Solomon Konda is from a small village in the state of Odisha, India. While living there Solomon and his sister Rani attended the government school.
Polio had rendered his father handicapped from a very young age. His inability to move around made it difficult for him to find a job even as a day laborer. His family suggested to him that he pick up the tailoring trade and become the village tailor. With the support of his wife, he is now able to provide the basics for his family.
While Solomon was in the third grade his family was thrown out of their village because they had accepted Jesus as their Savior and became Christians. Fearful of how they would influence others, the village council took a drastic step by casting them out of the village. Having lost everything they sought the help of their church pastor. He had compassion on them and gave them a place to live in the vestry of the church. Solomon and his family lived in the vestry for a few months. During that time, Solomon and his sister were not able to attend school and his father and mother were not able to work anywhere except around the church. Seeing that the vestry could not be a permanent place for the family, they went to live with Solomon’s grandmother who lived in a tin shed in another village.
After learning about the family’s situation from the local pastor, other local church leaders pitched in to help. The section president brought Solomon and Rani to the Seventh-day Adventist boarding school in Khurdha and requested that the principal accept them into the Asian Aid program. “We don’t refuse any children”, said Principal Isaac Kumar. “We Adventist belong to a big family and we have to help each other.”
Solomon, now 15 years old, is quickly catching up in school. Although he was studying in third grade in his village, he found it hard to understand and adjust to the English curriculum. The school provided tutoring in English and he was admitted into kindergarten. His teachers observed that he was a bright and a quick learner. He was given a double promotion last year which allowed him to skip the first grade and go directly to the second grade. Through the Asian Aid sponsorship program and team of dedicated teachers, he is pushing forward towards a promising future.