Feature

A Place To Call Home – Year 13 Student Looking After Mentally-Challenged Brother Provided Hope

A non-profit organisation has stepped in to enable a student to complete his high school studies and provide support for his mentally-challenged elder brother.
24 Jul 2020 11:34
A Place To Call Home – Year 13 Student Looking After Mentally-Challenged Brother Provided Hope
Nadi Special School counsellor Mohenesh Singh (back), with Jayesh Mishra and Rohal Ram inside their new home in Nadi on July 24, 2020. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

A non-profit organisation has stepped in to enable a student to complete his high school studies and provide support for his mentally-challenged elder brother.

Sathya Sai Service Organisation of Fiji Navo Sai branch is working with the Nadi Special School counsellor, Mohenesh Singh, to rent a flat for the brothers, Jayesh Mishra, 23 and Rohal Ram, 18, for a year.

This means that Rohal, can now go to school, work part-time and be at ease knowing that he and his brother have a roof over their heads.

Rohal is a Year 13 student of Votualevu College while his brother goes to Nadi Special School.

After years of moving from place to place they now have a place they can finally call home at Votualevu, Nadi.

Rohal works part-time after school to provide for basic necessities for him and his elder brother.

Their mother was said to have been murdered by her de-facto partner in 2009. The man is now serving time in prison. Their father died of a heart attack in 2011 and they have since been moving in and out of family and friends’ homes.

“When I moved out of my uncle’s home in June this year with my brother, I felt sad about my situation,” said Rohal who hopes of a better future.

“I had no place to go, however some of my friends helped me out.”

Mr Singh said he heard of the brothers’ struggles and heart-warming story through a friend.

“I really got emotional when I heard Rohal’s story of struggle. The beauty of his story was that being a younger brother he cared for his elder brother who was mentally-challenged,” Mr Singh said.

“Nowadays, we hardly have a younger brother who faces every struggle to keep his elder brother with him. The same night I decided to stand for the Mishra brothers.

“I made a pledge and I went out of my way to seek help for the brothers so that they can have a better living.”

From left: Nadi Special School counsellor Mohenesh Singh, brothers Jayesh Mishra and Rohal Ram, Sathya Sai Service Organisation of Fiji’s Professor Narendra Reddy and Navo Sai branch chairperson Jerry Gounder during the cheque presentation on July 22, 2020. The funding will to pay a year’s rent for the brothers’ flat. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

From left: Nadi Special School counsellor Mohenesh Singh, brothers Jayesh Mishra and Rohal Ram, Sathya Sai Service Organisation of Fiji’s Professor Narendra Reddy and Navo Sai branch chairperson Jerry Gounder during the cheque presentation on July 22, 2020. The funding will to pay a year’s rent for the brothers’ flat. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

His pledge was heard by one of the social workers and chairperson of Navo Sai branch, Jerry Gounder, who acted promptly. He is now the guardian for the brothers.

“I am thankful to the Sathya Sai Organisation that came forward and sponsored the cost of the flat where the Mishra brothers are staying now,” Mr Singh said.

“By supporting the brothers we are trying to prepare Rohal to be independent and get stable in life so he can take good care of his brother Jayesh.”

Mr Singh believes that every Fijian student looks to their teachers with hope when they are facing challenges.

“It is the responsibility of every teacher to bring positive change in every student’s life and when all their doors are closed for them we should show them the right path. We are educators and we are born to make a difference,” he said.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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