Maria Jocelyn comes from a family of fishermen on the shores of Rameshwaram. The hot and salty air blowing through the area makes it difficult for anyone but natives to live there.
Maria’s father, a fisherman, had a dream to go to school and become educated. Unfortunately, he lacked both the resources to study and the spare time to pursue education. He passed away without realizing his dream.
As a little girl, Maria Jocelyn had seen her father struggle for a daily living and wanted to realize her father’s dream since he could not. And so she enrolled in a local school and studied to become a teacher. As she finished her studies, she quickly joined one of the local schools and started working as a teacher.
Since Rameshwaram is a secluded dry place with the majority of population living under various levels of poverty, education has not always been given the utmost priority. Knowing this as she grew up, Maria Jocelyn wanted to change the mindsets of her neighbors. She wanted the villagers to send their children to schools rather than taking them out to learn how to fish at tender young ages.
After making her father’s dream come true by becoming literate, she was paid enough as a teacher to support her two fishermen brothers and mother. Still, the small amount she earned was not enough for her to make a living, only enough to survive.
After some time, she was invited to start as a teacher at a Tripura Foundation-sponsored HoPE Learning Center in her village. The salary that she earns now as a HoPE Learning Center teacher is truly helpful to her family. She is very thankful to Tripura Foundation and its donors for her thriving teaching opportunity.
She says, “I want to make use of this opportunity to bring about positive changes in the life of the children in my village. I want to educate them and make them understand the importance of being educated. Bringing changes in such a place with old-fashioned morals is difficult, but I try my best. Though I have my own problems at home, when I meet the children, my worries evaporate. The only thing in my mind is to help them in any way I can. I identify the weaker children and spend more time with them to help them improve gradually.
As for the other children, there is always room for improvement. I give them activities that are not only based on education but are also fun. Many kids in my neighborhood have alcoholic parents and suffer from emotional problems. I try to make them forget and make them realize that there is hope for all and make them smile. It gives me happiness watching them laugh happily forgetting their problems at such a young age. The children are happy to spend time in our HoPE Learning Center and make it to class regularly.
I thank Tripura Foundation and our sponsors for giving these children hope to live a better life. I am also thankful for my career, which is a lifeline to my family”.
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