HOT Cares & Dis-Chem Foundation Change the Life of Young Girl Who Needs Vital Surgery

It’s been a rough few years for 13-year-old Thoko.

She’s found herself on the receiving end of some hurtful teasing and bullying, and it’s through no fault of her own.

Thoko’s story was brought to us by one of her teachers, Mrs Wessels, who explained that Thoko has issues with her teeth, due to an incident that took place when she was a baby. Thoko fell out of her pram and severely damaged her gums and teeth, and due to the quality of the public health system, little has been done, resulting in her teeth being unable to grow properly or in the correct places.

Her mother is a domestic worker and her father is, unfortunately, unemployed.

“I came across this very special girl,” said Mrs Wessels. “She is the kind of kid where you can see her kindness and love radiate! She is so special and just phenomenal.”

Ironically, the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting face masks we all had to wear was actually a bit of a silver lining for young Thoko, as she was able to hide the issues with her teeth, to the extent that Mrs Wessels noticed her confidence and participation growing, as she was able to ‘blend in’ more.

But, now that the mask ban has been lifted, Thoko’s situation has changed and she’s refused to take her mask off. This has obviously resulted in more bullying and teasing.

HOT Cares & Dis-Chem Foundation Change the Life of Young Girl Who Needs Vital Surgery

“She is very self-conscious, doesn’t smile in pictures, doesn’t participate in class, and struggles to stand her ground, in case someone ‘notices her teeth’,” said Mrs Wessels. “I can see her pain on a daily basis and it feels so sad and unnecessary. My wish is that we get to see her confidence blossom and she gets to show off the person she is, as well as find the peace and happiness she deserves.”

Here at Hot Cares, our collective hearts go out to poor Thoko.

That’s why we want to make a meaningful difference to her life.

Fortunately, Hot Cares has some fantastic partners and people we work with, such as the incredible maxillo-facial and oral surgeon Dr Julian Rambak, who has generously offered to perform Thoko’s facial surgery for free! He also has an anaesthetist on board, so that part is covered, as well.

Further to that, once Thoko’s jaw and gums have healed, Hot Cares, in partnership with The Dis-Chem Foundation, will take care of the orthodontics to ensure that Thoko has a happy and beautiful smile that she can be proud of.

We hope these interventions go some way to making life more enjoyable and comfortable for this young girl.

Similarly, if you are a prospective partner of Hot Cares, or if you are in a position to donate towards making a meaningful difference, or have a story to alert us to, or a programme you’d like to partner with Hot Cares on, please get in touch with us by emailing