Sanath’s parents both died when he was 3 years old. The head teacher of his village school took him to an orphanage in Colombo. Sanath stayed there for the next 15 years.
Sanath’s parents both died when he was three years old. The head teacher of his village school took him to an orphanage in Colombo. Sanath stayed there for the next 15 years. He’s an easy going, sporty and sociable boy and made lots of friends. He struggled at school with reading, writing and maths and failed all his O-Levels. Sanath is creative though and he enjoyed painting and making beautiful kites. When he was older he also began to take great pride in regularly cutting all the boys’ hair at his orphanage.
The day Sanath turned 18 the head teacher from the village turned up at the orphanage offering for Sanath to come and live with her and her husband. She was now elderly and retired. She had made no contact at all in the last 15 years. Sanath had no other prospects and the orphanage management were keen for him to leave so even though he didn’t know this lady he left with her the next day. Two months later he ran away. He was being used as an unpaid servant, working in the house and field all day, every day. He slept on the kitchen floor.
He made his way back to Colombo on foot and slept rough for a week. He walked to the house of one of his former teachers and she called Brighter Path. He moved into the transition home, joined the Brighter Path programme and started to receive a monthly allowance. Initially Sanath was in shock and he wasn’t sure whom he could trust. He talked with his mentor about his dream of training to become a hairdresser. The following January he started a vocational training course in hairdressing funded in full by Brighter Path. Sanath still needs lots of practical and emotional support but the other care leavers and the Brighter Path team are there for him. He has made many friends in the transition home and also learnt to cook. Sanath is now coming to the end of his course. A few months ago Brighter Path helped him secure a Saturday job in a salon and has been offered a full time job when he completes his course.