Reaseathi was a woman from a low-caste tribe called Vallayar. We know little about her life, but it must have been a very troubled one, for she ended her own life while her three children were still very young – ages 2, 3 and 4. Her death was tragic both for the children she left behind and for the desperate nature of her death. With no access to a kinder method, she poured kerosene over her body and lit herself on fire. Three days later she finally died.
The children struggled with her loss. The youngest two openly cried and mourned, while the oldest became quiet and withdrawn. This event obviously took a huge emotional toll on the children, but it also had practical consequences. A mother is typically the parent who aids the children with their homework, so they lacked the educational encouragement and assistance most children receive from their mothers. Fortunately for these three children, they live in one of the 50 villages served by the JONG after-school program. The children joined the group and now participate in enrichment activities and tutoring by one of the loving and dedicated JONG teachers. As a result, these children have adjusted and are progressing academically.
Even more importantly, they are once again finding joy and hope. We are encouraged watching them participate in games with the other children and hearing their hearty laughter. We are grateful for your support that brought healing into the lives of these children and so many others!