I visited a family who lives in an informal settlement in Ivory Park in extension 3. I found a 19 year old lady who was waiting outside the shack which belonged to her late mother. She was waiting for her friend to go to a drama practice in the community local hall.
I introduced myself and outlined the purpose of the visit. I further asked them how they survived because they are not working. Her answer was that they are living with her friend’s family because they are scared to live in their mother's shack because it’s empty. I asked them why the shack was empty.
She answered by telling me the following:
My name is …………….. (19), a grade 12 learner at Eqinisweni secondary school. As young as I am, I am a guardian of my two siblings, aged 17(male) and 16(female) respectively. My siblings are both doing grade 9 this year in the same school that I’m attending.
We lost our mother on the 24th of May 2012 and since then life has been very difficult. We don’t know our father’s whereabouts, since I last saw him when I was doing grade 3 in 2004.
My mother's family (uncles) had never been supportive since the loss of our mother. They hate us as much as they hated our mother. To prove this they took our mother's furniture and left the shack empty.
CMR Ivory park and Philani support group helps us with food but we still find it difficult to use them because we do not have any furniture, including cooking utensils (stove).
We beg you to help us with furniture; food, clothes and most of all financial assistance for me (a bursary), since I would like to further my studies next year. We are really hard workers at school and we all pass very well.
My wish is to go to University knowing that I’m leaving my siblings in a decent and secure home I will be able to concentrate on my studies knowing that my siblings are safe and well taken care of.
Hope you find means to help us. Your help will highly be appreciated.
This story represents a lot of the child-headed households in the greater Tembisa region. We are very thankful for the help you gave us last week.
Social Auxiliary Worker
CMR Ivory Park
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