Avatar of Bafana, orphan but happy to go to school thanks to FXB

Bafana, orphan but happy to go to school thanks to FXB

Bafana Mpungose

Bafana Mpungose is 13 years old, he lives in Soweto, South Africa, and lost his father at the age of seven.

“The place where we’re staying isn’t safe. Violence is everywhere. We often hear gunshots and it’s not uncommon for us to see assaults in the streets. My mother and stepfather are unemployed and we depend on family allowances.

I joined an FXB program because I needed help with my homework. Knowing our very precarious family situation, my family and I also receive food parcels and help with my school supplies. Over the months, I learned how to protect myself from HIV, from the dangers of alcohol and drugs, and from the dangers that lurk everywhere, even though I am still very scared on the street. I have learned to turn negativity into positivity and, above all, I have developed a passion for reading and poetry.

Educators know how to motivate us when we are faced with life’s difficulties. They teach us to take care of ourselves, to love and support each other. This has taught me to appreciate life.

This is the second year that I am participating in the FXB program and they recently set up a mini-library, which has been great for me. The love of reading has grown so much in me that I have started to do my homework well, get better grades, improve my writing and comprehension skills, especially in English.

My mother became seriously ill a few months ago. At first I was angry and panicked. Once again, my educators explained to me what she was suffering from and how she could mitigate the impact of her illness with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

They helped me talk to her about it. This has helped me to accept my mother’s illness and I am helping her as much as I can. I think I’m on the right track.