Pradeep* came to Tiny Stars Montessori when he was only two and a half years old. When he arrived to the Tiny Stars Montessori he was unable to speak. This caused him to grow very frustrated and therefore he began to act out and have several behavioral issues. Through the patience, care, and persistence of
the teachers at Tiny Stars Montessori, within one year Pradeep has changed remarkably. Pradeep* can now count to 100 in both Sinhalese and English. He also knows his ABC's and is starting to learn three letter words.His ability to communicate has improved immensely.
Pradeep's* progress continues and because of his newfound communication skills his behavior has also improved. The amazing work of the teachers at Tiny Stars have given Pradeep and his family new hope.
*Name has been changed
Lena* was born into a poor family in a village in Ratnapura and was the youngest child in her family. Her earliest memories from her childhood were of her father drinking heavily and physically abusing her mother. She remembers her mother crying in pain and eventually committing suicide to escape the abuse. Lena's* childhood was scarred with abuse and trauma.
After her mother passed away, her father's drinking problem worsened and she knew she had to leave. She stayed with several family members but was continually forced to look after their children and do all the household chores. This meant that she could not attend school and so she moved back to her father's house.
Shortly after her father married her off to a much older man. This man sold illicit alcohol, had a wife that was working abroad and three children. Lena* was forced to look after his children and soon learned
that he also abused alcohol and began to abuse her. Lena* had two children with this man and was now trapped in the same cycle as her mother.
One night, after being severely beaten, Lena* decided to leave. Her husband was passed out in a drunken stupor and she, along with her two children left. She got on the first bus, which was headed for Colombo. It was at this point that fear started to set in because Lena* did not know what was in store for her.
The bus arrived in Colombo in the early morning. Lena* still terrified, sat on a bench with her two children not knowing what to do. An elderly man approached her and asks if she needed help. She said she was waiting for someone. The elderly man continued to offer to help and she decided to trust him. He bought her and her children a bus ticket to Dehiwela and he took her to Community Concern.
This was the beginning of Community Concern's Heavena project. Lena* was the first mother to receive counseling and support at Heavena. To this day she still believes that the man that offered her help and guided her to Community Concern was an angel.
Now, roughly ten years later, she is a thriving montessori teacher and mother. Her wounds have healed and she has regained her confidence and self-worth. Her two children attend government schools and the three of them live happily in their own home. She is finally happy and continues to do well for her and her family.
*Name has been changed
Kalistos's mother died when he was just 9 years of age. Soon after his mother's passing his father left the family. Even though his eldest sister was very young she took care of Kalistos and his siblings in a small house on the beach. When his sister got married she became to busy and brought him and his brother to the feeding program during the early days of CC. He received milk, soup, bread, eggs, and rice and curry through the program. He was unable to attend school as her sister couldn't afford to send all of
the siblings to school. Instead he joined the morning literacy classes and got training as a carpenter by CC in the evening.
After he grew up and became 18 years old, he joined the CC staff working as an assistant in the feeding program. At age 28 he married a tuition teacher at CC and has now been promoted as the main cook at the feeding program. He also coordinates the Life Guard program during the weekends which was started after
the Tsunami and works as an instructor in Gym in the evenings during the weekdays.
He wants to give back to the community that helped him when he was a young boy. Kalisto and his wife are not only serving their community and The Lord through CC but at their local church as well. He is so thankful for CC and the people who helped him get to were his is today.
Vijayraj* is proof of how Community Concern helps the Dehiwela community. When he was a little boy, he had the opportunity to received nutritious meals from Community Concern's through the feeding program.
Community Concern also provided him with an education and support through the Lak Daruwo
Sponsorship Program. This sponsorship allowed him to pursue his education, something that would have been lost if it weren't for the giving heart of the program and his sponsor.
With the love and support from his sponsor and CC, he is now living in Canada and working in a
coffee shop. Vijayraj* understands how important getting an education was and now sponsors a child of his own through the same sponsorship program that helped him.
*Name has been changed