It’s the night of Diwali, 19-year-old Shivani carefully places candles along the steps of the front door of her house. The soft candlelight illuminates her face. Just as the festival of lights denotes victory over darkness, Shivani’s story is nothing less of a victory. She lives with her mother, Anita, and brother, Nitil, in one of Delhi’s biggest resettlement colonies.
Having lost her father in 2009, and subsequently, her 14-year-old brother to a brain tumour in 2011, Shivani’s family has been through the worst.
Once a family of five, they’re now a tight-knit trio, devoted to one another in a way that only comes from forging through hardship together.
The three of them have worked through the heartbreaks; Shivani is now a smart young lady, doing her second year in the bachelor’s degree of arts degree, which includes political science, economics, and Hindi. Nitil is also in college. He’s studying toward a three-year bachelor of commerce degree in hopes of eventually working for a multinational corporation.
Shivani interns with a travel agency too. “I want to live a busy life,” she says, though she already does. After working at the agency during the day, she returns home at 8 p.m. to eat dinner before going to a study centre for two hours.
Her mother Anita was married at the age of 14 and dropped out of school at 15. “If I had studied more, things would have been different,” says Anita.
Things are different for her daughter though. Shivani was sponsored through World Vision India from the 3rd standard. She has taken advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow over the years: child journalism workshops, seminars on children’s rights, field trips to the science centre and Lodi Gardens, community clean-up days, youth clubs, and educational support.
As her involvement deepened, her confidence grew. She blossomed from a reserved, shy adolescent to a determined, articulate young woman, says Amrita Singh, a World Vision India staff member who first met Shivani seven years ago.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Through support from sponsors like you, encouragement from World Vision India staff and knowledge gained from her experiences, Shivani has emerged as a confident young woman.
Sponsorship truly changes lives. Without the support from our compassionate sponsors like you, lives of many children like Shivani would not have changed. A million thanks to all our sponsors and donors who make change possible.