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Daya’s Dream: From Beads-to-Business to Home Sweet Home

There is nothing better than the feeling when dreams come true! Daya* had a dream “to build a house of my own” (take a look at the vision she drew below). We are so excited to say that she just sent us the following picture of a house she built with her savings from Emerge! Dreams do come true.


Daya was born in Nittambuwa. When she was 1 ½ years old, her mother left her in the care of her father and grandmother to secure a job in Singapore. Her mother briefly visited when she was 6 years old and then again when she was 8.

Daya lived with her grandmother until she was 15 years old. When she was 10 years old, her father began to abuse her. Despite her pleas, her relatives did not believe her since they were all related to her father. He had a habit of drinking. When she was 15 years, her grandmother left her alone at home for 3 days. Her father got drunk, and raped her. He threatened her, saying that if she told her grandmother, he would kill her. The fear of him and his threats lead her to keep the secret to herself.

She fell sick shortly thereafter. Her father had her some medication, which she now assumes were drugs for her to lose the baby. When she was eventually taken to hospital, however, she was tested and found pregnant. She had confided to the doctor at the hospital, and once her father was asked to visit her he was arrested by the authorities.

Her mother came back to Sri Lanka and took her home. However, after only two weeks, she was sent away to a shelter, which is where she began to work with Emerge.

Daya was hungry to return to her education. She inspired several Emerge mentors to start an education program that would allow her and others to complete their G.C.E. Ordinary Level Examinations while at the shelter. She excelled in math and history. After receiving great results for her Ordinary Levels, Daya then went on to study for her Advanced Level Exam.

After leaving the shelter, Daya got married. She lives happily with her husband who owns a lorry which supplies vegetables to stores in and around the area. His aunt lives close by to their house she is a great strength to Daya.

Daya used the money she saved through Emerge to achieve her long-term dream of building a home of her own. She hopes to start a small enterprise soon. She has a fresh start, and a heart that is strengthen by her hopes.

*As usual, we have changed this young woman’s name for her protection

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