Kingsly Dhanusha Mary's Story

Dhanusha Mary (22) lives amidst the lush green Shannon tea plantation in Hatton, Nuwara Eliya District. She has two younger sisters and a brother. Her father works in a hardware shop, and her mother is a tea plucker who is disabled with severe burn injuries caused by a serious fire accident. The older of her sisters works in a shop whilst the other two siblings are schooling. Despite abject poverty, her parents are very eager to see the rest of their children educated, and did not send them off to under-paid jobs in the informal sector. Dhanusha was able to complete her Advanced Level examinations in the Arts stream at the Shannon Tamil Vidyalayam, Hatton, and obtain 3 Simple Passes. However, she had no clue as to how she could pursue higher studies due to her familyís economic situation. The combined incomes of the three employed family members only amounted to about Rs.20,000/= per month. They did not receive any financial support from the government or other agencies. Further, her grandparents were also dependent on them. In order to support her family financially, she decided to work in a shop. It was at this juncture that the Berendina Employment Center (BEC) identified Dhanusha through one of its kick-off programs, and enabled her to participate in a Career Guidance program. On completing this, BEC helped her enroll in a Soft Skills course to enhance her capacity in order to become a professional employee. She completed the Diploma in Soft Skills and Personal Development successfully, and was appointed to the post of Administrative Assistant at the Hatton Branch of Dedigama Groups (Pvt) Ltd. She now earns a monthly salary of Rs.15,000/= with which she supports her brotherís education and her family, and saves a part for her future needs. She expresses her heartfelt thanks to the Berendina Employment Centre for assisting her to find an appropriate Vocational Training program, and for the guidance given to locate a relevant On-the-Job Training slot which resulted in her securing gainful employment.