Facing a hard life, boy dedicates freetime to SPCA, even when bullies burn his home


Bullied and teased for loving dogs and volunteering at the local SPCA, the community raised R22k to help young boy rebuild life after bullies burnt his room down.


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Smanga is an amazing 14-year-old boy who walks from the township where he lives, every Saturday, to volunteer his time at the Amanzimtoti SPCA’s Edu-Paw programme. The programme was set up to help educate the other children on how to care for their dogs.

Smanga has faced bullying and ridicule for his passionate heart. Some of the boys where he lives think it is strange that he has a love for animals. Because of this, two boys burnt his tin shack room to the ground.

He stayed in a tin shack outside of his mother’s house. He was left only with the clothes on his back. All his school books, school bag, and uniform had been burnt.

Cathy who runs Edu-Paw bought him some school shirts and a pair of school trousers, and shoes, as well as some other clothes from Pep, to get him through the week. A coalition of organisations teamed up and shared the heartbreaking story in the hopes to raise funds to help purchase all his lost school items as well as build him a new room. They were incredibly successful.

“With the utmost amazing response from the amazing caring community, through donations and contributions, they were able to raise enough money to buy him his school stationary and replace his school and other essential clothing he required. Also, they were able to buy materials to rebuild his little home”

“Also they were able to pay his school fees for the year and the money that is left over Cathy has opened a trust in Smanga name and all the money has been put in there for him to use for school fees in the future or for further education as his dream and passion is to become a vet after school to really save the animals he loves so dearly. Should anyone like to assist him with this Cathy will happily give the information for the trusts details” – Kaylee Featherstone 

You can find out more here. Smanga was so moved by the contributions that he wrote a heartfelt thank you letter to everyone that worked to help him get back on his feet after the fire.

“The thing that made me come to SPCA is that I love animals, and when I grow up I want to be a vet and then I want to help all the animals that don’t have homes and find homes for it. 

So firstly I would like to thank the people from SPCA. The first person that I would like to thank Tracey the manager of SPCA, and Stacey who put my story on Facebook. Karen from Powerbreed rescue and the thing that she help me with she buy my dog food cause the bucket of my dog’s food was burnt with my stuff.

And l will like to thank Stephen and Karen, they rebuild my house. And I will also like to thank Tanya Caminsky Atshuler and Rachel Kinloch from The Angel Network Durban, and Kaylee Featherstone, she post me and my story on Facebook.

And I will like to thank everyone who helped the clothes and books and stuff for school. Thanks the people in Gauteng and all the places. And I would like to thank God for what he did to let all the people buying the stuff for me.

If SPCA was not on my side I was not going to do anything. I was going to leave school and not be the thing that I wanted to be when I grow up. And I would like to say to Cathy Keegan, she’s the first person who helped me and Cathy please, the God may bless you. You showed that you loved me with Terry Keegan. Am not going to forget about you and your husband what you did for me. There is no one who can do what you did for me with your husband. So guys I really thank you for what you did for me. I will never forget SPCA and Edu-Paw in my life.” [sic]

Sources: Facebook
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Tyler Vivier
Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy. Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.


  1. Kate

    August 8, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Sho. Not sure what to say about this. I am incredibly moved by how this community has reached out to this boy, but equally devastated that there are those who do not understand and would therefore try to squash a kind heart. And yet, kindness prevails ❤️ Thank you to the ‘Toti community for helping him, you give us all hope ❤️

    • Jenny Lowen

      August 10, 2018 at 10:29 am

      I totally agree. His soft heart could have become hard with hurt and anger after that kind of bullying, which the bullies probably got away with, even though they burnt his room and possessions.

  2. Jenny Lowen

    August 10, 2018 at 10:26 am

    That dear boy will make a great vet, with not only his passion for animals but having experienced first-hand that there are more kind people around than bullies. He will give his furry patients and their owners the same love and care. Now he has hope and security that someone believes in his potential; one of the things that bullying can steal from him.

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