Alina’s Ascent

Posted by Spalding Hurst

January 31, 2024

Sister Rena Fernandes from the Eastern Provinces Development Office (EPDO) shares the following donor story.

In the hills of West Khasi, amidst the greenery and winding paths lived a young girl named Alina. The eighth child of the family, Alina’s life was full of simple joys and challenges. Her family, with ten children, lived a life marked by the humble earnings of her parents, who worked as daily wage laborers. The family’s modest home echoed with the laughter and chatter of six boys and four girls, each carrying dreams larger than their modest means.

Alina’s family

Education Awaits

Alina, unlike her siblings, had not set foot in a school. The financial constraints of her family, coupled with her visual impairment – she could see only through one eye – had kept the doors of education closed to her. While her siblings ventured off to school each day, Alina remained at home, often helping her mother, who boiled potatoes to sell at the roadside near the bus stand.

Change began to stir in Alina’s life when the principal of the local school, moved by her situation, led her to the attention of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. The principal’s request was a beacon, illuminating Alina’s plight and her desire for education.

A Kind Heart Emerges

It was then that, through the influence of the Sisters, Maria Shyamala, a kind-hearted donor, stepped forward, offering to sponsor Alina’s education. This generous act opened a new chapter in Alina’s life, filled with the promise of learning and growth.

Alina’s admission to the school was a moment of joy and triumph. Maria’s commitment to support her education was a significant turning point, ensuring that Alina’s journey in the realm of knowledge would continue unhindered. With each day at school, Alina’s world expanded. Her beautiful smile, radiant with hope and enthusiasm, became a familiar sight in the corridors and classrooms.

Maria and her husband partner with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth to support Alina’s education, driven by a heart of charity formed during Maria’s own time at St. Vincent Matriculation School.

School life brought with it many friendships and experiences for Alina. She immersed herself in her studies, her curious mind soaking up every lesson and activity. The school became a place where her spirit soared, unburdened by the constraints that once shadowed her days.

The Power of Education

Alina’s story is a reflection of the transformative power of education and the impact of compassionate individuals who reach out to help. In her journey, she not only found the joy of learning but also discovered a community that embraced and supported her, allowing her to dream and aspire like any other child. Her journey continues, a path lit by the kindness of a stranger and the unwavering support of those who believe in the power of education.

How You Can Help

If you feel inspired to contribute to the mission of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, your willingness to help is a valuable step towards making a significant difference in the lives of many. If you are located in India, you may email Sister Rena Fernandes to extend your support or learn more about how you can contribute. Outside of India, click here.

The Rise of Alina


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