Suhana* has lived apart from her family for most of her life. In her younger years, she lived in a Back2Back-partner children’s home, and later transitioned with many other girls and boys to the Back2Back-run India Hope Campus. She has spent the last several years focusing on her studies and growing into a young woman who is always willing to learn. As someone who has been invested in, she now sees the value of offering help to others around her.
Like the rest of the students who generally call the India Hope Campus home, Suhana went to stay with her parents in their village in response to India’s lockdown mandates last year. She continued to diligently study through her first year of junior college and enjoyed celebrating her birthday with her extended family for the first time since she was a very young girl. While many parts of her days remained the same – studying and focusing on school and keeping to a schedule, Suhana was also increasingly seeing something she is generally guarded from – impoverished people doing their best to stay warm and fed.
In December, she and the other six girls in junior college returned to the Back2Back campus for some focused study time to prepare for their exams and share a small Christmas celebration with staff and caregivers. While she was there, Suhana approached a Back2Back staff member and made a special request.
“I would like to use some of my birthday and Christmas money to buy blankets for the poor in my village,” she said to them. “Would it be okay for me to use the money in this way?”
Her desire to give from what she is given was quickly affirmed by the staff as they considered what this ultimately says about Suhana’s character. “Our desire is for every child we serve to be interdependent in their communities and economically sustainable and independent,” he shared. “Suhana’s desire to serve those with less is a direct reflection of her character and her desire to be an active member in her own community.”
Staff had an opportunity to speak with Suhana’s father right before Christmas, when they delivered gifts to the children and their families. “It was really an early Christmas gift for me to be able to share what a thoughtful and kind daughter he has,” shared a staff member.
This is the power of relationship and advocacy at work – children from hard places are given opportunities to see the value in what they have to offer, right where they are. Suhana has learned over time she has much to offer the world and people around her. She is using her gifts, time, and talents to leave those around her better than how she found them, and we are confident she will continue to do so as she grows.