*MALAKI’s first experience of education was through the Pavement Club, a project in the slums of Kolkata, India, supported by Global Care. Today, he is in high school and has ambitions to start his own import/export business, thanks to the ongoing support of our child sponsorship programme.
He tells his story here: “My name is Malaki and I live in a slum community in Kolkata with my mother and father, uncle and two older brothers.
“I was eight years old when I was first sponsored by Global Care. I was already attending the Pavement Club and when the teachers visited our house and saw the deprivation and unhygienic conditions we were living in, they put me forward for the sponsorship programme.”
Initially, Malaki’s education continued at the Pavement Club, which was set up by Global Care to give uneducated slum children the chance of schooling.
In the early days, classes were delivered quite literally on the pavement to just a handful of children, but the Club now operates from our partners’ Ripon Street headquarters and the Vijayan Pavamani Centre at Creek Row, providing more than 350 children with education in reading, writing, maths, health and hygiene, as well as play time, washing facilities and a healthy meal.
Mohammed explains: “The community I live in, in North Range, is known for its anti-social crime, political upheaval and caste and gender discrimination. The whole area covers six acres and is overcrowded with people, many of whom are illegal settlers who have migrated from neighbouring states.
“In Kolkata, there are far fewer opportunities for people who are illiterate. If I hadn’t been given the privilege of sponsorship through Global Care, then I would probably have ended doing a menial job like working in a sweatshop or in a restaurant or as a driver.
“My father and uncle work spray painting cars and my older brother works in a sweatshop making leather purses. My mother is a housewife, and suffers from asthma.”
Global Care’s sponsorship enabled Malaki to attend the local Khanna High School. Now aged 19, he is currently in the 11th grade and hopes to complete his studies with ongoing support from the sponsorship programme.
He says: “I have developed a deep interest in my studies and I am really enjoying my learning. Although I am still studying, I take up part-time jobs when I can to support myself to take extra classes. Very recently I was working part-time for a gastroenterologist, although eventually I had to leave due to the pressures of my school work.
“My education is very important to me as I am very keen on starting my own business. I am especially interested in exporting and importing cars. I have been sponsored for 11 years now and Global Care has stood by me and supported me all the way through my education.
“It has been a real thrill for me to write to my sponsor and share all the wonderful things that have happened to me all these years. I have received lovely and inspiring letters from my sponsor and I will always be very grateful indeed to Global Care for investing in me.
“Here in Kolkata, Global Care is a lighthouse amongst the under-privileged, the poorest of the poor, the down-trodden and the alienated.
“Global Care’s sponsorship programme has not only sustained me academically, but it has also opened up a wide range of opportunities for me to develop myself holistically, and it has instilled in me godly values that will be always etched in my mind.”
*name has been changed to protect identity
You can change the life of a child like Malaki through our child sponsorship programme