While I was in Mamallapuram neighbours told me about Riyaz and Jarina Begam and an afternoon I met with them.
Riyaz is an extremely intelligent boy who wants to be an engineer. He showed me his school qualifications from the last few years and he is the first kid in the class in almost every subject. When not, he is second. Unfortunately his family is very poor, and to add to this, his father is alcoholic. I was so touched by his situation that I committed to help him with his education, for as long as he keeps up with his excellent marks. The yearly tuition is only INR4000 so I took care of this years fee and gave him a little extra for schools supplies and clothing.
Jarina Begam is a 14 year old girl that has always suffered from a very serious neurological disease. She has to go every other day to the hospital to get treatment. She is also very smart and sweet, and faithfully believes in a better, healthier future. I was also able to spare a little money for medical bills for her and her mom.