CERI Transforming Lives in Sri Lanka – Philipraj’s Story
Philipraj is a kind and intelligent 21-year-old. He is always ready to give a smile to anyone he encounters. No one would suspect that he has experienced great sorrow in his life. Philipraj is the youngest of three children. When he was a child, his father worked as a barber. However, his father suffered from a severe alcohol addiction. He spent his money on liquor and his drunkenness caused him to have destructive behaviors. Tragically, Philipraj’s mother committed suicide when Philipraj was only three years old. Soon after, Philipraj and his siblings were abandoned by their father at their grandparent’s house when their father left to marry another woman.
The grandparents could not afford to feed the children, so they sent them away to their aunt’s house. Their aunt could not afford to raise them either, so she started looking for help. In 2006, the CERI team in Sri Lanka learned about Philipraj and his siblings. CERI helped the three children by providing a monthly stipend to meet their basic needs.
The eldest sister enrolled in a vocational course through the CERI program, and eventually left her aunt’s house to find a job on her own. Philipraj’s brother also moved out to seek employment. Both of them completed the CERI foster care program, but CERI continued to support Philipraj. Philipraj worked hard in his studies and obtained good grades in school. He selected commerce as his focus for his Grade 12 advanced level studies. In 2014, he took his GCE Advanced level examination and passed with good grades.
Today, Philipraj is pursuing a Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA) at the Advanced Technological Institute and is considered one of the best students in his class. He has faith that he will graduate with good grades and be able to find a suitable job.
“I trust in God that no matter where we are on this journey of life, there is a plan and a purpose to what we experience. God made me strong through all the hardships that I have met in my life. I believe that if we are struggling, we should take comfort in knowing that we are not alone. I have seen God through CERI because CERI helped me when I was in need. I am very thankful to my sponsor who has supported me over the years through CERI and I hope that I will achieve my goals by the grace of God.” — Philipraj