In a simple ceremony, in a simple small space, surrounded by his future in laws and people who love him, Vinod got married on a Saturday in November to a beautiful girl named Shruthi. A happy ending for a young man who found himself orphaned many years ago after his parents died from AIDS.
This is what dreams are made of in a world where Hope Now strives to create opportunity for happiness and a stable adult life for HIV-positive kids. We have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Vinod throughout his journey since he came to be a part of our family those many years ago.
We have been saying for years that education changes everything – especially for kids living in the developing world – and Vinod is a shining example of what can happen when given the opportunity to thrive. School work does not come easy to Vinod. There were times when he struggled to get through a difficult class. He spent his first year of university changing course a few times, wondering where he fit in. After that first year, he decided to go to a trade school enrolling in a 2-year program in auto mechanics.
He graduated in July of this year and took an entry level job making an entry level wage. It was long hours, six days a week and he came home tired and discouraged on some days, but he stuck to it, started a savings account and planning for the future. He has been in love with Shruthi for more than a year and wanted to marry. We encouraged him to wait until he graduated, saved a bit of money and had a good job. In November, with 6 months of job experience done, he landed a better job earning a better wage.
It was time – time for his dream to marry to become a reality. Our Hope Now family welcomes Shruti with open arms, an exciting time for all of us to share in his happiness and stand by him as he builds a life with his new bride.
This is precisely why Hope Now was created. Our goal is to ensure every one of our kids is armed with a quality education as they plan for their future. This is what love looks like in our world, a space for children who need a home, the support of loving parents, siblings and staff who open doors, encourage and drive our kids to reach their potential.
With his shy smile and quiet way, he accepted our traditional wedding gifts standing next to his bride as we celebrated their union as a family in the only home Vinod has known for most of his life. We are so proud of him and so very happy for him.