new life for orphan girl
Until yesterday, Jennifer Mokoena was an eight-year-old orphan with an uncertain future.
A young lawyer, Godfrey Machimana, approached Sowetan because he wanted to help a destitute child.
Jennifer survived on hand-outs after her parents died when she was two years old.
Her father died in a car accident in May 2002, while her mother succumbed to illness six months later.
She and her then 13-year-old brother Bongani survived on a pension received by their grandparents.
But this did not last long as the grandparents also died in 2006, forcing the little girl to live with her aunt, Miriam Mosala, in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni.
Bongani looked after their four-roomed house at a nearby informal settlement called Magagula.
This week Sowetandrove the kids to Machimana's office in Rosebank.
After meeting them briefly, the lawyer took Jennifer to Rosebank Mall where they bought shool stationery.
"I want her to get the same education as my three children," Machimana said.
He said that after a meeting with his colleagues at Machimana Inc, it was agreed that the firm would support Jennifer with R1500 a month.
"The money will go towards her school fees, groceries and transport. We will also help her with medical care," Machimana said.
An excited Jennifer said: "I am very happy to know that there are people who care.
"I am looking forward to a new school and a new environment."
Machimana said the children's plight had touched him because, as a child, he used to walk barefoot for almost 5km to school.
"Children play a very important role in society and it pains me to see them languishing in poverty."
He challenged multi-millionaires such as Patrice Motsepe, Tokyo Sexwale, Cyril Ramaphosa and other wealthy South Africans to adopt and look after destitute people, particularly children.