Thabo did not go to school until he was 11 years old. For years, he spent his days wandering around the community of Oshoek. No one cared if Thabo or his brother Mpho went to school, or took a bath, or had any food. Thabo was trapped in the small, one-room stick and mud house he was born in with an abusive mother and a father who is mentally impaired, often out wandering through the woods. Thabo lived with four people, sleeping on the cold, wet floor every night, often experiencing neglect, but God intervened.
God called Sara to find Thabo. Sara is a local Care Worker who is part of a group of volunteers from local churches who care for the most vulnerable children. While doing home visits through Bambanani Community Based Organisation in 2011, Sara noticed Thabo sitting alone and wondered why a boy his age was not at school in the middle of the day. As she talked to him she heard the story of a child who had never seen the inside of a classroom, never knew when his next meal would be, and was in desperate need of an adult in his life who would love and care for him. Sara took Thabo into her heart and her life. She talked to Thabo’s mother who agreed to let him and Mpho enrol in school.
Today, Thabo is 12 and in Grade Four. Sara is his second mother who visits him at home and cares for him. She ensures he takes a bath and goes to school. Though he still faces the challenge of living in the midst of an unstable family, he says he can cope, knowing it is never too long until Sara will visit. He loves school and says one day he wants to work for, as he calls it, the “Fire Emergency Fighting Company”! This young boy, who once felt abandoned, is now living a story of restoration and gradually healing from his trauma.
* name has been changed