Rashmi is a young girl from a remote area of Sri Lanka called Buttala. She is 13 years old and thanks to Hope for Children, she has discovered a passion for education that just a few years ago was not even a possibility.
Rashmi is one of 5 daughters who used to live with their mother and father, who was a shoemaker and repaired shoes on the side of the road to earn a living to support his family. However, due to the small income this produced and his large family, the children often went days without a hot meal and their home was very run down.
Things went from bad to worse for Rashmi when her father passed away, and the family were left without any sort of income. Rashmi’s mother, Dinithi, start working hard manual labour to bring in some sort of financial stability for her 5 girls and as a result, was out of the house a lot, leaving the girls to fend for themselves.
This had a particular impact on Rashmi who stopped going to school regularly or seeing the point in education – her family’s lack of education did not help this fact. The school she was enrolled at had poor facilities and learning materials which further fuelled her ambivalence to her education, and as she started to mature she was at significant risk from dropping out of education altogether.
For children, particularly girls, who drop out of school and don’t complete their education in Sri Lanka, options are extremely limited. Many uneducated young girls are forced to migrate away as far as the Middle East to find work as housemaids.
When Rashmi was about to turn 10, her fortunes finally started to change. Her mother learnt about a Hope for Children support-centre that focuses on providing intense education clubs for young children from rural poverty in the region. Rashmi was enrolled into the clubs which have not only improved her English and Maths – the core skills she needs to pass future exams – but has also reinvigorated her passion for learning and her appreciation of the importance of education.
Now she dreams of finishing her studies and finding employment so that she can support her mother and lift her family out of poverty.