Picture this. A young boy at the age of 16 is told that he has to go back home because the fees at the international school he studies at were too expensive.
Goodbye to friends. A totally different educational curriculum. Life away from family in the last two years of high school.
For a 16-year-old, it meant an end to life as he knew it.
There was resentment, anger and a lot of unhappiness. A lot of it was directed towards family, the unfortunate first line of attack whenever our emotions get the better of us.
Luckily, a scholarship came to my rescue. I was able to continue my studies, and my finances were not a factor anymore. I could focus on studying, and that is really all that a student needs to do at that formative stage in life.
To say that my life transformed would be an understatement. I managed to study Economics at the best university in Asia, work as a journalist for ESPN and now I am working in a dynamic marketing & communications department that tries to showcase the need of hundreds of men & women looking for financial support so they can earn their way out of poverty.
I know there is no point dwelling in the past but I am pretty sure life would have gone a different direction if my merit, as well as my financial challenges, were not recognised.
Now imagine if I did not have a family. Imagine if my alternative to school or university was a low-paying menial job. Imagine if I had to fend for myself and leave the company of the only friends I have ever known.
There are orphanages and shelter homes across the country. They have thousands of children that have to drop out of school every year.
We have now started to enter this area. Last year, we managed to get in touch with an organisation that is seeking to try and change the story for a select few homes in Bangalore.
On Republic Day, I went with my team to a few of the homes. These children often don’t have any other family. They only have each other. The joy in their voices was palpable as they felt honoured to have been given scholarships probably for the first time in their lives.
It might not seem like much to achieve more than 60%, but given the lack of a stable home and their backgrounds, it is a tremendous achievement that we were all proud of.
Have you ever received a scholarship? Did it change your life? Can you recall that feeling of immense gratitude towards the universe when all your worst fears for the future were allayed?
That’s exactly what we hope to deliver to these children with the help of our partner, Guardians of Dreams (they do a lot more than award scholarships).
These loans serve as bridge finance as the founding members of Guardians of Dreams have a network of well-wishers and fundraising programmes that will help them renovate these homes and help the children get access to better care and attention.
But as anyone who has ever paid for their education knows, these fees do not wait upon the benevolence of strangers and need to be paid on time before the term starts.
Do join us once again as we seek to raise a fifth loan tranche. Guardians of Dreams have already repaid their previous loans, and a total of 264 other Indians have already contributed and done their part to help these children get scholarships.
Guardians of Dreams’ scholastic awards project can be found here.
Would you like to learn a bit more about these children? Read the story of crowdsourced education loans and how these scholarships helped four children.
Here is why we believe education loans can help fight poverty.
If you haven’t done so yet then do make a Rs 100 contribution before the start of school next month to any of the many education loans we are seeking to fulfill with your help on our platform.
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