23 Apr Follow Up Story: Jennifer and Gomathi Defies the Odds and Enrolls in Nursing School.
Last November, we asked our SOW family to help support two aging out young girls from our partner home, Destiny Village to fulfill their dreams of going to nursing school.
The caste system, gender biases, child marriage, and poverty are just some of the contributing factors that prevent many girls in this region of South Asia from ever stepping foot in a classroom. For orphaned and vulnerable girls, the chances are even lower. In many cases, without sufficient training and preparation, when these girls turn 18 and leave these orphanages, they will in all likelihood re-enter poverty, deprivation and be forced into the sex trade.
Jennifer and Gomathi have already defied the odds by completing the 12th grade. Jennifer came to Destiny Village when she was just 12 years old after she lost both her parents from unforeseen illnesses.
Gomathi was also raised at Destiny Village after she lost both of her parents. Gomathi lost her father from a car accident when she was three, and her mother became ill shortly after.
Despite their circumstances, Jennifer and Gomathi made a commitment to work and study hard, so that they could change these outcomes for themselves and for future generations to come. Last year, when they graduated from 12th grade with high standing, they expressed a passion for nursing, and their dreams of pursuing a prestigious nursing degree at a local, well known university in their city. With the cost of tuition, accommodations, supplies and transportation, they felt they had to place this dream on the shelf and come up with a realistic plan to make money once they turned 18.
When the directors of the home heard their passion, they reached out to us for help. They went to the local university and received an official statement of the cost breakdown of the three-year course, including itemized costs for supplies, accommodation and transportation. We posted the need on our social media platforms and stood with them in prayer while we waited.
As time went by, the girls turned 18 and by law, had to leave the orphanage. Jenifer went back to the place where she was born and started working long hours in a factory, making approximately $60 a month. According to the World Bank Group, $58 a month is considered as living in extreme poverty.
Gomathi went back to her village to do some service work, making even less.
Not long after they started working, several generous supporters responded to the post, and completely funded their nursing school degree. Once they complete this degree, their beginning salaries will place them in the top 10th percentile of salaries in this region. This will change their lives forever, literally breaking the cycle of poverty.
It has been months since Jenifer and Gomathi have enrolled in college.
“The faculty leaders said the girls are both doing extremely well academically, and that they have been impressed with their contribution to the university by the way they are helping others” said Coleman Bailey, our field coordinator. Coleman recently returned from visiting Destiny Village, and had the privilege of spending several days with the girls. His visit also included a meeting with the leadership of the university that the girls attend. “We are excited and hopeful for the future of these girls and want every child to have the same opportunities as Jennifer and Gomathi.”
Through the dedicated work of our partner homes and the generosity of our supporters, Serving Orphans Worldwide takes care of 7,000 orphaned and vulnerable children in 27 countries around the world. However, we know that orphan rescue is just one piece of a very large puzzle in orphan care. There must be more. Once these children turn 18 and age out of care, they will become vulnerable young adults, in need of advocacy, protection, economic resources and a sense of belonging.
This year, we have decided to take on a new, exciting initiative as we open our very first SOW operated transition center in South Asia. This will be the first of three campuses we plan to open, with the others located in East Africa and Central America. Our transition centers will provide further education, training and a safe community for young people like Jennifer and Gomathi as they develop the knowledge and skills they need to successfully navigate life in their home countries.
Learn more about our new Transitional Center for young adults set to open in South Asia this year by visiting:
For information on Destiny Village Children’s Home, and children in need of sponsorship, visit:
Story by: Susan Anderson