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From student to teacher

“We aren’t taught by the end of a stick but by words of love and compassion,” says Sadhna as she talks about Life Schools for Transformational Development (LSTD), organised by World Vision.

From student to teacher

Sadhna, a sponsored child, is 17 years old and participated in her first LSTD in 2011 as a student. “LSTD teaches us what is necessary and what isn’t taught in schools. It teaches us practical life skills through songs and activities,” she says.

“Before LSTD I would do as I pleased. I spent my days roaming alleys and playing. I would eat as and when I pleased and studying had no meaning,” Sadhna recalls. “LSTD changed all that for me. It taught me the importance of hygiene and nutrition, and how I’m responsible for my own health. It also taught me the importance of learning and how essential education is to help me achieve my dreams. In turn, we take LSTD home and share what we learn with our families and friends.

“LSTD is a necessity here,” she adds. “Just as water is sent to those places where there are thirsty people; likewise, there is no dearth of potential among the children. They are in need of guidance and encouragement that LSTD provides.”

“For me, LSTD was where I found confidence. My teacher motivated me to speak. It was through this platform, created by World Vision, that I was given an opportunity to express my thoughts through poems.” 

Sadhna’s poems have even been published in a book entitled ‘Uddan’ which contains the compilation of poems written by her over the years.

She goes on to recite a verse she had composed while I interviewed her.

“nahi kum hu mai, nahi kumzor hu mai. Ladki hu mai aur mujhe naaz hai khudpar”

(Neither am I insignificant, nor am I weak. I am a girl and I am proud of it.)

“LSTD opened my mind to so many possibilities. I never imagined myself as a TV reporter. I didn’t even dream it was possible. World Vision gave me the opportunities to become a child journalist and also experience reporting and anchoring,” Sadhna says. “Ever since I received my first training on journalism in 2011, through World Vision, my mind is set on becoming a reporter and one day, an anchor.”

Today Sadhna participates in LSTDs as a teacher or a volunteer. “I want to help others like myself, who are in need of guidance and encouragement.” 

She believes hard work and perseverance will help you achieve anything. “If you want to be somebody don’t sit around. Keep your focus on your dreams and keep working towards it. Don’t let anyone or anything distract you.”

“I will make it and show you sir. Your home will be the first that I visit with a camera,” she ends with confidence.

As she continues to encourage and guide many like her towards their own dreams and aspirations, I have no doubt that, one day, I will see her on the other side of the lens.

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