Nine-year-old Bhagya hated school. Between the shame imposed on her family because of her father’s drinking and her difficulty understanding and concentrating on her fourth-grade study materials, Bhagya didn’t want to go to school. She frequently stayed home, her homework unfinished. In addition to poor school skills, Bhagya did not have good manners, and neither did her parents and siblings. But when Bhagya started attending her local Gospel for Asia (GFA World) Bridge of Hope center, she began improving not only in school but in life, too.
Bhagya’s family lived in a small house, shared by multiple families, located on a large tea estate where her parents worked. Her father, Malith, was a manual laborer, while her mother, Yasiru, picked tea leaves. They both worked hard, but the small amount of money they made was often used to feed Malith’s drinking habit rather than the family. When drunk, Malith would frequently beat his wife.
Embarrassed by her family’s difficulties, Bhagya was ready to give up on her studies, which saddened her mother. Yasiru wanted her daughter to be in a school environment where she would thrive, but she knew this desire would not be possible unless something changed.
Through a family friend, Yasiru learned about the Bridge of Hope center in their village.
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