When Narissa’s father passed away when she was eight, things at home started to unravel. Her mother suffered from a mental illness and was unable to care for her, meaning she was placed into foster care at the age of 10.
For six years, Narissa was supported by The Pyjama Foundation. Although she lived with 10 different foster family placements throughout her childhood, her volunteer mentor and Pyjama Angel, Annie, moved with her each time.
Annie's constant support and love during those years made a huge difference in Narissa's life and educational future. Narissa completed high school and is now about to finish her four-year degree at university.
This is what Narissa has to say about the profound impact Annie had on her life as her Pyjama Angel...
"I went into care because my mum suffers from a mental illness and after my Dad passed away when I was eight, things at home just broke down.
There were times when I was in a place where the only person who truly believed in who I was and what I could do, her name was Annie, my Pyjama Angel.
Annie helped me build up my skills, particularly in English and writing. She was much more than my Pyjama Angel. She was someone who stood up for me, someone who spoke up for me someone who encouraged me.
She's a real fighter, and she never gave up on me when a lot of people have, when a lot of people decided to step back. But Annie kept on fighting for me to be who I was.
I know that there were nights where she just cried. She just sat there and cried with me because I let things out that I had shared with very few people.