What struck Michelle Nunes most about her colleague Ronel Griessel was her absolute devotion to her two daughters – who she raised as a single mom under very difficult circumstances.

So, when Ronel tragically lost her youngest daughter to an act of crime, Michelle contacted Hot Cares to help Ronel take care of her four orphaned grandchildren, aged between 2 and 6 years.

The eldest granddaughter, aged 6, found Ronel’s daughter and could not understand why her mommy would not wake up, and why she was so cold. The other three children climbed in bed to snuggle with their mom in an attempt to warm her up so that she could wake up.

Ronel has taken the seemingly overwhelming responsibility of raising her grandchildren on with her characteristic devotion to family, despite not having an income. Ronel worked in the tourism industry, one of the hardest hit by the COVID pandemic and resulting lockdowns, and has not had an income for the past 18 months.

Having been exposed to the trauma of their mother’s passing the children will require long-term counselling, however Ronel does not currently have transport. The children also need basic, daily necessities such as groceries and schooling. Ronel will be applying for guardianship, which comes with enormous legal costs as well as trying to arrange a medical aid for the children.

Some of her former colleagues at Tourvest Destination Management raised some money to offer some short-term assistance, but with their whole lives ahead of them, raising the four young children will require a village, as we often say in SA.

Hot Cares will assist Ronel and her grandchildren with winter clothing, groceries and immediate day-to-day needs.

Ronel is a specialist in IT software programmes such as SQL, Crystal and Sage, and we encourage our community to get in touch if someone is in a position to offer Ronel employment – via hotcares@hot919.co.za