Growing up in poverty without parents is a significant struggle. This young woman spent much of her childhood in an orphanage, but with the help of a guardian angel was able to overcome impossible odds.
Kalpana Kindo grew up in an orphanage in the Odisha province of India. Her father had left the family and her mother passed away when Kindo was very young.
Kindo was only 6 years old when she moved to the orphanage.
“My first memory as a child was losing my mother. It was very painful and scary because my father was no longer with us,” Kindo told Humanity via e-mail.
Kindo was forced to go to an orphanage because she had no immediate family left, and her relatives were unable to support her financially.
The orphanage was also the only place Kindo would be able to get fed, and receive some level of education.
While Kindo wasn’t able to live with her family, she did meet other orphans who became like brothers and sisters to her.
In 2006, not long after she started living at the orphanage, Kindo met an American businesswoman named Caroline Boudreaux, who was a benefactor of the orphanage.
Boudreaux founded The Miracle Foundation, which provides financial assistance to orphanages in Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Mexico, and the U.S. The organization also strives to find homes for orphans.
There was an immediate connection between the two of them.
“I knew I had a leader on my hands. Kalpana was 6 years old, as cute as a button,” Boudreaux recalled to Humanity.
“When Auntie Caroline would visit the orphanage, she was always so loving and kind to me. We had an immediate bond and she said she could tell that I was a leader and that I could do anything, if I put my mind to it,” Kindo remembered.
Boudreaux was immediately drawn to Kindo, but knew she couldn’t stay with her forever.
The two maintained a correspondence over e-mail as Kindo grew up, and their relationship deepened.
“Today, she is my family. Whatever I accomplish or wherever I go in this world, Auntie Caroline will always be a part of my life as a mother figure to me,” Kindo said.
And Kindo never forgot what Boudreaux had told her about working hard to achieve her dreams.
While the orphanage was able to provide Kindo with food, shelter, and some education, she still missed her family. There came a point when she wanted to live in a regular home with blood relatives.
“After I grew a little older, I think when I was in the 7th grade, I realized that I didn’t want to live in the orphanage anymore,” Kindo recalled. “I wanted to stay with my aunt, no matter what the conditions and problems were. I was ready to face them all.”
Kindo moved in with her aunt, who was able to pay for her 8th, 9th, and 10th grade education.
But education was the only thing her aunt was able to pay for. She wasn’t able to provide for her or feed her. It was a heavy blow to Kindo’s dream of living with family.
“I thought I could adjust. But I was wrong. It was difficult to stay at my aunt’s, in a situation where I had nothing on me, nobody to look after me, nobody to feed me,” Kindo explained.
By the time Kindo had completed 1oth grade, she realized that an education would be her only path out of poverty.
Her cousin suggested studying medicine, but Kindo couldn’t afford to finish school.
Luckily, Kindo’s other aunt was able to pay for 11th and 12th grade where she studied physics, chemistry, and biology.
However, Kindo was a long way from being able to afford to pay for higher education.
Throughout her correspondence with Boudreaux, Kindo had brought up her anxiety of not being able to afford to go to college.
Boudreaux told Kindo that if she just kept working hard in school everything would work out.
“One fine day I get an email from Kalpana saying, ‘You told me that if I could get to college you might help me pay for it, and I can get to college. Can you help me?'” Boudreaux recalled.
Boudreaux was happy to do so. She knew Kindo was driven and capable of achieving her goals.
“[I was] not surprised, but thrilled and so proud of her because that was just a force of will,” Boudreaux remembered.
Kindo started her studies last year at the Yasodha School of Nursing, and is doing great.
“I have been through so many lows that I now proudly say that nothing can stop me! If I can overcome all of the things that I have been through, then I can get over literally any hurdle. What is life without challenges?”