Sunday, 27 September 2015

Chalk and Cheese - Our Sponsored Children

Having returned from Gorkha yesterday, my remaining  day was taken up  meeting the girls from Parapokar Orphanage.  What a difference a year has made to these girls. Beautiful, tall and oh so grown up. They were accompanied by their house mother and English teacher. Sudha is KIKN's most recent recruit,  sponsored by Alex, the volunteer who was here with Uma in April this year.

All the sponsors' letters were given to them individually.  It is interesting how different sponsor chose to enclose different treats for their children. Alex, the German sponsor  for Sudha, chose to send her photographs she took with her and her friends plus stickers etc.Sudha was really chafed with the gifts. She is a lovely 11 year old  who is first in her class. In fact, all the girls  are in the top 3 positions in their various classes. We are so proud of them.

And yet  it was  a totally different scenario this morning. Uma received phone calls from the  girls that some of them have failed in their exams . The school is refusing to release the reports until they come to see Uma and myself to explain themselves to us.

I came into the lounge first thing this morning to be met by the girls looking sheepish and concrite  with Uma talking sternly to them about the poor results. Everyone has failed in not one, but 5/6 subjects with the exception of Sunita.  We will be meeting with their parents to ask for their cooperation to help to lift the standard of these girls. The bottom line is KIKN will seriously consider withdrawing sponsorship if  their results do not improve by the end of the academic year in March 2016. They have 6 months.

It was like pulling teeth, very difficult to establish the reasons for their poor performance. One particular child ,Susman was in first position in her class 2 years ago when we started  her  sponsorship. Overtime I have noticed that her results have been dropping  , but was  prepared to give her benefit of my doubts.. However, the result of the current term has seen her dropping to 6th positon,with a failure in the Science subject.. It was most disappointing.

The trouble with these girls is peer pressure.  They hang out together  everyday. They  have become bad influence  to one another.One of the girls has been excellent in winning medals in Karate competition.  For some reason, she has stopped attending the Karate  class. The reason she gave was that her Karate suit is ruined, therefore she did not feel she could attend.Even the karate  teacher has complained to Uma about it. Uma feels if we can split up the group culture,  some of them will have a chance.

It is at times like this that I am acutely aware  I am fighting a losing battle. What is the answer? I have to accept that we can't  help everyone, but if only I can make the girls see the opportunities they are giving up .... A real pity!

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