This is a story of Saroja and Shravani – we remember the first time we met them over a year ago when we first visited Premanjali Children’s Home in Hyderabad.
When we first talked to these girls, who were around 13 years old at the time, it was evident how full of life they both were. Having said that, there was also a glint of sadness in their faces. It took us a while to get them to confide in us – almost 3 months of regular visits, in fact. I remember asking them once “What would you like to be when you grow up” and the answers were very clear – Saroja wanted to be a singer, and Shravani a doctor. As we began interacting with them every week, we also came face to face with some of their realities – loss of parents and the associated trauma, no family support system and so on.
They were in their tenth grade that year – they were the first batch in the home to get to this grade, and we decided that we would do whatever we could to help them clear their exams and move another step towards their dream.
Given the combination of struggling with academics as well as behavioural deficits such as low self-esteem, inability to cope with stress, we felt that a very structured approach was needed – so we started working with them on their behavioural deficits first – helping them raise their self-awareness, self-esteem, social skills, managing aggression and enabling their cognitive abilities. Then we slowly began to help cope with their academics.
Every Sunday. For one year. That’s how long it took for us to see the change.
And what a wonderful change it was – the grit and resilience they showed resulted in them clearing their 10th grade exams at first go, and they are now pursuing their higher education. One more step towards their dream.
And that’s what it’s all about – helping a child realize one’s own potential as a human being.
We believe that a change is needed, where essential life skills become a part of the education framework, and there is structure and science to this.
Our work today empowers vulnerable and at-risk children through a structured life skills approach - the objective is to help them be emotionally and socially healthy, thereby enhancing their ability to have positive life outcomes.
Subbu Parameswaran, Co-Founder & CEO
Learning Curve Life Skills Foundation