Submitted by: Dean Joffe

Personal message

Some call it fate some call it right place right time. This is an intro to how we met a Burundian man named Mdalaga AKA MD.

We were struck by his timidness & soft spoken voice. After listening to his story. We could see that this was clearly a man who needed a helping hand, hence us reaching out to try and help elevate some of his struggles. 

His story –


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So onto his story and why we believe this is a worthy cause to help. 

Mdalaga is originally from Burundi and has been in South Africa for the past several years. However, like many others he did not come here out of a lust and desire to experience another city to live in. He came here because of conflict and a war torn society, one in which killed his parents and other family members.

He was captured as a young boy and made to join the armed forces who were all engaged in a bloody & brutal civil war (for further info please read over

He then fled Burundi and escaped the jungle and armed forces. However will most likely never be able to escape the nightmares of what he had to endure during this time. Once he escaped he made his long and dangerous way down to South Africa. 

He has been in limbo in South Africa for many years as he has struggled to find any type of sustainable work due to the fact that he isn’t a permanent resident. All potential employers have turned him away and have not given him the chance to tell his story.

We are looking to simply help a man that has clearly never been given a chance  nor a break in life to get up onto his feet. We’d like to help him obtain status within SA and in a small way brighten up his life and show him that there is goodness and empathy in this world. We also want to help him get back into his studies. He was studying clinical psychology through Unisa but due to a lack of funds he was forced to drop out.  With our combined efforts we can make this hope a reality.

This campaign will hopefully create the opportunity for Mdalaga to be self-sufficient. 

With the target of R40 000 we would like to help Mdalaga get back into his studies. We would also like to help him in the best way possible to become a permanent resident and these funds will help in assistance to obtain residency. This will hopefully open up more job opportunities, help him pay his rent and other basic needs. 

From three young students who have helped bring about awareness of Mdalaga’s story: Dean Joffe – David-Phillip Dirks – Josh Rubin


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