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Vingerkraal Fire Survivors

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In June I posted a story about The Smile Foundations providing skin graft surgery to Simon Shetuhanga (21) and Josef Mingarindja (17). They burnt in a fire at Vingerkraal near Bela-bela in which 11 other children died in 2010.

This weekend me and Seugnet Esterhuyse visited Vingerkraal with Corlien Macdonald of Cradle of Hope. They provide care for the survivors of the fire.

Joseph and Simon are two of seven children who survived. We also met Simon’s sister, Victoria (16). One of the children is now cared for by Children of Fire in Johannesburg and another was in hospital at the time of our visit. Two of the survivors is no longer living in Vingerkraal.
Victoria, Simon and Joseph told us about the day of the fire and showed us around Vingerkraal. This informal settlement is home to about 1000 people.

They also took us into their homes and we met their siblings and parents. Joseph’s father has a beautiful garden with fruit trees and even watermelons.

We had Coca Cola and Lemon creams under a tree for lunch.

Vingerkraal spaza shop

Read Seugnet’s story in Beeld about the Vingerkraal survivors and the people who are helping them.

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