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For fifteen years old Sneha* sponsorship has played an incredible part in her life. Now, no physical disability can stop her from chasing her dreams. Life wasn’t easy for young Sneha as a hearing and speech impaired child. She could not fit into other hearing friends group; they would either leave her alone or bully her.  Sneha spent most of her time at home helping her mother with daily chores. Her parents are low-income earners thus could not afford to send her to a better school. Sneha’s father worked in a stone crusher plant, he cut big stones to small stones, and the mother took care of children at home. At the age of six, Sneha was sent to a hearing school in her village. Three years passed by there was no visible improvement in her academics. It was challenging to fit in a hearing school.

Sneha felt sad for quitting her local school due to financial struggles. Her family could not afford the school resources, and as a result, she stayed home with an uncertain future.One of her previous school teachers informed the father about the S.D.A. School for Speech and Hearing Impaired in Kollegal, which is 15 km away from her house. Sneha’s parents were excited to send her to a special school. The only worry was about the financial requirement for the school but to the parent’s sheer joy school helped her with the special education sponsorship program.

Currently, she is in 10th grade. She loves her school; initially, she faced challenges in effectively communicating with her peers. Soon, after she joined the school, she attended gap classes to bridge the academic years. Sneha was encouraged by her teachers to participate in the competence building activities.Growing up in extreme poverty, Sneha was vulnerable to disease, and abuse. Especially when a girl child unable to communicate. Thus, they are at higher risk of exploitation. One of the reasons why special education sponsorship is meaningful because they come from low-income families and it gives them hope for their child’s future.

If you meet her, you can’t wipe the smile off her face. Sponsorship made a difference in her life, and she receives nutritious meals, uniforms, and school material, regular medical check-up and one to one support. The special education sponsorship program is supporting Sneha. She said because of the sponsors I can dream of being in school.

*Name changed to protect identity.