19th Oct 2017 11:49:59 PM

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Hatendi Simbe





Hatendi Simbe (not his real name as he is now a young adult and a little shy) once said that no one would ever love him, because of his scars.
Yet in May 2011 he visited us, announcing proudly that he has moved in to live with his girlfriend. So scars are not the end of the world.
He sought our assistance then for a letter to explain that as his fingers are fused, he needed extra time to write his Matric examinations that year.
Hatendi was hoping for a place in 2012 at the University of Johannesburg on a degree course related to information technology and engineering.
Unfortunately his Matric grades were not good enough to get a place in University.
In August 2012 Hatendi had elected to live again with his kind aunt and uncle who took him in all those years ago. He secured some part-time work and saved the money to build himself a good shack adjacent to the RDP house.
He bought himself a double bed, a music system and a computer. So life is not easy, but he is becoming more independent.
In fact he is so independent that when we took him more than 100 donated tins of food as a gift, he almost turned them down. He was quite aloof in 2012 when we also offered extra second-hand blankets and pillows and said he did not need them.
Many kind people took a lot of time to help Hatendi. They spent tens of thousands of rand to give him the chance to travel to the Drakensberg Mountains and afterwards to travel on two aeroplanes to Tanzania. Hatendi was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to climb Mt Kilimanjaro with other Children of Fire children. Hatendi has not absorbed the weeks it took to arrange his passport, vaccinations, climbing equipment and training. Even when he left site with possessions belonging to other children, we did not stop helping him. !



Hatendi (then estimated age 10) was burned in a paraffin stove explosion in the Vlakfontein squatter camp, not far from Leratong Hospital. His mother died in the explosion and his father was seemingly unknown. He went to live in an 'RDP' house with his aunt and his invalid uncle. The charity helped him to return to school and liaised with social workers, police officers and education officials to help create a support network for him. When Hatendi ran away from home, the charity director allowed him to sleep at her house. When Hatendi himself wanted a foster family, we investigated that option but eventually he accepted the idea of remaining with his aunt. She nonetheless frequently seemed to return to visit relatives in Swaziland and less frequently visited him when he was in hospital.






































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