hospital and he appeared so grateful. Over the next years he has flourished. Every year I visit and although he has struggled a bit in school he is now going into class 10. Yesterday he told us he is working every night from 10 pm to 4 am 6 days a week as a security guard then comes home and sleeps for a few hours before going to school. He earns $40 per month which he gives to his mother. The father is a drunk and not there a lot of the time and there has been some violence. The mother washes clothes and dishes for work. I had some money from his sponsor and offered some it to him so he could buy himself something and he said "No give it to my mother to pay the rent". I got a lump in my throat. Here was a boy who worked so hard yet would take no money for himself. He wants to go to college and I am sure he will. I believe now that it is better to have too little rather than too much as it builds charactor. Pradip should be our poster child. He is 18 now. His sponsor gave him a chance when he was at his lowest point and it worked. This proves how important sponsors are in the lives of these children. His brother, who was sponsored, we lost years ago to the streets but to my surprise he is back in school, in class 8 and looking like a respectable young man. He has no sponsor now. Pradip is a great example to him also and I am sure has played a role in getting him back to school. He also has another brother and sister with us who are doing well.
Next we visited the tea shop we bought for a lady some years ago after she lost her husband. We sponsor two girls in college here and their young brother in school. Both daughters go to college from 6 am to 10 pm then come home, change and go to work in a store from 11am to 7 pm six days per week. They earn $70 per month and give all but approx. $14 to their mother. I only saw one, Ramilla, but she is such a nice young lady. Her sponsor sent her some cosmetics from the Body Shop and the body butter she got which I think is about $12 in Canada is $70 here. she knew as they sell it in the shop where she works.
I could go on but this is enough for today. Must go for a run before we begin the day.