HOMELESS TRANS FOLK OUT IN THE COLD – GOAL R80 000
Funds for outstanding fees for undergraduate studies still outstanding. Forced to flee her home in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, after her uncle, her only living relative, attempted to murder her, Siya Hlongwa found herself on the streets of Johannesburg.
“He used to chase me around with knives,” says the 32-year-old transgender woman. “He didn’t want me alive.”
Relying mostly on the kindness of strangers for a roof over her head, she would “sometimes sleep in churches and even taxis — always hiding my gender, of course”, she says. But one day “a stranger, a friend of a friend, offered me a place to sleep. But he ended up taking advantage of me, he raped me.”
After being placed in a shelter for abused women and children, she was told to leave when her gender identity was discovered. “I wasn’t even given a chance to state my case.”
When her situation came to the attention of the trans and intersex rights organisation, Iranti.org, she was placed in temporary accommodation and encouraged to enrol at the University of the Witwatersrand, where she is completing a master’s degree in development planning. “I’m one of the top students in my class,” she says with pride.
Despite her academic performance, she is still homeless. Night after night, Hlongwa walks to her campus locker, removes her blanket and pillow and makes a bed for herself somewhere in the university library, or one of the lecture halls. “I use the sports facilities to shower and stuff,” she says. Hlongwa is one of many homeless transgender people. It is a “huge issue”, says Iranti.org’s Joshua Sehoole. There are “a multitude of reasons” transgender people are particularly vulnerable to becoming homeless.
The above was a quote from a newspaper article about my studies.
I am requesting funds to assist with paying the outstanding student debt for my previous degree of Bachelor of Architectural Studies, which is around R80 000, and as I am currently unemployed due to my transgender status, and discrimination in society within this country, I have no means to pay this.
The debt is accumulating interest and will be over R100 000 before the end of 2018.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Reference: NSF001355580 for more information about this debt.
Thanking you in advance for your contributions and support.