A Just Getting-by Life

Porayar, India, where two of our creches (preschools) are is not an easy place to make a living.  Creche parents can’t afford to own a shop but, possessing skill and ingenuity, a father may set up a street shop with a treadle-powered sewing marching, or mend shoes and bicycle tires under an umbrella. Others catch birds with nets, either to eat or sell, or string jasmine buds, which even the poorest women wear in their hair. Farm work, the traditional employment, has fallen sharply since the 2008 tsunami left a load of salt on the fields.   Poor women work for richer neighbors in their homes, some collect shells at the beaches nearby, others may tend a tea stall.

It’s a just-getting-by life, and when accident, illness of mind or body, or death strike,  the delicate balance tips towards disaster.    Creche children are aware of their parents’ struggles.  They constantly hear that education is the road to a more secure life.   Even at a very young age, education is serious business.  At the creche,  children work hard to learn, with the hope that they will turn their family’s fortunes in a better direction.   The creche provides hope in an area where it’s in short supply.