HOT Cares Steps in to Take Pressure Off Young Woman Dealt a Rough Hand

Some of the stories we receive here at Hot Cares are hard to read.

Such as that of Sandra (not her real name) – a young woman just trying to get a start to her adult life, but facing a host of challenges, through no fault of her own.

Fortunately, there is also love in Sandra’s life and it comes from her foster-mother, Barbara, who wrote us an email, telling us her story.

Sandra came to Barbara from an abusive household at the age of 17 nearly five years ago.

“In her young life she has unfortunately experienced more trauma and rejection than most, and due to early emotional trauma, she has suffered terribly with her mental health, which has then manifested in severe seizures,” said Barbara.

Although happy and settled in her new home, Sandra’s matric year was a challenging one, as she was badly affected by depression, anxiety, and the seizures. This resulted in her slipping from being an ‘A student’ to just getting a basic pass.

Sandra’s difficulties didn’t end there.

HOT Cares Steps in to Take Pressure Off Young Woman Dealt a Rough Hand

Just two years ago, while trying to get her life back on track with her new family, she was the victim of a violent sexual assault, with the resulting impact on her mental health severe.

Despite this, she bravely made the choice to pursue her tertiary education in sports science and secured a bursary at an institution called eta in Stellenbosch, moving away from the security of Barbara’s home.

To her credit, Sandra found a part-time waitering job to help cover her living expenses, but it’s now all become too much for her, trying to maintain her studies and the job, whilst battling the mental health issues that trouble her, with the post-traumatic stress of the attack also affecting her severely. This, in turn, has led to more seizures and poor Sandra is just battling to make any headway with life, in and out of hospital, needing specialised help, and both her studies and job suffering.

Things came to a head earlier this year when Sandra attempted suicide.

Fortunately, she has a loving family and is receiving psychological help, but she’s had to take the semester off to recover, whilst her bursary remains active.

“We’re desperate to get her onto a medical aid and have looked at so many options, but it’s just too costly for us,” said Barbara. “She also just desperately wants to get back to her studies and on the path to her future, and to make me proud.”

Not only that, but apparently Sandra wants to use her studies to ultimately help disadvantaged children once she is qualified.

“I can’t believe what an incredible woman she’s turned out to be, with everything she’s been through,” said Barbara. “She’s the most resilient, strong person and an absolute inspiration.”

She sounds like an amazing young woman and someone Hot Cares would just love to help.

With that in mind, we’re going to be paying her living and travel costs over the next six months and contributing R3500 a month towards this. We’re hoping this takes some pressure and stress off Sandra and she can just concentrate on her studies. On top of that, Hot Cares also feels that Sandra and her family deserve a celebratory dinner night out, so we’ll be covering the cost of that, as well.

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