11th Jul 2020 6:20:34 AM

The Charities | The Children | Dorah Mokoena | Health | Schools / Training | Community | Regional Reports | UMashesha
Ado Balombo Bambula
Agnes Wabiwa
Amanda Simanga
Amina Mahamat
Amukelani Dube
Andani Mphaphuli
Anele Nyongwana
Babalwa Debele
Babalwa Mfengu
Baby Babongile
Bafana Nzima
Basheeba Worlotoe
Boipelo Mosegedi
Bongani Madlala
Bongani Phakati
Busisiwe C
Caroline Gichuki
Chris M
Deon Slabbert
Emmanuel Lawal
Evelyn Minto Essono's
Fursy Mugobe
Gabriel C
Gamuchirai Vanessa Gohodza
Gontise Mogotsi
Hatendi Simbe
Helen Matondo
Hlumelo Dondashe
Irene Peta
Jabulani Malungane
Jacques Abrahams
Janine Barends
Jose Mvula
Kagiso Maphoso
Kagiso Mathebula
Kagiso Mphuti
Karabo Thebedi
Kezia Fern Samuel
Kjetil Sandivk Havnen
Koketso Sekuru
Lee Branco
Liane Grond
Lida Basson
Londeka Ngidi
Michelle Ecape
Michelle Mthenjwa
Mohau Qumpula
Mpho Maja
Mungo Nete
Musa Zwane
Neliswe Radebe
Nelson Tsabalala
Nkosi Ncube
Nkululeko Jnr
Nomthandazo Shongwe
Oscar Mlondolozi Hadebe
Phillip Lesingaran
Piet Moloja
Rien ne Dit
Rolivhuwa Matodzi
Rose Wambua
Saloma Aphanye
Sameh Chiboub
Samkelo Somi
Samukelo Radebe
Seetsa Mosoma
Shaun Hart
Shirley Seqobane
Sithembiso Hlatshwayo
Siyabonga Morwasetla
Siyabonga Nokumbi
Steven Marakeng Mpyana
Sunday Mukaza
Tapera Jani
Tendani Yaka
Thulani Nhleko
Tshepiso Maimela
Tshepiso Sekuru
Vhahangwele Matodz
Violet Chibvura
Vusi Mathibela
William B
Yassine Ben Ali
Zanele Jeza
Zianda Ndlovu
Zipho Zwane

NonMireille and the kids after hiking in the Suikerbosrand, April 2012

NonMireille holding Baby Agnes, who later died.

In February 2012, NonMireille flew via Rwanda and was driven to Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo to try to help Baby Agnes. They then flew from Rwanda to Boston in the USA where the baby received surgery. They met Megan Harris who made a documentary about burns survivors called: Forged by Fire and wanted to help. While her mentor had to stay behind to help Feleng, for Baby Agnes, this time NonMireille was the one travelling that journey from continent to continent.

NonMireille talked to ACU Nurses on Agnes' condition

Ellen Lewis, John Sugden, NonMireille, Megan Smith-Harris & Tristan Takos (Senator Kerry's office) February 7, 2012

NonMireille met Junius Hughes again in February, 2012 and she met Megan Smith-Harris at Shriners.

NonMireille and Ellen Lewis Feburary 8, 2012

NonMireille went from being a teenage burns survivor in need to an administrator talking to government departments such as Home Affairs, Social Development, Health, and Education.
She's pictured here in August 2011 with Isaac Masilo Mogope of the Department of Home Affairs.

NonMireille with Dikeledi (8) on the swing in May 2011

NonMireille and Feleng (9) by the hibiscus bush at Jo'burg School for Blind, Low Vision and Multiple Disability Children, May 2011.

NonMireille helping Thapelo (5) with his schoolwork, May 2011

NonMireille and Marietta both summited Kilimanjaro at end June 2007. Marietta became a doctor

Like many 27-year-olds, NonMireille loved shopping, dresses, enjoys listening to music and she wanted to improve the health care of South Africa. But unlike most young women of her age, NonMireille was scarred down the front of her body, as a result of being badly burned when she was just eight-years-old. Has this deterred her from reaching her dreams?
"Things are never the same after you are burned. People look at you funny and treat you differently. They think because you have scars you are less capable than other people," says NonMireille, quietly. NonMireille is studying towards a degree to become a social worker.
NonMireille remembers that fateful winter morning 19 years ago when she was trying to warm herself next to the hot plate in the kitchen of her Soweto home. Suddenly, with a 'whoosh' the front of her jersey caught alight, burning her skin from her neck down to her waist. NonMireille spent three months in hospital and her future was suddenly filled with operations, hospital visits, medicine and bandages.
NonMireille said "It took a long time for me to accept the 'new' me, and to be able to look at myself in the mirror. I knew that I could never go back to the skin I was born with.

Another life-changing event in NonMireille’s life was taking part in a climbing expedition for young burn survivors up Mt Kilimanjaro in 2007, organised by Children of Fire, Africa's first burns charity. In NonMireille’s case, it changed her view on life.
NonMireille was delighted when she reached the summit even though she was the last person to do so. "The wonderful thing about an experience like that is that I can replay it over and over in my mind, like a video clip, and I can remember the great feeling of achievement when I reached my goal."

NonMireille became more involved with Children of Fire, and started to work there on a permanent basis. NonMireille “I find it frustrating at times working with the Department of Social Development because it takes a long time for solutions to problems to be found. It is difficult trying to improve the lives of children when you are dealing with people who do not seem to care much. One day, when I am Head of Social Development, I will change all that!" NonMireille quips with a smile.

Burn survivors need on-going medical care, and there are usually many complications which arise as they grow. For example, in most cases the badly burned skin contracts forming scar tissue that need to be 'released' in order to restore mobility to that region of the body. NonMireille had many contracture release operations over the years.

NonMireille fostered another burned child at the request of colleagues who feared a worse outcome if she did not. When looking back on her life so far, NonMireille is amazed at the how things have turned out. "I think I have been lucky in that my mother has always been very supportive and I know that she believes in me, and the people at Children of Fire have helped me a lot. The Founder is like a second mother and she enabled me to travel to Zimbabwe, Tanzania, putting a foot in Kenya, across South Africa and even to London in the UK. I am surprised at myself sometimes. It took time, but now I am comfortable with the way I am and how the world sees me." NonMireille has had to face many challenges in her life, but has made the best of the opportunities that have come her way. "Life doesn't always go exactly as planned, but my advice to other young people is to reach for your dreams - you can achieve anything by taking one step at a time."

Dr Audrey Gule (38) was head of Emergency Services /Disaster Management for Greater Johannesburg. She visited Children of Fire to discuss the charity’s unique work on community safety, in mid October 2008. Some children were interested to meet her..

NonMireille had nipple-reconstruction surgery on 18th November 2008 (surgeon Charles Serrurier) and was discharged from Helen Joseph Hospital the next day.

This material is Copyright © The Dorah Mokoena Charitable Trust and/or Children of Fire , 1998-2020.
Distribution or re-transmission of this material, excluding the Schools' Guide, is expressly forbidden without prior permission of the Trust.
For further information, email firechildren@icon.co.za