WHAT DOES CHRISTEL HOUSE INDIA (CHI) MEAN TO YOU?
Christel House India plays an important role in my life. It is like a life giving opportunity where children of weaker sections in society with no dreams are given an opportunity to fulfill their dreams. CHI is the first step to fulfill my dreams. CHI is a wonderful organization to be a part of.
WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU SEEN IN YOUR LIFE AND IN YOUR FAMILY SINCE YOU STARTED ATTENDING CHI?
I have been a student of CHI from 2001. It has brought many changes in my life and my family too. It has taken care of me and my family. It has not only laid a foundation for me, but also for my two sisters who are studying here at CHI.
WHAT WOULD YOUR FUTURE BE LIKE IF YOU DIDN’T ATTEND CHI?
I can’t imagine my life without CHI. In today’s world, education plays an important role. An illiterate person will find it very difficult to survive. If I did not attend CHI, I would be uneducated and struggle to meet my everyday needs.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR YOUR FUTURE NOW?
I want to become a software engineer. I want to serve my school and help it in the same way it has helped me. I want to give back to my community. I want to bring my family out of poverty. This is the main goal of my life.
Like many of our students, Kristen’s early childhood education was interrupted by deprivation and family obligations. Even at a young age, she was burdened with looking after her younger siblings and trying to help her family survive.
When she began attending Christel House, Kristen struggled with scars of anger and frustration from her childhood. For her, Christel House quickly became a place of hope and healing.
“The teachers and other kids were very kind, like family,” Kristen reflects. “At this school, I learned how to deal with what I had been feeling.”
While attending Christel House, Kristen was introduced to fencing. She used the sport as a method to channel her frustration and overcome her past. She flourished and competed nationally and internationally.
After graduating from Christel House in 2010, she began a Bachelor’s degree in Sports, Recreation and Exercise Science at the University of the Western Cape. She put her studies on hold temporarily to participate in a professional coaching course in Dakar, Senegal. She is now a “Master Coach in Arms” and one of only four fencing coaches in South Africa. She is also certified by the Fencing Federation to coach anywhere in the world.
“My aim is to develop sport, specifically fencing, in my own country,” Kristen says proudly. “I’m going to share what I’ve learned and make a real difference.”
Padmini Kashi (class of 2012)
More often than not, Padmini lacked basic necessities growing up. Her father’s job as a driver provided a meager source of income to support Padmini, her mother who suffers from a long-term illness, and two other family members. If not for Christel House, she faced an uncertain future.
At Christel House India, Padmini experienced a whole new world. She received two nutritious meals each day, emotional and psychological support, health care, and an educational environment that helped her learn and grow. Throughout her years at Christel House India, Padmini was an extremely dedicated student and set high expectations for herself, including pursuing higher education after graduation.
She passed her grade 10 state exam with flying colors and determined to study commerce during her final two years of high school. Through her hard work and commitment, Padmini graduated from Christel House India in 2012 near the top of her class. She was one of 9 students (out of 80 who applied) to receive a generous scholarship from Oberoi Centre for Learning and Development and is studying Tourism at the Indira Gandhi National Open University. Padmini will have the opportunity to join the staff of Oberoi upon her university graduation.
We are very proud of Padmini as she pursues and realizes her dreams!