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Success Stories

Nandani Khatoon, age 8

Nandani KhatoonNandani has been a child laborer since she was very small. She lives with both of her parents, but their care and concern for their children is minimal.  Her mother does not work, and her father is a “monkey dancer,” training monkeys and using them to perform for money. This work provides only minimal and inconsistent income.


Nandani and her older brother Chediya used to clean out clay ovens in restaurants. Since the ovens are very small, this job requires small children. With live coals in the ovens and cooking going on all around, it's a very dangerous job.


One day, a pot of boiling rice fell on Chediya as he was coming out of an oven. Over 50% of his body was burned. Instead of seeking treatment for him, his parents simply took him home. Days later, they finally brought him to our center and we took him to the hospital. After a week of intense suffering, with our staff his only faithful visitors, Chediya died.


After that, Nandani began collecting old coal from the garbage to sell instead of working in the ovens. In the evening, her mother sent her to a busy intersection to beg. When Tabitha's Heart approached the family about sending Nandani to school, we were told she couldn’t go because she had to look after the two younger children.


After much pressure from us and even local mosque leaders, her parents finally agreed to send Nandani to school. She recently told us this, “My mother told me not to go to school, just to work. But now I’m going to school and I want to be a doctor. Doctors are good because they give people injections and then it helps people get better. My favorite thing is learning poems in English. Papa loves me a lot and asks me to say my poems to him.”


Nandani is a spunky little girl with a huge smile who shows tremendous resilience. Now in her second year of school, she loves her teachers and always works very hard during her daily tutoring time at our Charisma House youth center. She says, “Jesus is our Lord. He put us in school. He made me happy!”


Mohammed Harun, age 12

Mohammed HarunHarun is a true child of the streets. His alcoholic father abandoned the family when Harun was a baby. His grandmother has a small home that is about 5’x6’ which is shared by his aunts, uncles, and cousins. But Harun's grandmother doesn’t like his mother, so she does not allow them to use her home. For years, Harun slept here and there on the street.  Many mornings, he could be found sleeping outside the door to our youth center.


Harun used to spend his days smoking, begging, playing cards for money, and wandering the streets. He was always filthy and often had boils due to his lack of hygiene. When he first came to our Charisma House youth center, he would tell us nearly every day that he just wanted to die, or he would lie in the middle of the street and tell us he was waiting for a car to run him over. He had no hope at all for the future.


His outlook is very different now! Harun has just completed his second year in school. “At first I felt scared to study because I thought I might fail,” he said. “But then I came in first in my class by trying very hard. Now life is good and I’m really happy. I like to study and meet my friends at school. I like to wear my uniform, but I don’t like wearing the tie too much!”


After suffering three bouts of very serious malaria last summer, Harun began living with one of our Tabitha's Heart staff members. Now he is doing very well in school and in life. He received the highest score in his class on every exam this year and is now starting third grade.


Many more children like Nandani and Harun are ready and waiting for the opportunity to go to school. Sponsor a child now.

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