On 17 June 2019, Alice Thibakhoana's house in Soweto burnt down leaving her and her family in dire straits. Alice is a single mom, sharing her house with her brother and sister and their families. She is the sole breadwinner for this entire family.
The fire swept through the house so quickly that they barely managed to save anything. Alice was determined to save what she could and bravely crawled into the burning structure to retrieve valuable documents and a few other items she could grab before her family dragged her out.
At 53 years old, Alice has worked hard to create a safe and comfortable place for her and her family to live, and to provide a secure retirement for herself. She is an extremely hard worker, working two jobs (one of them with our family) to make enough money to provide for her family and to build the house big enough to accommodate the family and provide more privacy. On that fateful morning, Alice watched her decades of hard work literally go up in flames and her dreams shattered.
Like most residents of Soweto and other South African "townships", Alice had no access to insurance, nor could she expect support services like fire fighters or support from her community who are also barely subsisting. South Africa has an extremely high unemployment rate, particularly in the "townships".
This has left her with not much more than a few pieces of clothing. All nine family members now share a single shelter best described as a garden shed. It is mid-winter in South Africa and temperatures drop to near freezing at night.
Although she is an extremely resilient person, she's had enough knocks in her life. This house was her dream. It was what she worked for every day. It is hard to imagine how she and her family can recover from this without help.
Alice is a proud woman, who has made her own way in life. Asking for help goes against her nature. But this catastrophe is more than she and her family can cope with on their own. So I am asking for help on her behalf.
Please donate whatever you can to help her rebuild her house.
P.S.: For non-South African donors, the target of R150,000 is equivalent to about US$10,000.
P.P.S.: The fire was registered with the police for verification purposes. Here is an image of the official police case number: