The Pannerchelvam family was adopted by SSVP in 2011 when Mr Pannerchelvam, the family’s sole breadwinner, became unwell and was not able to work. His wife Mdm Pusppa also had to stop work because of health issues. To help the family, their son Shanger who was then in secondary school started to work part-time. The situation soon took its toll and he did badly at the O-Level examinations. But with the encouragement of Vincentians he persevered and today is a poly graduate.
His younger brother Karthikgeyan also faced challenges trying to keep pace with his peers in school and was often bullied. He too did not give up and he is now doing his NS after his ITE studies. Shanger and Karthikgeyan are very grateful to the many Vincentians who have journeyed with the family through their trying years in addition to the cash aid they provided. They recall fondly, the breakfast buffet given by SSVP when their mother used to take them to collect their monthly financial aid at the Church of the Sacred Heart. It was a treat that they looked forward to each month as there were times the family had to make do with only biscuits.
When Shanger was juggling school and part-time work, he experienced stress and frustration. But he did not wish to burden his mother with his problems and issues. Support came from Robert, a Vincentian at IHM Conference, who was there to lend him a listening ear and counsel him. “It helped me a lot just to talk to Mr Robert. If not for him I would not be where I am today”, said Shanger who recently graduated from the Polytechnic. He is serving his NS and plans to pursue a university degree.