News and Events

In the face of all odds

Afreen Patel

“Even today, when I walk back home from the station, I always come via the road outside Children of the World, because I know that my CWB family is here and I feel safe,” says Afreen, one of our sponsored children. Read full story below:

Afreen is the third of four siblings, the only girl amongst 3 brothers. As a child, Afreen remembers that her father did not contribute in any manner to support the family. It was her 2 brothers, Moinuddin and Amiruddin who would do odd jobs and contribute their income. Infact, Amiruddin worked as a newspaper delivery boy from when he was in Grade IV right until he completed his Grade XII – the money earned contributed to the family income as well as buying the stationery he required for his education. Her mother worked as a small-time tailor and earned a small income too.

When the Children of the World team identified Afreen as a potential child for sponsorship, she was close to 4 years old. Amiruddin, her second brother, had earlier been going to an English medium school. He dropped out and later, moved to a Marathi medium school as a sponsored child.

With the support of CWB’s sponsorship program, Afreen began going to school in earnest. Afreen was hard working and a good student. The situation at her home however, was far from conducive. Her father would often use physical violence against her mother in the short spaces of time that he was at their home. This bothered Afreen and her siblings a lot but at the time, they couldn’t do much.

After completing her schooling, Afreen wished to pursue higher education. Her mother, however, was keen to get Afreen married off. “If Susan ma’am hadn’t insisted, I would have definitely been married off by now”, she says with a smile.

Afreen completed her graduation in Commerce and is currently in her final year pursuing a Masters in Business Administration degree.

Afreen says she is thankful to her sponsors for giving her the opportunity to study. Her life would have been very different otherwise and she wouldn’t have been able to realize her dream, she says, if she hadn’t received the support through the CWB sponsorship programme.

Her eldest brother works for an International airline, while Amiruddin is currently in his 3rd year of Technical training. Their mother works as a helper in the Municipal kindergarten school at Kukshet. The brothers have told their father that he is welcome to visit and stay at their house when he wishes to, but he needs to maintain peace in the house.

Afreen currently coaches 40 students at the Graduate level. The fees generated help her pay for her education. Her dream is to start up classes for school going children, with the objective of helping them improve their grades. She says she wants to ensure that students do not lose out on their academics, due to the poor quality of education that they may be receiving in their classroom. She also says she won’t charge a fee to students who won’t be able to afford it. Its her small way of giving back to the community, is what Afreen shared.

For a girl her age, and for someone who came up the hard way, that’s amazingly deep!