The Rise of Alina

Posted by Spalding Hurst

January 15, 2023

Alina (her name has been changed for this article) is a young girl living in Nongstoin of the West Khasi Hills district in the state of Meghalaya in India. Despite her blindness in one eye, she has a determined spirit and a love for learning. However, her family’s poverty made it difficult for her to attend school, leaving her future uncertain.

Alina was born into a large family of six brothers and four sisters. Her parents were daily wage workers and often struggled to make ends meet as work was not always available. Despite the financial difficulties, all of Alina’s siblings were able to attend school and receive an education. However, Alina was not so fortunate. Due to her family’s extreme poverty, they were unable to afford her school fees, and she was forced to stay home. Despite the challenges, Alina remained determined to receive an education and improve her future prospects.

Alina’s story took a turn when the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth stepped in. Sister Dolsie D’ Mello, in particular, saw the potential in Alina and worked tirelessly to secure her a spot in the parish school. With the help of generous donors, Alina’s school fees were covered and she finally had the opportunity to pursue her education.

As she settled into her new school, Alina’s love for learning shone through. She worked hard and excelled in her studies, proving that her blindness was not a hindrance but rather a source of determination. Alina’s success was a testament to the power of community and the impact that love and support can have on a child’s life.

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

Shyamala and her husband have decided to join with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth to help Alina. Shyamala, a former student at St. Vincent Matriculation School with the Sisters, has developed a deep sense of compassion through her experiences there. Sister Rena Fernandes regularly keeps in touch with Shyamala, who she describes as “generous, friendly, and full of love for the poor.”

Alina’s future is now brighter than ever, and she had become an inspiration to her peers and family. She was a shining example of how a community built around love for each other can help bring joy into the hearts of many, even in the most challenging circumstances. She was an inspiration and her future was full of hope and opportunities.


  1. Eugenie Coakley scna

    This story warms my heart. The Vincentian Charism carries on in Shyamala and her family, Sr. Dolsie, and everyone mentioned. I hope we more about Jyoti in the future! (such a cutie)

  2. Maria Brocato

    What an inspiring story! Many blessings to Shyamala and her husband.


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