Santhash’s Story

Santhash, a 13-year-old living in Chennai, India, used to skip school every day to pick fights and roam the streets of his native Anna Nagar slum with his friends. His mother, Vellin, was resigned to a life of poverty for herself and her son.

ADRA’s childhood development project in India provides academic support, creative learning opportunities, and medical checkups for children like Santhash.

Through after-school clubs at a local community center in Anna Nagar, ADRA gives children the confidence to think creatively and the encouragement to reach their full potential. The clubs teach dance and debate, tutor children in math and reading, and provide medical checkups and nutritional support.

Now that Santhash has discovered ADRA’s club, he has stopped talking back to Vellin. He no longer skips school to play on the beach and scrounge for coal to sell. Instead, he spends hours building a science project for the ADRA summer camp and has declared his favorite subject at school to be English. He brings home recipes for new dishes for Vellin to make, and he regularly shares meals with his entire family.

With no encouraging learning environment, children like Santhash remain trapped in the cycle of poverty. ADRA has started four after-school clubs in slums in Chennai, which have helped more than 2,000 children. With your support, ADRA can continue its efforts to use education as a key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Now children like Santhash can unleash their potential and dream of a brighter future.