Bios of the Bakery School Graduates
The often traumatic circumstances that led to these teenage girls living their early years in a girls’ home are detailed below. The girls have mostly been incredible students with a deep capacity to learn and excel during the course. They recognise the opportunity the course represents – a real second chance at life. Names have been changed and no photos are used in order to protect the identity of the students.
Kumari Her parents got separated (not legally married) due to her father’s alcoholic addiction and mistreatment of the family. Her mother’s new partner made several attempts to rape her and when it was brought to light, the police sent Kumari to the girls’ home for protection, and she had to stay there until she turned 18 years. Tragically, her mother passed away and right now she has no one to accept her.
Nadeesha She is 17 years old and a victim of sexual abuse by an older man, 37 years of age. She was taken and kept by the man for several months in a rural village and their whereabouts couldn’t be traced by the police. She was severely abused by him and he threatened to kill her if she made any attempts to escape. Nadeesha isn’t 100% mentally fit and we had to change her training to soft bakery trainings as she struggled for concentration and long hours of work. She is also under psychiatric medication and supervision.
Lakshmi She is an orphan and there are no records of her family. While she was living in another girls’ home as an orphan, a couple of male members of the home sexually abused her repeatedly and ultimately, she became pregnant and gave birth to a girl. Lakshmi faced attempted murder just before her child was born. We hope the bakery school program will help open a new chapter of her life.
Dilsharna She was 17 years when brought to the girls’ home, and a victim of rape, perpetrated by her uncle. Her mother works abroad in the UAE and while her father was at work, the father’s brother had been abusing her. This softly spoken girl was so traumatized that she attempted suicide just after she was brought to the girls’ home.
Dewi She entered into a relationship with a much older married man when she was 15. Her family rejected her due to the disgrace she brought upon them, and the courts sentenced her to the girls’ home for her own protection. She is an intelligent girl and a highly motivated participant in the bakery school.
Lakmali A mother of a 2-year-old baby girl, she was brought to the girls’ home as a victim of a group rape when she was 14. At the time she was brought to the home, her pregnancy was unknown, she was subsequently moved to a different home meant for young pregnant girls. Her situation means the father is unknown unless a DNA test is performed but Lakmali is reluctant to go down this path for fear of the attention this process would bring.
Sarani She was 17 years old when she became a student at the bakery school, and is from a remote village. She was raped by two village men when she was 14-years-old. Her parents were at work and she was home after school looking after her younger brother. Her home was not very secure and after this incident the family were worried for her safety, so they contacted the authorities who placed her in the girls’ home. Sarani has done really well with dough making and baked items, and her creativity has provided some innovative suggestions to our teacher-chefs.
Ashini & Ashwini The girls are female twins (age 17 years). We have opened our doors at the bakery school to these two girls because they lost their parents to a tragic road accident – the motorcycle they were riding crashed into to a container lorry killing them instantly. The girls have no house and no ability to pay rent and are currently being looked after by an aunt. The twins have speech and learning disabilities, but we are confident that we can change their lives by providing them with a means to employment via our bakery school.
Malshani Her older sister’s husband sexually abused her while living in the family home and this turned into a relationship. The sister’s family has two children too. This secret relationship continued and eventually they decided to leave their family home. This happened when Malshani was still at school. Eventually the secret couple was caught by the police living in a rock cave. They went to court and the judgment was to send Malshani to the girls’ home as her parents refused to take her back.
Sansani She had a close relationship with a boy of 19 years and eventually became a rape victim from her association with him. The boy lives close to her home and her mother was afraid that the same incident could occur again, so she decided to make a request for her daughter to be sent for protection to the girls’ home. Her mother was particularly concerned that the boy could make advantage of her going to work, as there was no one staying at the family home other than Sansani and her sisters.
Deepika Tragically, she was a rape victim by a villager when she was alone at home. Her shocked mother decided to send her to the girls’ home for protection, as she is looking after her husband who is unwell, and when he is taken for treatments there is no one at home to protect Deepika. All her other family members are living separately other than the younger brother.
Hansika Comes from a very rural village. She has been a victim of sexual abuse by two men living around her home. The abuse has been happening when her father goes away for work and her mother takes her younger children to school. The parents became aware of the abuse and tried to stop it, but were unsuccessful – the parents ultimately decided to send her to the girls’ home for her protection and safety.
Asini This girl comes from a poor village. She is a victim of repeated rape and molestation by her own father who is a fisherman. The long term abuse was reported to the police by her family and the decision of the courts was to house her at the girls’ home for protection. She cannot be received back into the family home as the courts do not allow the victim and the culprit to stay in the same compound due to the possible repetition of the abuse.
Ishini She left home two years ago with her boyfriend because her parents refused to accept the relationship she was having with an older person. It is illegal to marry or have relationships with a person less than 18-years-old and soon they were caught by the police. Ishini went to court where the judgment was to house her in the ‘girls’ home until she turns 18.