Our STAR site in India works with many rural communities in the state of Tamil Nadu. A great deal of families in these communities are affected with stigmatized illnesses, which makes it difficult for them find work and housing. Our site also works with many children living with cognitive and physical disabilities. With the right support, these children are able to access essential resources that help them succeed in school, such as nutritious food, medical care, and tutoring! Venkateswari, a young lady currently in our sponsorship program, is a shining example of how the strength and potential of each child can be encouraged through love and support.

Venkateswari lives in the small village of Vizhapallam. She’s had many challenges in her young life, including a visual disability. When she was young, her father abandoned the family, and later, her mother passed away. She was left in the care of her grandfather, who tries his best to ensure that she has a safe, happy life. Unfortunately, he faces health issues of his own, and is currently undergoing treatment for throat cancer.

Thanks to her kind sponsor, Venkateswari and her grandfather now have access to life’s necessities, such as good quality food and medical care. This support greatly eases the pressure on the small family, and Venkateswari is able to focus on her studies. Despite all of the challenges she’s faced, she has extraordinary dreams for her future. She deeply wishes to become a doctor, so that she can provide relief to people living with illnesses in her community. Her dreams don’t stop there; she also plans to build homes in her community for those without adequate housing!

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