Divia* is a young woman who has lived the entirety of her life in the slums of India. A young woman who has dreams of working and making money to support herself and help her family, Divia has struggled against the cultural expectation of women being solely wife and mother, never breadwinners. Divia, the second eldest of four children, watched her parents save earnestly to send her older brother to junior college. When he couldn’t complete his courses, she felt the weight of knowing her parents would likely not borrow more money to send her.
For years, she has attended Christ for All Feeding Center, a long-time partner of Back2Back, who provides a hot meal each night, along with tutoring and Bible lessons, in the middle of the slum she calls home. As she grew older, and a Back2Back Strong Families Program developed within the small community, Goldie and Kennedy, directors of Christ for All, saw a potential in Divia. Back2Back’s Strong Families Program was designed to help families move from surviving to flourishing through classes and creative workshops addressing their spiritual, physical, educational, emotional, and social needs. The Strong Families Program provides the care they need today, so together they can participate in the hope of a flourishing tomorrow. By creating sustainability within the home, children remain where they truly belong – with their biological families. The staff fostered her learning, ensuring she remained on track, and when the Hope Education Program in India was ready for new students, Goldie and Kennedy had the perfect candidate in mind.
Divia is now the newest Hope Program student, and is planning for a future as a banker. She attends online classes while she lives at home with her family, is a part of weekly Bible study lessons, and attends virtual English classes. With the support and guidance of Back2Back staff, Goldie and Kennedy, and the support of her family and sponsors, Divia is breaking a cycle of expectation and seeing a goal come alive in her own life. The investments made in her story from trusted and safe adults have helped Divia get to where she is now – a full-time student, and it will be with the mentorship of those same adults that she will move forward in her education and with her dreams.