Jun 11, 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.…”

Links:

Mar 20, 2019

A Thandanani Success Story

Graduation Day
Graduation Day

No one’s history, upbringing, social class or intellectual capabilities should be a stumbling block to accomplish something in your life. Jane Ngeu (27) can testify to that.

Coming from a totally dysfunctional home, she ended up at Thandanani House of Refuge in Zandspruit, an informal settlement just outside Johannesburg, when she was 13. She was moved from Masakani Primary School in Zandspruit to Kingsway Christian School in Randpark Ridge.

“I was never bright at school but I was a hard worker. In grade 7 I was made a prefect.”

When Jane finished primary school she went to Sparrow School where they teach children various kinds of skills. Jane chose to do sewing. At 19 she left to go to Sew Africa, a fashion design school in the CBD of Johannesburg, but after a year she realised that fashion design is not what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

It was also around that time that she knew she was going to have to leave Thandanani (due to her age) and that she would have to step out on her own - a daunting task.

“When they told me it was time to leave Thandanani I had nowhere to go. But I refused to do what so many girls do to try and survive and that is to get a boyfriend to support me. And I refused to go and live in a shack.

“Thandanani is an amazing place. My mindset was formed there. I was loved and the house moms were always there for us. They taught me that although life is not easy, I must never give up. They also encouraged me to think about my future and to make plans to fulfill my dreams.

“I asked God to help me and guide me on the right path and then a friend I made at the Sparrow School told me about friends of her parents who had a cottage available on their property. They let me stay there for only R500 (US$35) per month.

“At that time I managed to find a job as a receptionist which lasted two and a half years. After that, the people where I stayed asked me what I wanted to do with my life. When I told them my dream was to become a teacher they paid for me to study at the Professional Childcare College in Johannesburg. They even let me stay in their cottage for free. They are amazing people. They treat me like their own child,” she says.

Jane successfully finished the three-year course as a basic childminder and pre-school teacher and graduated on 16 December 2018.

Now the big hunt is on for a job in a pre-school. Her dream for the future besides getting married one day, is to open her own aftercare centre that stays open until eight o’ clock in the evening to accommodate parents who can’t fetch their kids earlier in the afternoon.

Links:

Mar 14, 2019

A Thandanani Success Story

Graduation Day
Graduation Day

No one’s history, upbringing, social class or intellectual capabilities should be a stumbling block to accomplish something in your life. Jane Ngeu (27) can testify to that.

Coming from a totally dysfunctional home, she ended up at Thandanani House of Refuge in Zandspruit, an informal settlement just outside Johannesburg, when she was 13. She was moved from Masakani Primary School in Zandspruit to Kingsway Christian School in Randpark Ridge.

“I was never bright at school but I was a hard worker. In grade 7 I was made a prefect.”

When Jane finished primary school she went to Sparrow School where they teach children various kinds of skills. Jane chose to do sewing. At 19 she left to go to Sew Africa, a fashion design school in the CBD of Johannesburg, but after a year she realised that fashion design is not what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

It was also around that time that she knew she was going to have to leave Thandanani (due to her age) and that she would have to step out on her own - a daunting task.

“When they told me it was time to leave Thandanani I had nowhere to go. But I refused to do what so many girls do to try and survive and that is to get a boyfriend to support me. And I refused to go and live in a shack.

“Thandanani is an amazing place. My mindset was formed there. I was loved and the house moms were always there for us. They taught me that although life is not easy, I must never give up. They also encouraged me to think about my future and to make plans to fulfill my dreams.

“I asked God to help me and guide me on the right path and then a friend I made at the Sparrow School told me about friends of her parents who had a cottage available on their property. They let me stay there for only R500 (US$35) per month.

“At that time I managed to find a job as a receptionist which lasted two and a half years. After that, the people where I stayed asked me what I wanted to do with my life. When I told them my dream was to become a teacher they paid for me to study at the Professional Childcare College in Johannesburg. They even let me stay in their cottage for free. They are amazing people. They treat me like their own child,” she says.

Jane successfully finished the three-year course as a basic childminder and pre-school teacher and graduated on 16 December 2018.

Now the big hunt is on for a job in a pre-school. Her dream for the future besides getting married one day, is to open her own aftercare centre that stays open until eight o’ clock in the evening to accommodate parents who can’t fetch their kids earlier in the afternoon.

Links:

 
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