Meena demonstrates the impact of tailored care and support

Meena is an inspiring example of the type of tailored care and support the Livelihoods Project has been set up to offer to other young people, enabling them to achieve their goals and change their lives for the better.

Meena’s father died from an alcoholism-related condition and her mother had to find work as a maid in the city. She took her young son to work with her, but left Meena and her sister, aged just two and five, alone in their hut all day. One day their mother took the girls to the railway station and asked them to wait while she went to buy bread. She left and never returned. The girls had to resort to begging and were eventually rescued by Rainbow Homes.

Unsurpisingly, following such a difficult start in life, Meena struggled throughout school. At the age of 18, Rainbow helped her access a basic bakery-training course. She was selected to work at a renowned bakery chain in Kolkata as a bakery sous chef.

Meena was a natural, honing her skills as a baker. However, not completing her high school education became a barrier in her new career. The Rainbow team saw this and enrolled her in ‘open school’ (a flexible system where children can access their education outwith the traditional school setting) and she gained her Secondary School Certificate with above-average marks.

The Rainbow team supported Meena to work out what her next step should be and she is now working hard to gain her Diploma in Hotel Management. She has also re-enrolled in ‘open school’, determined to also achieve her Higher Secondary School Certificate. As Meena looks forward to her work placement training in a 5-star hotel, we look forward to seeing the Livelihoods Project create similar life-changing impact for many more young people.