ACCI Field Workers Alison and Narel Atkinson have seen incredible impact through their community-based care for children in Sri Lanka. HelpKids Centre not only provides a safe environment for children to develop and receive a quality education, but support to their families and broader communities - because it takes a whole community to raise a child. One such family that has been impacted by HelpKids, is Shari & Dineth's. Their lives have been changed for the better and here's how...
It is difficult to tell you what it feels like to watch a family torn apart by poverty, lack of support, or lack of knowledge. Children are placed in orphanages, away from their parents, their families and their communities.
It is for these reasons that HelpKids Centre in Sri Lanka work tirelessly to keep children in families. HelpKids champion families through education (both early childhood learning and tuition classes), providing a loving, safe & caring environment and empowering families to stay together.
Shari and Dineth’s mother came to The HelpKids Centre in 2014. She was a single mother struggling on her own to bring up her young son (aged 8) and daughter (aged 4). Without a family to support her and with no one to look after the children, keeping a steady job became impossible.
The difficulty facing this young family seemed insurmountable.
When Shari and Dineth's mother turned to us for help, our focus was on empowering them and equipping them to stay together. Shari was enrolled into Montessori at The HelpKids Centre and given day care so that her mother could go to work knowing her daughter was safe and cared for. Dineth was also given after school care and this helped his mother to secure a job that gave her an income to support her family.
Both children are now thriving in school!
From the time Shari started at the Montessori it was clear that she’s a young girl with an incredible future ahead of her. In 2016, she started grade 1 in a government school for girls. Now both children continue to attend the after school care and are also enrolled in the Past Pupils Program, which allows them access to free tuition in Sinhala language and English language. With the support of Helpkids and the love of their mother, the future is bright for these two children.
Shari and Dineth’s mother recently told her story at the HelpKids annual concert, describing the huge difference the HelpKids Centre has made to her circumstances and the impact it has had on her young family. She is now determined to help others experiencing the same challenges.
At their lowest point, Helpkids gave this family a hand up rather than a handout, and the impact of this will continue to be seen for many years to come.
THANK YOU for your continued support of HelpKids in Sri Lanka. It is because of people like you that we are able to give hope to families like Shari and Dineth's.