THIS year started on a bad note for Sibongile Thwala and her family.
Their house in Zone 6 Meadowlands, Soweto, caught fire on New Year's Eve just after 11pm. Luckily there was no one in the house at the time.
"I really did not know what to do," said the 47-year-old Thwala.
"Everything that was in the bedroom was burnt to ashes by the time the fire was put out by my neighbours."
Her eight-year-old daughter Vuyiswa's school uniform was also destroyed.
"All I could think about was how my daughter would go to school," she said.
But Vuyiswa, a Grade 2 pupil at Thobeka Primary School, did not miss the first day of school yesterday. She was able to attend school like the country's other 12 million pupils, thanks to the Methodist Church Mission House in Zone 7 Meadowlands.
On Tuesday the church brought Vuyiswa the whole school uniform.
Vuyiswa's two-year-old sister and four-year-old nephew also received new clothes to ensure that they did not miss their first day at crèche.
"I heard of their plight on a local radio station," the church's circuit steward Fingo Mjikeliso said.
"I told church members about it and we visited the family. We were touched and decided to help them.
"We will replace the roof and will have the house painted. The bedroom door will also be replaced."
Thwala, a single mother of three, said she was grateful for the help she received from the church.
"Their kindness has shown me that people still do care for others," Thwala said.