Tharindu is now following his dream and studying web design, he has his own computer, receives a monthly living allowance and is learning to be independent.
Tharindu was four when his mum left him at the orphanage. He remembers crying a lot. He was a very quiet and shy boy. He was 14 when a young man came to visit him at the orphanage. It was his brother, but he didn’t even know he had a brother. His brother explained that years ago their mum had left their father, an alcoholic who beat her. She wanted to make a fresh start with another man and couldn’t keep Tharindu, so she’d left him at the orphanage.
Tharindu is kind, hard-working and reliable; he did well enough in his O-Levels to be able to study A-Levels at a public school down the road. When he turned 18 and finished his A levels he asked the orphanage management if he could leave to study an IT course he had heard about. He also wanted to get a job, earn some money and live in the real world. The answer was ‘no you can’t leave, you are reliable so you can work here, you owe this to us, we’ve looked after you for years’. He kept asking but the answer was always ‘no’. Knowing that this wasn’t right Tharindu left in the middle of the night. He contacted a friend from his outside school and stayed with his friend’s family, sleeping on the floor. Feeling desperate and scared, he hid there for months too frightened to go outside, worrying that he had broken the law.
A few months later he was put in touch with Brighter Path Foundation. Tharindu moved into a transition home. Here he met other care leavers, including an old friend from his orphanage whom he had lost touch with. He started working with a mentor, got a mobile phone, new clothes and help to open a bank account. After a while he understood that he had done nothing wrong, he hadn’t broken the law and he had a right to choose how to lead his life. He is now following his dream and studying web design. He has his own computer, receives a monthly living allowance and is learning to be independent.