At age 19 Lina (pseudonym) faced terrible odds for completing matric successfully. Her social worker was concerned that her circumstances would prevent her from fulfilling her potential.
Lina, who has been in the Westbury Family Care programme since September 2013, lives in the Slovo Park informal settlement in a one bedroom shack, together with four other family members. They are, her dad (45), who relies on piece jobs, her 21-year-old sister and her niece and nephew, who are one and six years of age respectively. Lina lost her mother at age three.
The shack has no running water and electricity and the family does not have a steady source of income. Still she is one of best students in the AKB Westbury Family Care programme.
In a discussion between the relevant managers, it was decided that there is sufficient motivation for this talented girl to move to Langlaagte, where she could get the support for her to have the greatest chance of academic success.
This move was soon organised and is a blessing to Lina. She is very happy, less stressed and has settled well. She has a room of her own with a table and chair to study comfortably and a warm bed to get a good night’s sleep.
She was delighted on the first morning after her move to wake up to a warm breakfast, prepared by her house mother. She loves being around the other girls who are so diverse and accommodating. To be presented with three meals a day was a major departure from her situation at Slovo Park where she and her sister took turns to cook.
Possibly the greatest blessing for her at Langlaagte is running water and electricity, because at home she used a candle or the torch on her phone to study. Her concentration improved greatly.
The future definitely looks brighter for Lina and we look forward to see the impact that this opportunity would have on her future.