“We were too young to understand that our parents’ marriage was failing. The eldest among 3, I was only 10 years old when our father left. At the time I was unaware that all the family discussions meant he’d never come back. It was hard to learn that though he was alive somewhere, we’d never have a father around.

People told my mother that we would suffer and get spoiled. But she was a strong woman and raised all 3 of us without ever letting us feel his absence. My cousins and mummy bom (aunt) also played a huge role in bringing us up. They were present every step of the way. I called my aunt’s husband ‘Dad’ because he was no less than a father to us. Sometimes, when I saw my friends talk about how great their dads were, I felt sad. The fact that he didn’t want us made me question if we ever did anything wrong. But as I saw my family harboring all the love and care, I was proud of my siblings for growing up without giving much trouble to mom. Infact, because of ‘him’, we grew up early. It wasn’t that bad.

Before the divorce, dad made sure that I participated in every activity in school. Both my parents encouraged me to do more than just study. After, we grew up understanding the need of a family and the feeling of loss and absence. My younger brother and I took part in voluntary work and try to help those in need. I was a scout in school and later took part in many youth initiatives. I enjoyed being with other young people and working for the benefit of our community. I even became part of charity works that helped build a house for a homeless family and gave school uniforms and stationeries to children in remote places.

We have a lot of people to thank for inspiring us to be good and do good. Support from my family and the people around made sure that my brother and I went to good universities without having to pay for it. We’ve come far and the label of a ‘broken family’ didn’t stop us. I want to tell everyone that your weakness doesn’t have to be an excuse to stop going on. Be strong and work hard because life has so much in store. It took me a while, but I finally accepted that I do come from a broken family and that it doesn’t define me.”




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