Meet Thomas*, a remarkable 17-year-old with exceptional talent and an inspiring journey. Since 2016, he has called LIV Thokomala Umlazi home, but his path to this loving family was filled with challenges.

Abandoned as an infant with no known biological family, he spent a significant part of his childhood in a child and youth care facility. However, in 2016, his life took a profound turn when he found a new family at LIV Thokomala Umlazi, proving the transformative power of a caring environment.

At LIV Thokomala, Thomas found a stable home with a dedicated foster mother who cares for him and five other children. This smaller family setting allowed for individual attention and love, nurturing his growth and development.

Thomas, now a vibrant and confident young man, has also overcome other challenges. He is a slow learner and attends a special needs school tailored to his educational requirements. Despite these challenges, Thomas has excelled in various sports, particularly hockey, basketball, and swimming. He even plays for his school team, showcasing his determination and talent.

Both his foster mother and LIV Thokomala have wholeheartedly supported Thomas’s special schooling needs, ensuring that he receives the care and attention required for his growth and development. Thomas’s passion for sports has taken him to great heights, as he and his hockey team were chosen to represent South Africa in the Special Olympics held in Germany this year.

In addition to his sporting achievements, Thomas has become an active and responsible member of his foster family at LIV Thokomala. He eagerly helps his foster mother in the home and cherishes the bonds he shares with his foster siblings. For Thomas, living in the LIV Thokomala community home has transformed his life. He no longer carries the weight of stigma associated with being an orphan who once lived in a children’s home. Instead, he feels like any other child, most importantly, knowing that he is loved and truly worthy of that love.

Thomas our Special Olympics Star

*Name changed to protect privacy