Woman helps accountant turned petrol attendant to fuel his dreams

2016-03-30 09:18
Megan Carrie. (Facebook)

Megan Carrie. (Facebook)

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Durban - A South African woman's Facebook post about a Zimbabwean accountant she met at a petrol station has sparked an outpouring of generosity that neither of them could ever have expected.

Megan Carrie penned a heartfelt post earlier this month about the man who filled up her tank and turned out to be qualified for so much more.

The single dad, identified only as Henry, told Carrie that he arrived in South Africa in 2008 at the height of Zimbabwe's economic crisis.

He had a degree in accountancy but no degree certificate as he still owed R35 000 in fees and the tertiary institution would not hand it over until he had settled the debt.

So for the last eight years Henry worked as a lecturer, car guard, small business owner and - for the last three months -  as a petrol attendant.

Carrie told her Facebook friends she couldn't ignore his story and asked them to contribute R35 each to help pay off the debt.

"I figured if this reached 1 000 people and they all contributed R35 we could pay it off," she wrote on March 18, adding, "Truth is, I don't know if anything will come of this post."

Something did come of it.

Paying it forward

It was shared more than 800 times - and donations started pouring into the FNB account Carrie had set up for Henry.

Ten days later, she told News24, "We've far exceeded the amount needed to pay off Henry's tuition. I've been blown away by people's generosity."

But it was Henry's reaction to the news that the money raised was far more than what he owed that touched Carrie - and many others - the most.

"He started to get a bit restless. When I asked him what was wrong he said, 'I don't want the rest of the money for myself, what you've done for me is enough. I want to use it to help other people in my situation'," Carrie said.

However, she is reluctant to reveal too much information about Henry and refuses to disclose at which garage he works, but said he did have a work permit.

"Keeping Henry safe in all of this is of top priority to me," she said.

His wish to help others in a similar predicament - the individual who is over-qualified, under-employed, trying to support relatives back home - is the driving force behind a plan to create a go-to website for those wishing to help.

Carrie said the site would be a place where people like Henry can share their stories and others can publicise job opportunities.

"We've already got started on the website and are very excited at the prospect of changing more lives," Carrie said.

- Do you know anyone in a similar situation? Send News24 the details

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