CFCA stories

Former sponsored child in India serves community

July 20, 2012

Former CFCA sponsored children in India, Muthu and Sheela
Muthu and his sister, Sheela, were both sponsored through CFCA in
a rural village in India. They are now leaders in their community:
Muthu serves as a district deputy collector and Sheela is a CFCA
social worker.

Growing up in India, Muthu never let his humble beginnings hold him back.

Muthu not only endured poverty and the death of his father when he was a young boy, but he also had to overcome adversity simply to attend school. He and his sister, Sheela, were the first generation to do so.

Their village consisted of one street with 34 houses and about 80 residents — none of whom had an education. Sheela was in the first class of students in the village to attend ninth grade, and then the first to attend 10th grade.

When their father died, Muthu and Sheela were worried they wouldn't have the resources to continue studying.

"Our family was a very poor family, and after our father died we did not have anybody to help us in our studies," Sheela said. "As we were the first generation to study, we faced a lot of hardships."

Both Muthu and Sheela were sponsored through CFCA as children. Without the support of his sponsors, Muthu wouldn't have been able to continue to the 11th and 12th grades, which were taught in another town.

Muthu now has a career in public service as part of the Indian Civil Services, and Sheela is a CFCA social worker.

CFCA archive photo of Muthu, former sponsored child, in 1999
This CFCA archive photo shows
Muthu in 1999.

"I would like to meet my sponsors and thank them personally," Muthu said. "It is because of them that I was able to continue my schooling even after my father passed away."

After he finished high school, he continued his education with a bachelor's degree in math, which then led to a teaching position at a village secondary school.

Not satisfied with stopping there, Muthu earned his master's and took the Indian Civil Services exam.

He passed on his first try, a rare accomplishment especially for a first-generation student.

Through his hard work and with the help of his CFCA sponsors, Muthu, now 28, not only succeeded academically, but he also rose to the prestigious position of deputy collector of a district in Uttar Pradesh.

Sarita Mendanha, CFCA project coordinator in Hyderabad, said passing the tough, highly competitive civil services exam to work in the prestigious Indian Civil Services is a tremendous success for Muthu and the CFCA program.

"We were overjoyed hearing this news that one of our CFCA children has become the deputy collector of a district," Sarita said. "It is a matter of pride and motivation for the entire CFCA community."

As deputy collector, Muthu acts as administrative officer, chief justice and chief commissioner of his district, where he's charged with maintaining law and order.

Although his work is challenging, it's nothing Muthu can't handle. Through the help of his CFCA sponsors, he's been prepared to overcome obstacles life might throw at him.

"I did not get this job through any type of influence, but mere hard work and patience," Muthu said.

Muthu hopes many more children will have opportunities through sponsorship to achieve their educational goals and serve their communities.

"I wish CFCA should continue this wonderful work and help the poor children around the world to get good education," he said.

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