A fundraiser for a teenager permanently blinded by a corrosive substance in an attack in Thornton Heath last month has reached its £15,000 target.
The 18-year-old man, who was attacked while walking along Thornton Road with another man, is a refugee with no family in the United Kingdom.
The fundraiser for the blinded teenager was set up by Da’aro Youth Project, which supports young refugees from the Horn of Africa and has worked with the victim for over a year.
Da’aro Youth Project co-ordinator Benny Hunter said: “We are blown away by the level of support.
“I think people were just really shocked by what had happened.”
The money raised will go to the teenager, to support his recovery and life going forward by funding any rehabilitation, accommodation, therapy or medical treatments required.
It is expected the teenager will be dependent on the support of carers.
The £15,000 was raised within 48 hours of the fundraiser’s inception, with a new target set at £20,000 to provide as much support as possible for the victim, and over £18,000 raised so far by 970 doners.
Hunter added: “Originally we hoped we could raise a couple of thousand pounds.
“The target is just a number, because however much we raise he’ll still receive all of that funding.
“We are so thankful that people would reach into their pockets to help someone they don’t know, who’s going through one of the hardest things you can imagine, while alone and with no family.
“We were horrified by what happened.”
The teenager is aware of the fundraiser but does not yet know how much has been raised to help his recovery, or how many people have donated.
Da’aro Youth Project is a community-led organisation set up in 2018 by members of the British Eritrean community in south London.
It was set up in response to the number of Eritrean asylum seekers taking their own lives.
They aim to promote the wellbeing of young asylum seekers living in the UK, through direct support.
They previously ran the Injera Club, a weekly youth club in Streatham and a Loss Survivors Support group for young people who have experienced loss and require support.
Due to the pandemic restrictions, they now offer services such as casework, support and advocacy, food deliveries and emotional support phone calls for young refugees.
You can donate to the fundraiser here.