By Niroshini Fernando
Ovini, 15, is always at the top of her class. But it wasn’t easy for her to go to school.
Her father didn’t earn a lot of money, so her parents were overjoyed when she was sponsored through World Vision at age seven.
“Our daughter was able to continue her studies because everything she needed for school was provided,” says her mom Rohini.
Ovini loves to talk, and as a young girl, she had the opportunity to practice her speaking skills within the Child Society, a World Vision club for children.
“It was here that I gained the confidence to speak in public,” says Ovini. “The program was really good. It taught us how to learn from disappointments and defeat, how to accept challenges and lead effectively.”
It wasn’t long before Ovini had to put these lessons into practice. She participated in her first speech competition, and though she lost, she vowed to keep trying.
“I was determined to do it again so I took part in the next regional contest and won,” she says. “The President gifted my school with 1 million rupees, along with five computers and books for the library.”
Ovini has become very involved in community life. She encourages other kids to join the Child Society and helps students prepare for public speaking. All of her experiences have paved the way for her future plans: to become a lawyer.
With the support of Canadian sponsors, World Vision has helped improve and repair 17 schools in Thanamalvila and this, along with tutoring and leadership programs, is helping children like Ovini flourish.