Mar

7

Ignite South Africa is operating in enemy territory.

On a daily basis our coaches are confronted with shocking stories. Cases that include child abuse, molestation, rape, negligence, and violence. In fact, a large percentage of our students, grades 7-9, have already experienced some or all of these atrocious injustices.

The 2017 crime stats feature Phuthaditjhaba (Qwa Qwa) in the Worst 10 Precints in 2017 in terms of sexual assault, rape, and sexual offenses. (Crime Stats SA)  These statistics are based on crimes reported at police stations. What is tragic is that in Qwa Qwa these crimes are so familiar that most of them go unreported. Imagine growing up thinking sexual molestation is a way of life.

That sexual assault is acceptable.
This is how the enemy operates.

He comes to steal our innocence, kill our hope, and destroy our life.

Recently a 15 year old student from one of our schools opened up to a coach. She shared that she ran away from home and slept on the streets for 2 days. This was done to escape  an abusive stepfather who attempted to rape her and tried to kill her mother. She and her mother finally went to stay at her grandmother’s house, ending up in yet another abusive situation.

The living conditions at her grandmother`s are marred by poverty, violence, and alcohol abuse. When she requested basic necessities, her mother instructed her to prostitute herself so she could buy them.  She is currently staying with a friend.

Another 13 year old also faces physical abuse in the home. Her response was to find a boyfriend. This boyfriend tried convincing her to participate in a satanic cult and sacrifices. He told her blatantly he worships Lucifer, and even took her to the mountain at midnight where they have their gatherings.

Though she is 13 years old, this boyfriend is trying to convince her to fall pregnant and have a child with him. This life she lives has led her to being suicidal.

We are grateful that this young girl felt safe and able to share her story with us.
Praise God that we were at this school, at this time able to share His love, bringing hope, help and guidance.

These stories are from one class, in one school, on one day.

This is the type of stories our coaches come across on a daily basis.
It is the work that Ignite South Africa is involved in.

In addition to teaching, our coaches meet with students one on one to provide support and refer to organizations, or the authorities, respectively.

One can only imagine how many others are dealing with similar and/or worse cases. How many young people are questioning their existence, have become dispondent or suicidal because of the condition they find themselves.

This year we plan to reach 22 schools and all the students within. While we are grateful for this, our hearts break for those whom we are not able to reach due to financial limitations. Our reach is not even 10 percent of the number of schools in Qwa Qwa. Yet, we refuse to let the enemy win.

You can help!

A gift of as little as $10/month will help expand our reach and counter the works of the enemy.  Use these links to request more information or partner with us today!

Feb

19

Our Flashpoint program is a needed help for many schools  

After an introductory school assembly last year, we received repeated invitations from the Principal to schedule our classes.  The primary reason was a concern about the emotional well-being of the students. She believes our program will help.

You see, this school is in a very remote area of Qwa Qwa with no form of recreational activities for the students.  In fact, due to their location and size, they shared that it is rare any organization visit them to offer support or services.

One of the teachers voiced concern as well, sharing a recent incident in which they found students engaged in sexual activities inside the school toilets.  One of the children is now pregnant.  

Though the toilets are now patrolled and teachers involved, they state they need more help.

This term we brought our classroom program there.

Our coaches confirmed that what the Principal feared was true for many. Upon introduction of curriculum and explanation that God has a purpose for their lives, students quickly disagreed.

Two students stated that they came to this world by mistake.

One said she is a product of teenage pregnancy (and was named in regards to that mistake).
The second shared that she was raped by her stepfather, and because of that believes her life is also a mistake.

It is these stories that make our work as Ignite South Africa crucial.


Data and testimonies reflect that 
through our program students lives are impacted by truth and changed forever.
That s
tudents begin to understand God has a purpose for them regardless of the past.

We have personally witnessed the lives of students (and families) in previous schools altered forever by HOPE.

Because of that, we look forward to witness the transformation in the lives of students here as we teach in grades 7-9: Living on Purpose, Save Sex, and Break The Silence. 

We can only do this with your prayer support and financial backing.
To join us in reaching this school, and many others, pray about becoming a financial partner.  

* Sponsor one class per month for $45/month
* Sponsor one coach teaching in one school for $85
* Sponsor a whole school for $300 – $550 (cost varies on school size and number of coaches teaching)

To specify your giving as noted above, just leave a comment in the donor form linked above.

Feb

5

 

Imagine this…

as a child of 11 or 12 years you are playing with friends when one notices that there is blood on your pants.  Home you run feeling confident that you are now dying. You stop before your mom who quietly states, “you are a woman now. Do not sleep with boys or you will be pregnant. Go and clean yourself up and use this cloth to protect your pants.”

That’s it. That’s all you get.

No explanation at all about what is happening in your body.

Unfortunately, this is an all-too-often occurrence for many girls within the villages of Qwa Qwa. Culturally parents do not discuss body changes feeling it far too personal. This leaves many youth alone when trying to understand, and care for, their body.

A principal in one of our schools identified that as a problem for his youth and asked we talk to the boys and girls separately prior to beginning our formal classes.

Our first class we did just that- divide the boys and girls. Our coaches talked about puberty including body changes and personal care for both males and females.

Due to a donation of reusable panty protection packs from Listowel Baptist Church in Canada, we were able to explain proper care and provide the means to over 50 girls.

In addition, we took that time to talk about sexual abuse, molestation, and respect toward the opposite sex. With National statistics reflecting 1 in 3 youth in SA have been sexually molested/raped we knew it was something we needed to discuss.

Once again, thank you to all our partners who make our work possible and practical!

Follow the links to see more photos from the day, learn more about Flashpoint, or become a partner.

 

Jan

29

It’s a new school year in South Africa and just like in the states, it brings with it a sense of  anticipation. The children await class dressed in their school uniforms exuding hope for a successful year.

It is an exciting time for all involved, including me.

Today I join our Flashpoint team to deliver our books and take photos on this first week of classes.  In the schools I see the joy experienced as the kids receive their book and hear about the topics to be discussed. It reminds me of “the whys”…

Why I live overseas, away from family.
Why we spend months developing our coaches to go into the schools.
Why we invite new schools to join our classes.
Why we invest money in preparation, curriculum, education, and ministry to the youth.

South Africa’s next generation leaders.

This first quarter Flashpoint will be in 7 schools teaching approximately 1,175 students grades 7-9. In addition, they will work with students one on one when requested and hold assemblies in schools not currently teaching. Follow this link to enjoy a few photos from the schools we were at today.

We invite you to partner with us in prayer:

  • our Coaches model Christ and lead by example.
  • youth will see and seek Truth over beliefs and expectations
  • recognize every choice made will determine their tomorrow, their future.
  • see the Coach as a safe refuge and are able to talk freely

To join us as a financial partner and impact this next generation, follow this link

Dec

21

We are so grateful to announce that in 2017 over 16,500 people were reached by our ministry!

So much has happened this year that we’re going to highlight our impact over a few different blog posts.

Here’s what happened in our Flashpoint program this year.


THE FACTS:

 

Flashpoint is our youth program in the schools which teaches relevant biblically based curriculum.

This year our coaches:

  • Taught over 2500 students in our classrooms
  • Taught another 1,200 in our one day school assemblies
  • Total of over 3,700 students our coaches taught
  • 365 new decisions for Christ were made

In addition, 9 schools requested our help to meet/counsel their students, which meant 91 youth getting one on one sessions!

We also had 12 youth follow ups requiring intervention with Social workers etc.

To support our youth programs our management team held the following in the schools:

  •  4 Educator workshops = 58 people
  • 4 Parent meetings  =  487 people

THE TESTIMONY:

 

This is from an Educator/Headmaster, Mr. TT Moloi

We as the SMT, SGB and Teachers of  Makong Intermediate School are highly impressed by the way programs of Ignite SA implemented in our School. The programs like this are highly required in Schools as they contribute a lot in instilling discipline among learners.

As for our school, the program has arrived at the right time when there was a crisis of  behavior of learners and teenage pregnancy. This serves as an eye opener to us as a school, that we need to collaborate with other organizations like this to bring back morale of good behavior among young generation.

For the sake of improvement we recommend that the program of Ignite SA be sustainable for at least 6 month in the School to ensure a complete development.


We are so encouraged by the results and feedback from our efforts in the Flashpoint program. Thank you for helping us ignite the youth of South Africa!

More 2017 results to come.


If you’d like to become a monthly supporter, or give a year end gift, click HERE!

Nov

1

Congratulations to Malekitlane, our first place winner in the Creative Writing Competition.

Malekitlane’s essay is heartbreaking as she shares her story of abuse and subsequent lack of support/belief. As the #MeToo campaign exposed, the number of us reading it who will relate would be shocking.  Because of that, we are especially grateful to this young girl who chose to speak out again rather than continuing to live in the silence that permeates abuse and molestation throughout the world.

This time Malekitlane’s voice was heard. First by us and then we joined her to share it with her family once again.  Together we celebrate the restoration and forgiveness that was gifted to this family because of one 12 year old girl’s bravery in the midst of pain.  Here is her story:

First, I didn’t want to talk about the secret I have been hiding, and don’t want to talk, but I realise that I have to break the silence.

When I was ten years old, my uncle always ask me about one of my friends, Mary(alias), how old she is.  Anyway, I told him that Mary is still a child because I know that uncle like little kids.

On 5 September 2015 on Saturday I was about to go to the party at my cousin’s place.  When I was busy bathing he entered at my bedroom without knocking that I ask him what he want, he said “Can we play a bed game?”.  I ask him what kind of game is that a wrestling, a soccer or what?  He smiled and say “sex”.  I started to be afraid as I was naked I took my gown and run to the kitchen.  He locked the door then took off my gown and rape me.  I was very afraid to tell my mother and I decided to keep this inside and don’t tell anyone about it.

Then after raping me he forced me to steal my mother’s R100 so that he can go to the party with a new hair style and pocket money but I refuse to do that.  I started to think that he can kill me because he was just having few weeks at home after being bailed. (and) The thing is I have looked everywhere I can find, but nowhere money to be found.  He ask me not to tell anyone about that otherwise he is going to kill me or bury me alive.

Then I wear a full dress because I didn’t want to be raped again.  When I arrived there I pretend as if there is nothing happened then I make a song for my cousin.  When I see my uncle coming I started to have a sad face and he came closer to me and my friend and I started to have eyes full of tears through my cheeks.

Then one day I told my sister about what happened but she couldn’t believe my side of the story and she told my mom about what I have told her but my mom couldn’t believe it too.  They made a family meeting where by me and my uncle have to tell them the truth.  I told them everything but they didn’t believe me they just believed my uncle when he said he is innocent.  I told everyone at home that I won’t forgive my uncle and forget what he did to me. I told him that I hate him like a waste product and I really mean what I am saying.

On November 2016 I was awarded as 2nd position achievement learner in Miri Primary School.  I was not happy because my uncle did want to ruin my future.  These days uncle play as a happy family, I really hate to see that my own sister who was always supporting me she is now believing everyone except me.  And I wonder why my mom didn’t open a case for him.

Now, may God bless (my) uncle to see all success in life and I really want to thank Ignite people since they come in my life, my life has changed.

Thank you for entrusting us with your story Malekitlane, and allowing us to walk with you in your healing.

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

IMG_8764

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

IMG_8552

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.