One of our neighbors invited the children for lunch (Dal, Rice and Crisps and sweets for dessert), a little entertainment and a few games yesterday. Thank you to everybody who helped, and kept the children entertained.
We were kindly given a box of vada pav that a young Muslim couple had been giving out. They had a few left and wanted to make sure they went to some deserving children. This morning we gave them out and took a few photos. Thank you for your support, it all helps
Nearly all of our students of the 10th standard have decided to continue their education and have applied and been accepted into college. This year has seen the highest number of college admissions which is a great success for them but also a little worrying due to the ongoing pandemic and the effects it is having on studying and education. Not having the hands-on teaching will undoubtedly affect their studies, the children seem to like the idea of online studies, but we will see if that's still the case at exam time.
All colleges and schools in Goa are still closed and there is also 'a loose lockdown' in place, although things do seem to be normal with only a few restrictions in place. Markets are busy, the roads especially. To be honest I am expecting the third wave to hit soon..
On the topic of the third wave, Both Robert (who is fully vaccinated) and Amina (who's had the first jab) have both come down with colds the past week so things are running very slowly at the moment, it does just feel like a heavy cold, but it doesn't seem to want to go away. Many others are also having similar symptoms so perhaps the symptoms of Covid have changed. In any case, we are doing what we can to reduce transmission and getting rest to help with recovery, so fingers crossed.
The center has been closed to children which have given a nice break, but there are always a few things that need doing, dropping children at the dentist on Friday and paying for college fees today and tomorrow, so never any chance to completely turn off and relax.
As well as the kids we are still helping the two young ladies, which adds to the workload. But it is nice to have a bit of company.
Let us hope we all start to feel better soon and get back into the swing of things.
In the last couple of weeks, we have met two strong young ladies who have faced more than their fair share of heartache and struggle.
One of the young ladies just needed a helping hand as she had no money to her name and nowhere to stay. That could be classed as superficial compared to the horrific acts she had to endure before she was 16 years old, starting with unwelcome sexual advances from her father to being raped by three men and hospitalised. For most of her teen life, she lived on her own as her family turned their backs. She has shown great resistance and strength, but the effects of the Pandemic on the tourism sector have made it even more difficult and to add insult to injury her phone was stolen and then a cheap replacement gave up on her too which has made finding jobs more difficult as she no longer has a contact number (if anyone has an old phone that is collecting dust in a drawer and can get it to us, then please let us know )
A friend of hers knew one of our students and ask asked if they knew anyone who could help and they got in touch with Rob.
We hope that her fortunes will turn round as Goa begins to open up again (hopefully), but for the time being she has taken shelter at Goa Outreach.
The second young lady called up just a few days ago in tears as her life felt impossible. Robert was on the bike when she called and the reception wasn't so good but he understood that she also needed shelter and had also had left home in her teens. She had struggled but managed to both work and complete her 1st year at college on her own.
A couple of months ago she realised she was pregnant, the father of the child did not take the news well and as many selfish men do, blamed her for the situation that 'she' apparently put 'him' in. Since then he has been unavailable to help, even when she asked to go to the hospital for a check-up. This has taken a toll on her and as she wasn't currently working, financial stress and having no one to help brought her to the point when she searched online for help.
Robert knew of a local organisation where they look after young pregnant women, so as soon as he reached home from Mapusa, he took a ride down to meet the sisters to ask if they would be able to assist her. Thankfully they were very open and willing to help and even offered to take her in the next day. The young lady was hoping to work while she can to make sure she can save money to help her for the months that she would not be able to just before and after the birth. Her desire to support herself, even as food had run out at home shows the courage and determination that will surely make her a strong role model for the child as he/she grows.
We will continue to support these two young ladies and will hopefully be able to report back with better news in the near future.