Meet Yashodha from Sri Lanka
My name is Yashodha. I am 22 years old. While I may be young, I’ve carried the responsibilities of a mother since I was 10. My mother migrated to the Middle East for work and during that time we weren’t even able to talk to her. This was extremely difficult and painful.
Not only had I lost my mother, but I was also looking after household chores as well as my siblings and my father. I was too young to know the responsibilities of a mother and had no one to look after me.
With all these challenges at home, I struggled and was bullied in school. When I was physically present in school, I was mentally thinking about my problems at home. It broke my heart to see my classmates so happy with their parents. I had no one to talk to about my problems or confide in. I grew up all alone.
When I was 12, Room to Read came to my school. I finally found the motherly love and kindness I was looking for in my Room to Read mentors. They treated us with so much compassion and provided me with the emotional support I was lacking.
My mentor visited my house and learnt about the difficulties I was struggling with. She showed me how to organise my time and balance my responsibilities at home and at school. My mentor taught me life skills such as how to establish goals, face and overcome challenges, so I could find my inner motivation and perseverance. I was no longer shy, found lots of new friends and started having positive hopes about my future.
Thanks to this support, I succeeded in passing my secondary school exams quite well! That was one of the happiest days in my life. From being a bullied and isolated child, I became the top student in my school. Life skills gave me the voice and power to achieve my goals. There are many talented children in my village. They weren’t succeeding because they lacked talent, but because they did not get the support and opportunities that I received from Room to Read.
Today, I am an inspiration to all the brothers and sisters in my village because they witnessed how I overcame my challenges. Today, they too want to get an education and pursue their dreams. I am very happy about that.
Due to Room to Read’s support I am very proud of where I am in life today. I’ve worked so hard to achieve my goals and have been selected to go to Peradeniya University.
I am certain that I will do well in university and will be able to find a good job after that. However, I have a bigger responsibility now. There are so many other children who also need the same support and guidance I received. I want to help them, to encourage them to fulfill their dreams and win at life.
I’m thankful that Room Read helped me get where I am today, and grateful to all of you who are helping girls like me succeed.