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As a young child Saikhnaa’s passion was chemistry and biology. His dream was to be selected as one of the top students in his class so that he could study in the specialist group.
Sadly however, Saikhnaa just missed the grade requirements for this and was unable to participate in the higher-level lessons. This had a big impact on Saikhnaa, knocking his confidence and diminishing his motivation. Without a stable home life and supportive parents to nourish and guide him, Saikhnaa eventually dropped out of school and his dream of becoming a scientist was forgotten.
In the following years Saikhnaa found a job as a construction assistant and used the money he earned to help support his family. For a child of his age Saikhnaa was earning a relatively good salary and soon got a taste for the lifestyle that money brings. During this time he got involved with a gang of older boys who had faced similar challenges to him growing up. He found a sense of belonging within the group and quickly became influenced by their often negative behaviour. He started getting involved in petty crimes with his friends, eventually resulting in him being arrested for theft and sent to the boys’ prison to serve an eight-year sentence.
Our team are experienced with young men like Saikhnaa, who often develop a tough and reactionary exterior in order to protect themselves. After spending one-on-one time with him in order to understand his life experiences, challenges, and aspirations, our team worked to restore his passion for biology and chemistry by providing continuous praise for his achievements during lesson time and helping to rebuild his self-esteem and motivation.
Saikhnaa was also encouraged to take part in our regular art lessons, where he began to build friendships with the other children in a relaxed, fun and open environment. Gradually we began to see improvements in his behaviour and he started to attend lessons with a positive attitude and an enthusiasm for learning. He became more receptive to advice, and stopped becoming defensive and argumentative.
In the weeks prior to the event, Saikhnaa spent each day dedicated to studying and improving his knowledge of the subject. He approached the competition with confidence and determination, which we are proud to say resulted in him receiving a highly commendable 4th place. Saikhnaa was incredibly proud of this achievement, saying to our teachers “I knew I would get this!”
Since the competition we have seen continued improvements in Saikhnaa’s behaviour, attitude, and overall outlook on life. He has become a very different person from the confused and angry child we first met in 2015. When he talks about his future his eyes light up and he describes his hopes and aspirations with enthusiasm, excitement and belief in his own ability to achieve his dreams.
Saikhnaa told our teachers that he now looks at life from a different perspective and is determined that when he leaves the prison he will create a beautiful and happy life for himself, away from crime and destructive behaviour. He said that he now understands the beauty of living in a positive way, with respect and appreciation of others.
Everyone at the Foundation is so proud of Saikhnaa's achievements and the beautiful young man he has become. He is a perfect example of why the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation works so hard to continue to provide the facilities, guidance and care that supports the educational and emotional development of these young men during this difficult time in their lives.