Sep 11, 2019

"This Could Change My Life Forever ........."

Mina
Mina

An opportunity of a lifetime presented itself to Mina (13) when she was awarded a full bursary to attend Dainfern College, an independent day school in Dainfern, Johannesburg, next year. It is an opportunity that this young girl who came from an impoverished background is planning to seize with both hands.

“I am so excited about this opportunity. This could change my life forever and I am going to take it very seriously. I know I can’t snap my fingers and expect to live the life I want. I will have to work for it and going to Dainfern College is the beginning. I was awarded this bursary because the average of all my subjects is above 70%, so I will have to study hard to keep it up,” says Mina seriously and adds that Natural Science, English and Geography are her favourite subjects.

Mina was born to a single mom whose boyfriend disappeared after her birth never to be seen again. Mina lived with her mother and half-sister, Esther, until her mother died unexpectedly. She was only five years old then and her sister eight. After her mother’s death, her aunt took them in for a short while before a social worker arranged for them to be taken into Thandanani House of Refuge in Zandspruit, an informal settlement just outside Johannesburg.

“To live at Thandanani is the closest thing to home as you can get. Our caregivers love us, take care of us and correct us when necessary. When it’s our birthdays they take us out on the weekend after our birthdays. And people from organizations outside Thandanani sometimes take us to movies or I-Jump. It is fun, I like it,”

Mina loves reading, meditating, playing and working in the garden in her free time.

“I love nature and would love to have a career one day where I can connect with people and nature. I’m thinking of becoming a doctor and be part of Doctors Without Borders or maybe a nutritionist where I can work with plants and help people,” she adds.

Links:

Sep 6, 2019

"This Could Change My Life Forever ......."

Mina
Mina

An opportunity of a lifetime presented itself to Mina (13) when she was awarded a full bursary to attend Dainfern College, an independent day school in Dainfern, Johannesburg, next year. It is an opportunity that this young girl who came from an impoverished background is planning to seize with both hands.

“I am so excited about this opportunity. This could change my life forever and I am going to take it very seriously. I know I can’t snap my fingers and expect to live the life I want. I will have to work for it and going to Dainfern College is the beginning. I was awarded this bursary because the average of all my subjects is above 70%, so I will have to study hard to keep it up,” says Mina seriously and adds that Natural Science, English and Geography are her favourite subjects.

Mina was born to a single mom whose boyfriend disappeared after her birth never to be seen again. Mina lived with her mother and half-sister, Esther, until her mother died unexpectedly. She was only five years old then and her sister eight. After her mother’s death, her aunt took them in for a short while before a social worker arranged for them to be taken into Thandanani House of Refuge in Zandspruit, an informal settlement just outside Johannesburg.

“To live at Thandanani is the closest thing to home as you can get. Our caregivers love us, take care of us and correct us when necessary. When it’s our birthdays they take us out on the weekend after our birthdays. And people from organizations outside Thandanani sometimes take us to movies or I-Jump. It is fun, I like it,”

Mina loves reading, meditating, playing and working in the garden in her free time.

“I love nature and would love to have a career one day where I can connect with people and nature. I’m thinking of becoming a doctor and be part of Doctors Without Borders or maybe a nutritionist where I can work with plants and help people,” she adds.

Links:

Jun 17, 2019

It isn't an Institution, it's a Home

Alleta and Tsheamo
Alleta and Tsheamo

“Thandanani is not an institution, it’s a home,” says Alleta (28), who now has a life and future thanks to Thandanani House of Refuge in Zandspruit, an informal settlement just outside Johannesburg.

Alleta was born in Pretoria but after her father passed away in 2006 she went to stay with relatives in the informal settlement of Zandspruit. She was 15 at the time and already had a baby boy (Tsheamo).

“Living with our relatives was not a good situation and my baby and I ended up sleeping in shelters most of the time. While I was at school, the woman whose shelter it was and who looked after my baby during the day, tried to give my baby away. Luckily, I had my son’s birth certificate with me that day. I had no choice but to put him into a home at the tender age of 2 years.

“In August 2009 I was offered a home at Thandanani while I finished my schooling, intending to stay there only until the end of the year. When I moved in, it was time for my matric dance (Prom) at the school. Thandanani even helped me with a dress etc., it was all like a fairy tale.

“Although the arrangement was that I would leave Thandanani when I finished school, they did not ask me to leave. Instead, they asked me if I wanted to study further. I decided on Marketing and PR and studied full time, graduating in 2012.”

Her first job after graduating didn’t work out very well due to transport challenges, and Alleta then got a job as a receptionist at a private school. Because she was in a stable job and Thandanani allowed her to stay in a cottage on their premises, she got her son (then 5) back.

“After about two years at the private school, I got a job at an insurance company where I started working in January 2017. I have enjoyed working for them. They are supportive and have helped me to grow my career. They opened an office in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth and offered me a job there, so I relocated to PE at the end of April this year with my son.

“All of this wouldn’t have happened if Thandanani had not helped me. I would probably have ended up as an alcoholic or drug addict. But their support gave me the opportunity to make something of my life.

“They are still part of my life.  They are my family. Even though I have moved out and on with my life, they still care. They keep in contact and constantly make sure that I am alright. I don’t know how to thank them.…”

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