Thando lives with her 95-year-old grandfather, two younger brothers, and three younger cousins in Katlehong Township outside of Johannesburg. Her mother and grandmother died when she was young.
Q: Tell us about your home situation.
A: I live with my grandfather who is my caregiver. I have two younger brothers. My grandfather relies on his pension and also the grant money we get. “I believe that SSP will help me in a great way to achieve my dreams … and I can be a living testimony that coming from a less fortunate background doesn’t mean that it will end there. I can also be able to help my siblings and maybe one day be able to fund their studies.”
Q: What are your future aspirations?
A: I would like to become a bypass surgeon to help those [who can’t lose weight] so that they can also have a longer healthy lifestyle. I would also like to have a NGO organization which helps the youth to be one step closer to achieving their dreams. In her grandfather’s words:
Q: Why did you encourage her to apply?
A: I saw that she wanted to be something bigger than the ordinary. My fear was to one day tell her that she can’t be what she wants to be. “SSP sees potential in children who sometimes think they will never make it out of their current circumstances.”