As a mother Shriyani must have wanted something better for her children, at least a meal to fill their stomachs. According to Umesha, sometimes their mother just ignores them completely when they cry and nag her for their food and wants. What Shriyani was doing; not ignoring her children but she was in a state that she could not even cuddle and console her children when they cry because even after consoling them there was nothing to give them to eat or she could not even send them to school. She has seen the look in both her children’s eyes when they see other children going to school. So she acted as a blunt and feeling less character toward her children.
Umesha’s and Pasindu’s father, Piyasena was just a man figure in the house. He could not and did not even attempt to bring some food to the hungry two children who are staying at home without even attending school. And whenever the wife started talking about these problems with him, it ended up in numerous arguments and sometimes domestic violence. The scared children hugs their mother and tries to protect her even though she can’t provide them with meals and send them to school they know that she loves them and she is fighting for them…
Pasindu says “We didn’t have books to go to school, let alone books we considered us lucky if we got something to eat for the day” Pasindu’s Sister Umesha was in grade 7 but she was unable to write or read a single letter.
Every Morning, Pasindu and Umesha gets up with the pain in the stomach, responding to their hunger like responding to an alarm clock and fills their stomachs with a big jug of water to suppress the hunger they are felling; that’s normally their ritual before they go to sleep as well. The big jug of water was their only friend, Shriyani used to say that drinking water is good for them with tears in her eyes, seeing her children craving for some food. They quickly wash their faces and run towards the timber planks which they had in front of their house it served the purpose of a gate; and both of them stand there waiting to see the other children, going to school with clean uniforms carrying their school bag and a bottle around their necks. Pasindu and Umesha know that they are carrying their lunch boxes filled with tasty food their mothers give to take to school.
Pasindu says “I can remember that day clearly as 4 uncles from SOS Children’s Villages; Galle visited our village and collected details about the poor families. Our mother, my sister and I followed them to the temple where they set up their temporary center”. Umesha and Pasindu were too hungry even to pay attention to what they were saying but Shriyani, in the other hand was quite interested in every word they are saying as she was waiting for someone to come and rescue her and her family from the pathetic life they were leading… “I had faith on them and I knew that they will help us” She refreshes her me memory. Just like her two Children it was hard for Shriyani to forget the day they were rescued by SOS Children’s Villages!
After that day in about two or three weeks Pasindu and Umesha got the smell of food coming from their kitchen, Umesha and Pasindu ran to the kitchen to see that their mother has lit up the three bricks which they used as a cooker, it was indeed something which the two children have not seen as those 3 bricks were just lying, hidden from the ashes which remained from the last time they cooked. Now to see the fire lighting up between those three bricks and to see a rice pot on it was more than something they looked forward to… “We started eating rice and a curry and somehow managed to have 2 meals a day” Umesha says with tears in her eyes.
Gradually they started to get on their feet. Tears were shed by Shriyani, the day Umesha showed her proudly that she can read and write letters by the continuous series of extra and special attention classes’ arranged by the SOS Children’s Villages. “I was confident of Pasindu’s future. My Children get every educational support, extra classes conducted by the knowledgeable teachers; My Children now are similar to the Children they were looking at wishing to be”
There are many children in Sri Lanka who are facing the same situation as Umesha and Pasindu. We invite you to be a part of their lives by extending your kind hand even in a small manner...
Sponsor a child