Picture of kids walking in hallway

Pranav’s Story

It was Pranav’s principal who noticed something wasn’t quite right.

It was clear that Pranav needed help. But she had no idea just how desperately.

Pranav was always a bright student and a hard worker. His grades were pretty decent, but lately they had been slipping. He was struggling to pay attention in class, because it took everything he had just to stay awake. The easy-going, gentle young man who possessed a wild sense of humour and the best laugh was now agitated and withdrawn.

The principal had seen this before. Too often. That’s because the kids she meets in her halls face giant battles beyond the schoolyard – 9 in 10 students at her school grapple with poverty or belong to Ottawa’s class of working poor.

It was clear that Pranav needed help. But she had no idea just how desperately.

The principal decided to pay a visit to Pranav’s home. That’s when she discovered that the tiny apartment was in complete disarray. There was little food in the cupboards, mail was stacked high on the counter, and clothing and toys were strewn around the floor. This 13-year-old boy was doing his best to care for his two younger siblings and sick father.

When Pranav saw his principal, he broke down in tears.  “I can’t do this alone!”

Pranav’s father, the sole supporter of this family of four, had recently become too ill to work. There was no money coming into the house.

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon situation. Like many families new to Canada, Pranav’s dad didn’t know he could ask for help. And even if he had of known help was available, he would have needed his son to act as an interpreter to access these services.

When Pranav saw his principal, he broke down in tears.  “I can’t do this alone!”

It was taking everything that Pranav had to find food, read bedtime stories, and get his little sisters dressed and out the door to school every morning.

The principal immediately contacted us at the Education Foundation of Ottawa, and we jumped in to help. Your donations put food in their cupboards and clothes on their backs. Your caring showed Pranav that he’s not alone.

For a youth like Pranav who had the weight of the world on his shoulders, knowing that the basics like food and clothing were covered, provided him immediate relief.

Today, Pranav misses fewer classes, he is able to focus and is showing a keen interest in his subjects, especially science. He is even talking about being a teacher someday.

His smile has returned, and while he still doesn’t tell as many jokes as he used to, his laugh is once again recognizable in the halls.

Without donors like you, none of this would have been possible.

*Please note that the name has been changed to protect this child’s identity.