Most of us think about helping others once we settle down and become “old enough” to make a difference. But Sylvester Peter has been changing lives of slum children since he was 13. Even if circumstances don’t permit us to make a lifestyle change, the question to ask is “What can I do to make a difference?”
As early as 3:30 am in the morning, when most of the country is asleep, Sylvester’s angels wake up, finish their daily chores and head out for their football practice, yoga sessions and daily lessons.
The kids talk fluently in English, perform great in football and have immense compassion in their heart. Sandeep has been with Sylvester for over 18 years now. When he first joined, he was a rag picker, was addicted to drugs and had a very negative attitude towards life. But today, he is a successful banker who is living a respectable life.
Sylvester, through football and various other sessions, gives theoretical, moral and practical lessons to slum children. He single-handedly runs the academy and imparts lessons on personal hygiene, environmental protection, sex education, gender equality, education, life skills, dancing, painting, etc.
“I am making leaders, not followers so that even if I pass away, the tradition continues,” Sylvester says. For around 30 years of his work, Sylvester has been spending his own personal income to support his academy and kids.
The students who belong to abusive families with various troubles, are now positive personalities with lots of love in their hearts. From drug addicts, rag pickers, thieves, filthy, frightened and negatively influenced children, these kids have transformed into lovely human beings who have aspirations just like regular mainstream kids. They are disciplined and have high hopes for their future.
The ‘angels’ have also had many successes on the football field. Two students have been selected to fly to France for training at FC Metz club through “My Chance” tournament. They are the ‘West Zone Delhi football champion’ and won the ‘Manchester United Sponsored Young Star challenge tournament’. Three of his diligent, highly skilled players have been selected for the prestigious Barcelona football camp.
Today Sylvester has a lovely bunch of slum kids who worship him and a beautiful wife who supports him in his amazing work.