Kewal, age 14, lives in a remote village in Darjeeling, India. While this region is known by the world famous tea which is picked from its hills, underneath lies a community stricken by poverty.
Kewal’s mother died when he was young, and his father struggled for years to make ends meet while caring for Kewal and his brother. Unable to keep affording the fees, Kewal’s father had to take him out of school.
“I didn’t like those days,” says Kewal, when his dreams of finishing school and becoming a football player seemed to extinguish.
But One Goal's partner World Vision helped give Kewal a second chance at getting back into the classroom, as well as back on the football field, by being connecting with an informal “bridging school”.
Bridging schools give disadvantaged kids like Kewal a chance to catch up on their studies, helping them return to school.
Kewal proved to be a very capable student, and with support from the project for school fees, recently went back to school. Re-joining at Grade Six level – Kewal quickly shot to the top of his class!
“Because of bridging school [it was as if] Kewal never lost a year. He stood first in the half-yearly exams, which was a real happy surprise,” commented a social worker from the bridging school.
Now not only is Kewal excelling at school, but he is also playing football again - showing as much promise on the field as he does in the classroom.
The project is now looking at how they can find funds to help support Kewal is both his dreams by sending his to a football academy.
One Goal supports the right to learn and play for every child. Through sport and football, children can take up a healthy and active lifestyle that encourages good nutrition and exercise.