Jun

19

Educators, regardless of where employed, have a challenging job.

To accomplish their goals to teach and prepare students for life and advanced education, they must take many things into consideration.  For example, they need to incorporate various teaching-learning styles to enhance learning. They take time to identify learning challenges in an effort to help the student succeed.

However, what happens when significant challenges are discovered?
Working within an impoverished area in any country holds unique challenges.
How do you teach a child who is hungry? Alone? Abused? In an unsafe environment?

Many educators find themselves asking the questions . . .
What is my role? How can I help a person overcome such insurmountable obstacles?
After all, I am only one and the problems so very great.

Yet history clearly reveals ONE can create great impact.

Just look at Moses, Mary, Ghandi, King, and Mandela as a few examples of people who gave of themselves regardless of the cost.

With a passion to impact came boldness, love for others and a willingness to sacrifice.

The work here is hard and daunting. The number of students that are orphans or living in housing (hostels) with little adult supervision is overwhelming. Bullying, abuse and sexual predators are rampant and the list goes on.  Needless to say burn out for teachers is on the rise.

Our Educator workshops the past couple of months were filled with facts and truths as we lead them through self-discovery of purpose and passion.

Here are a couple testimonies from the school of Phahameng:

“I did not know how to speak positive words to learners if they did wrong. In fact, I was talking bad words and was easily angered. I even rebuked one in front of everyone!

I now realise the power of words and have learned to control myself, no longer speaking negative words. I know how to talk to the learners and have seen things change in my class just because I have changed the way I speak!”  ~Mme

“Prior to this workshop I saw my work as a job, as a way to pay my bills.

Lately it had become hard for me to work, I would get tired and want to go home early. I took my work simple. I did not know these were symptoms of burn out or what could be done to help.

The workshop showed me that though I may not have “chosen” my profession, it chose me!
I now see my purpose and have a heart to help, to impact the lives of the learners. 

Because of this workshop I have changed my life and am choosing to live out my purpose through my work!”  ~Ntate

Our Flashpoint youth programme collaborates with the schools to help students succeed in life. We  offer these services because of and through the support of our partners and friends.

If you are passionate to help youth overcome and be positive impacts regardless of their past, please consider giving a gift!

Nov

18

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Youth everywhere experience challenges.

Those challenges may be due to disabilities, relationships, abuse, bullying, drug, and so many other factors. Far too often adults do not see the  child’s challenges or take them seriously.   Many assume naughty children are just naughty rather than considering it a cry for help.

We are grateful to be in a position to see, hear, and intervene for youth through our Flashpoint program.  Meet Bonolo, one of our 8th grade students, and hear what she has to say…

“Before Ignite my life was a mess.  I had nearly committed suicide because I saw no hope and usually had a short temper. After all the lessons that I learned from Ignite I experienced change.

Thanks to you Ignite South Africa I now have reason to hope and my life is back on tract. I am speechless but I want to say thank you for supporting me, you’ve changed my life completely.”

Bonolo’s testimony is one of hundreds that we received this school year.

We are grateful to the Department of Education who allows us to teach and speak words of encouragement and hope into their lives of these students.

Our Flashpoint bi-weekly classes were attended by over 1,800 students this year as we taught grades 7, 8, and 9. Follow this link if you want to check out our curriculum.  Our curriculum is available to be used free of charge, contact us at info@ignitesouthafrica.org to request the book(s) you are interested in!

Nov

11

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This is our first place winner Mofokeng Popi and here is what she shared:

When I was much younger, I lived with my grandmother in a small village. Often she would have to fight to get me to school because I hated it so much that I would pretend to be sick so she’d let me to stay home. When my mother visited us I acted out because she forced me to go to school.

My absenteeism was so bad that I had not learn to do the basics of grade r. During the year that I somehow completed grade r, my mom bought a house in Phuthaditjhaba. The following year she decided that I should move in with her so I could get a better education. However, I had to perform a test to determine if I was able to start grade 1. For the test, I needed to write the first five letters of the alphabet and count from 1 to 20. I failed miserably so I had to repeat grade r.

When I passed and moved onto the next grade I made new friends, all of whom surpassed me academically. I was seen as one of the dumbest children in class because I was struggling to write and read my name and surname. Whenever I was asked to answer a question in class the other kids would laugh at me and tease me because I always got it wrong. Their constant harassment changed me. I became a troublemaker and a bully because I was full of rage. I wanted to make their lives a living hell, so I ate their lunch and took their pocket money not because I needed money but because I wanted them to feel the pain I felt when they were laughing at me.

Grade 2 and 3 were very similar in that I always made friends with the bullies and was often in fights, we broke all the school rules. I passed grade 3 and was sent to another school because I still wasn’t doing well academically. I started playing soccer and joined a netball practice; I thought these activities would restore joy in my life and give me a reason to live because every day that I went to school I wished I’d die, knowing that I was always going to be a laughing stock.

In grade 5 my behaviour remained relatively unchanged. I was still enraged because of my incompetency. My teachers used to say that I would never make it in life because they had lost all hope in me. This pushed me deeper into the dark hole that I was myself in and I felt worse about myself. My self-esteem and confidence had been eroded, but my parents didn’t lose hope; they kept pushing and taking me to different schools and even paid tutors to teach me how to read and write. It seemed as if they were wasting their time and money, but God was in control. In grade 6 I started seeing things in a different light. My hope was renewed when I started to believe that God would change my situation.

When the time came to write my final exams I was anxious because it was becoming harder and harder to move on to the next grade. When I got my report I was so scared of failing but I got the shock of my life when I found out that I passed with high marks. I was even awarded a certificate for remarkable academic improvement. I was so happy because it was the first certificate that I had ever received in my life and I also knew deep down that God was busy sharpening my life for His own glory.

But in grade 8 I found myself wondering if I could do as well as I did before. Doubting myself; I cried uncontrollably in my room, wishing that I could die instead of having to go back to school where I would, without a doubt, be the school’s laughing stock. On the day that we were set to write an English paper, I was beyond nervous. Everyone seemed to enjoy the test but I was clueless. My nerves held me back as if I were instantly paralysed. It was then that I had an encounter with God that I still can’t quite put into words.

I’m now in grade 9, I’ve come to realise that it’s my time to shine and show all my full potential. It might sound impossible but I’ve come to realise that when you want something bad enough, putting your mind to it and doing your level best is the way to go. That and a little help from God.

Remember that God is not a son of man who can lie, nor will He change His mind. Like He said in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”

I believe and I declare my life will never be the same again. Walk in the light.

Join us as we congratulate and thank Popi for sharing her story with us!

Feb

5

FP Team 3x6

Back row L to R: Constance, Moeketsi, Nefthali, Thabang, Phillip, Sipho, Aaron, Moeti, Dudu and Busisiwe.  Front row: Sibongile, Martha, Nnini, and Nthabiseng.

God is taking our staff team on a journey where they are learning to specialize in areas, as well as individually mentor new volunteers.  Let me share:

Busisiwe Mosia our Director of Flashpoint for the past four years continues to  use  her leadership and collaboration with the schools to strengthen our team and expand our opportunities within Qwa Qwa.

Moeti Moloi is our Volunteer Coordinator and also works in our Discipleship program.  His gift of leadership and encouragement supports his fellow coaches. He is mentoring Constance as a CIT and Nefthali in our Discipleship program.

Aaron Sibaya as Administrative Support ensures all coaches have what they need for schools and encourages them along the way.  Aaron is mentoring Sipho.

Thabang Tshabalala as our Data Specialist works to compile, input, and report our data results twice yearly.  In addition, after reviewing results will propose ways in which we could improve our program.  Thabang is mentoring Moeketsi.

Nnini Sibeko as Administrator and Conference Organiser uses her gifts to organize attendance, events and assists all staff wherever needed. Nnini is mentoring Phillip.

Martha is our Writer and storyteller.  Her goal is to help you experience our Flashpoint program and classes through a variety of mediums. Martha is mentoring Nthabiseng.

Sibongile as Environmental Specialist sets the mood by preparing our environment both physically and with song/worship.  Sibongile is a gifted vocalist and is mentoring Dudu.

We are thrilled to see our coaches step into these new roles knowing it is a small part of the God-miracle that is unfolding this year.  In addition, we are delighted to welcome our seven volunteers who joined us for training.  We pray their time with us is fruitful, fulfilling, and God-willing may they join us as permanent team members in the future.

 

Jan

27

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and what a kick off it has been!

In the midst of our (well thought out) plans and schedules God has allowed a multitude of changes to surface.  Previously the twists and turns would have caused significant anxiety, today we find our whole team discovering a deeper peace, sense of direction, and increasing anticipation for what God is doing.

So while schools are changing, classes rearranging, and roles morphing, God is stirring up the gifts and talents within us.

Leadership has increased.  Volunteers multiplied.  Partnerships have expanded.
and it is only the beginning . . .

God has positioned us for a miracle year and we are ready to receive! 

 

Dec

28

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From Bongani, grade 8

“I was a person who was stealing from other people and from Spar (a grocery store) in Setsing.

Ignite South Africa came to our school to teach us about important things in life.
They taught us how people are when they steal, so I quit stealing because I realized that stealing was not a good idea at all.

I thank these people who are teaching us from Ignite South Africa, I love you.
What you have done for us is very special and changes lives.”

Your partnership made a difference once again- both for this young person and all those his life impacts.
Your generous gifts allowed us to continue God’s work in the schools of Qwa Qwa. Thank you!

 

If you can. . .  year end gifts are greatly appreciated and would propel us into another successful year serving both youth and adults of Qwa Qwa, South Africa.

Currently, every dollar given multiplies 3-fold due to the exchange rate.
You can multiply your giving today by following this link, thank you!

 

Dec

18

Intermediate#3Motloung Matadiana, Tswelang- Pele Senior Phase School

My name is Motloung Matadiana and I am 15-years-old. I live in Comet. Comet is in Makwane. I have 2 brothers named Khopo and Hlehla, unfortunately I am now left with Khopo (The eldest) because Khehlo passed away this year. My parents names were Mamosele (Mother) and Mphatsi (Father) but they have also passed away. My brother promised my parents that he would take good care of me even if they were no longer with us. We are very lucky because we have a very solid support structure, which includes my cousins, aunts & uncles, and grandmother. They always comfort us and supply us with everything I need. I always thank God for giving us such good relatives.

I grew up like every other child in the streets of Comet, I had plenty of friends but amongst them, all there was my best friend. One person I know I can always look up to when I feeling hurt, confused and lonely. We would play until late then our mothers would call us home. Before my mother passed away, she used to wash me and make sure I changed clothes regularly. My wonderful father was quite strict because he would always tell me that I must always be at home before the sun sets. I always thought they were not being fair towards me by throwing such hard and compulsory rules to follow.

As I grew up, I encountered many difficult challenges, which I wish no child should go though. Before my parents passed away, they would always fight both verbally and physically, and then we would just hear the sound of a police vehicle coming to the rescue, stopping the fighting. The police would always ask my brothers and I if we would rather go live with our grandparents in Bolata, my brothers said they would rather stay at home with my dad whilst I chose to leave with my mother. This meant that I had to adapt to a different environment, make new friends and attend a different school.

My father would come repeatedly to my mother for forgiveness then my mother would forgive him and move back with him. This meant that I had to stay behind at my grandparents. I was a very strong and determined child so none of this happening affected my schoolwork.

My mother then passed and my father followed three years later. My brothers and I were deeply hurt, but we knew that we had to be strong and we needed to stand up from this horrible fall, get up and dust ourselves. After just 5 months, my older brother passed away unexpectedly. We almost lost all hope in life ever being normal again but we encouraged each other that; at least we still had each other. We let God be our soul provider and He provided.

Even though my parents and older brother passed away, I am proud to say because of all the motivation, encouragement and believing in me has helped me obtain an award in grade 5 and the title of top learner. In grade 6, I managed to obtain five awards from different subjects and get the top learner title again. Just as many had thought my luck had ended in grade 7 I obtained; 6 awards and I was crowned top achiever! I was very happy because all of those awards were to show that hard work and staying focused pays off.

All of the things that happened in my life taught me very important facts about life that God never lets His children’s hard work and determination vanish, but instead He rewards them. I also learnt that I must always prepare myself because I do not know what the future holds.

I wish that many people would believe that God, The almighty really exists because Motloung Matadiana Samuel has experienced His mercy and love. Even though I have lost the majority of my family, The Lord had the mercy to leave me with my oldest brother and restored my soul, filled it with ambition and hope.
I am a strong and disciplined child because of the tough way I grew up.

Thank you Ignite for letting me express my emotions and for making me see that I can always talk to my paper whenever I am down.

Dec

9

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Your support has made an impact!
Read on and hear what a youth is saying..

Rampai Teboho, grade 9, Khothalang
Ignite South Africa was like nothing to me. I was always bored when I see them coming to our school, every time. I didn’t mind it until I see some of my friends changing their attitude.

We were calling ourselves “lover” – boys with many girls.
But after Ignite educated them they started changing in everything – started focusing on their work.

Our educator was not just an educator but he was a motivator. He always advised and motivated us.
I now know that sex is not just fun with your girlfriend, it has lots of regrets afterward even if you use a condom.  Now, I have chosen to save sex until marriage.

Thank you Ignite. I will always believe in everything you gave us especially to live on purpose not on making friends happy.

Would you consider a year end gift to Ignite South Africa?
Every gift is guaranteed to impact thousands of youth, just as it did for this one.

Ignite South Africa, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization in the United States as well as a NPO/PBO in South Africa. As you partner with us you will be sowing into God’s Kingdom work in South Africa, supporting our ministry programs such as Flashpoint that this young man attended.

Dec

4

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We have wrapped up another year of FlashPoint Classes, where we have the privilege of teaching grade 7,8 and 9 students throughout the year.

Our 2015 FlashPoint staff of 12 taught in 15 different schools and reached 3,316 students with God’s love and truth. Of those 3,316 students 2,903 graduated our class (88%) meaning they missed no more than two classes throughout the year.

But it’s more than just numbers it’s all about the impact our coaches are making in lives, here is what a couple of our students had to say:

Rammoane Dieketseng, grade 9, Khothalang
Ignite changed my life in a lot of ways. Before the lesson 9 in the book of BTS I was held in my past. The truth is that I lost my virginity due to rape. I didn’t realize that I made a mistake by not telling my parents. So BTS helped me to put my past where it belonged.

I know I did a lot of wrong things and I blamed myself. Because of the teaching I did blood test and luckily found that I’m HIV negative. I would like to thank Ignite South Africa for helping me to put my past where it belongs.

Khumalo Zandi, grade 8, Bolata
Since Ignite South Africa has arrived at our school; many lives have changed, not only lives but also behavior and manner of approach. We are now changed people. It taught me to save sex until marriage and gave me reasons to do so. What I like most about Ignite South Africa is that we are free to talk about our lives regardless the situation, we can help each other now that Ignite South Africa is there; which is a huge change because we did not do that in the past.

Ignite South Africa taught me to be confident, caring, and always willing to help. I now understand so much about life and well-being. It really changed me compared to how I used to be. Ignite has brought a new me and I am better since I attended Ignite.

Setho Reitumetse, grade 7, Mamosa
Ignite SA has really changed my life by helping me to realize or know the purpose of being alive and know my passion. When Ignite first came into my life everything changed. I used to be insecure at first, I never accepted my life but when Ignite came into my life everything changed as I learned that I am God’s image and I should accept myself.

I never was able to show my passion to anyone because I was afraid that people would laugh at me but I was taught that I shouldn’t be afraid and then I realized that people loved my poems, then I took a chance.

This is just three of many lives changed through the investment of time and knowledge of our coaches.
All of this is made possible by the prayer and financial support of people like you.

So, thank you for another great year!

Nov

6

Mr Molai accepting the awards

Mr Molai accepting the awards for Mohapinyane, Tshepiso grade 8 Kgothalang School

My name is Tshepiso Mohapinyane a.k.a “Virus”.

I was born on 26 September 2001, carried to earth by a womb that had a “virus” so said my community.
This simply implied that my mother was HIV+ and little do I know about my father because nothing has been said about him.

All the lectures I get in my life are a true reflection of my mother. The things she used to do during her teens, the fame, “a gold digger” and a “home wrecker”. She died at the age of seventeen when I was five months old, before I could even call her mommy.

Yes! I am Virus because I was born HIV+. HIV is an abbreviation for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. A virus that causes the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a condition in human beings in which progressive failure of the immune systems allows life threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive. My condition is however stable because I have not yet reached the AIDS stage.

The story of my life is very painful.

I could cry when I think about where I come from but crying would be a waste of tears, which I could keep to boost my immune system and increase the number of years I could live.

I do not know so much about my life from the time I was born until I was in Grade. R. People would tell me that I was a very good kid, who allowed anyone to carry and hold me even though there were a few people who would do so due to my status. I was a kid and did not see any of this. Life for me began during my first days at school, going to school like any other kid, but my schoolmates would not want to be near me. I guess they were scared to sit next to me, talk to me or even play with me all because of the wrong impression they got from their parents’ about me. I would watch them enjoy their sweets during break times while my sweets were ARV’s, my life givers. I would sit alone in the class day dreaming about what life has in store for me.

Thinking that I may die soon gave me the wrong impression of how I could make my life fun before dying. I sometimes felt as if I could go party all night with no worries about what anyone has to say, get high on drugs and forget all about my life or better yet, spread this virus all over so that I may have people to go to heaven with.

All these negative thoughts were put to an end by the sessions I attended at my support group. These sessions made me think more positively about my life, my future; I see myself wearing a white medical coat at the University of the Free State studying medicine. The purpose of studying this course is that I have a passion to fight the stigma attached to being HIV+ and find a cure to this disease, so that I may not only be known as “Virus” but “Dr. Virus”.

I believe I have a lot of time, many more years to live and for as much of this time I have on earth I will  have to bring change.

I will not let my past jeopardize my future because the future is where I am heading.
The story of my life does not end here.