Suvathini is a 32-year-old mother of two children. Like any mum she wants to keep her children safe and ensure they have a better future. ChildFund New Zealand Fundraising Coordinator Lindsay Bennett interviewed Suvathini. The second of three posts telling the stories of families in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka.Suvathini is a devoted mum
“Her three-room home had exposed brickwork and some of the bricks were coming loose around the doors. All the family sleeps together in one room. Despite raising her children alone she has no plans to remarry – she is totally dedicated to her children.” – Lindsay Bennett
Q: Could you tell me about your family?
A: I have two sons aged eight and six. My husband left six years ago and I am raising my two children alone.
Q: What is your daily routine?
A: I get up and send my children to school. It takes one hour for them to walk. I have a home garden and had 35 chickens but disease killed most of them.
Q: Where do you get your water?
A: I have to walk 15-20 minutes several times during the day to collect water for cooking and for the garden. I grow legumes, tomatoes, brinjoles, long beans, bottle gourd, peanuts. Sometimes I take them to market if I have a good harvest.Admiring mum's vegetable garden
Q: How do you get to the market?
A: I walk 20 minutes carrying the vegetables to the bus. I leave at 8:30am and get to market at 10:30am. I sell them and come back at 2:30pm. The children stay at home alone when I go to the market. They must get ready for school and walk by themselves. One time when they stayed alone, the eldest broke his leg. Often I am not yet home when they finish school at lunchtime.
Q: What would you do with a loan?
A: I would expand my home garden and also do goat rearing. I don’t want to leave my children behind alone. This means I could do all my work closer to home.
Q: What are your hopes for the future?
A: I don’t want my children to suffer or lead the kind of life I am. I want them to have a better life and go to school.Suvathini and her boys
Q: What would make the biggest difference in your life right now?
A: A loan. Resources for investment. If I had these I could expand the home garden and do other things. I would prefer to do cattle and goat rearing, which would be good for my sons to help with when they get old enough and I will continue to do the home garden. I live all alone, not any neighbours around. I want to do something close by at my house so I don’t have to leave my children at home alone.
You can help Suvathini and other devoted mothers by donating to the Sri Lanka appeal providing mums and vulnerable families with micro-loans.