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.

Oct

30

M Pule-79

Moleboheng Pule is our first place winner for High Schools, here is what she shared.

Living with a crippled single parent is not fun or easy as one can ever think of especially while you are still at school.

I was 12 years old doing grade 6 when my parents got involved in a car accident when crossing the road. My father passed away instantly and my mother was badly injured and taken to the hospital where she was admitted for four months. Then I was forced to live with my drunken aunt who never allowed me to go to school. I was supposed to clean the house, cook and bath her baby and take him to school. Thereafter I would often go to buy her beer at the tavern and that made me enjoy not going to school but to hang around with my drunken aunt and her friends. That was a pretty good time I thought.

My mother was discharged from the hospital late in December. I had to go back home and take care of her. She was a cripple walking with a wheelchair. She couldn’t do anything for herself. Because I was used to cooking and cleaning at my aunt’s place I didn’t mind doing all those things but my mother didn’t like that, she wanted me to focus on school work but I was used to staying at home all day and not going to school anymore. I enjoyed staying at home helping my mother with whatever she needed.

Then it was January and my mother sent me back to school and I had to repeat grade 6, start new friends and that made me hate school even more; thinking that my friends had left me behind was very painful. Sometimes when I was supposed to go to school I would pretend to be sick and not go to school or leave home and hide until all the children were back home then I would come from my hiding place. I was used to hiding instead of going to school until I was noticed as school that I was always absent. Then my mother was sent a letter telling her about my behaviour. She was mad at me I know she was not going to do anything to me as she was a cripple so I took advantage thereof.

My teachers organized a counseling sessions for me because they saw the potential in me. I got counseled for a month and it was fun there because we met different people from different background with different people’s story. It was like I was at home, I enjoyed myself very much. We were told to appreciate ourselves and to do things that would make us better people in the near future. Then I realized that being a drop out would never help me and my crippled mother. So I had to study hard to make the difference in my family and to make my mother proud. I attended school regularly and passed my grade 6.

Then I went to the intermediate school, I did well there. I was good in languages and that made me love debate and poetry but I thought there was no future in that, and then I started to doubt myself until I was told to be a diplomat.  That would allow me to stay in another country to keep good relationship between two governments and being a diplomat needs level 7s in languages and I thought I would fit in and seeing myself in another country speaking different languages, practicing their culture and eating their food would be a pleasure. I couldn’t wait to complete my matric.

Now I am a grade 12 learner who is about to discover what life is like out there. I was motivated from primary school till my secondary school. I even got motivated by my church crew, former learners and my teacher. Now I’m looking forward to realizing my dream and to be a diplomat even if it’s going to be painful to leave my crippled mother behind but it’s for the good cause.

Oct

23

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My Name is Mamapatlakane Eunice Mosia. I am a 15-year-old South African citizen, I live in Qwaqwa Lusaka Thabong Section. I live with my mother and my older sister. I am a student at Tswelangpele Senior Phase doing grade 9.

I grew up in Qwaqwa with both my parents. Life was not easy because both my parents were unemployed. Sometimes we would sleep with empty stomachs because there would be no money to buy food. This was round about the time I was six years old I would go to school having eaten nothing, no lunch box and no money at all.

I also did not have the full/proper uniform so the kids at school would always let me know that they were laughing at me. Life was very difficult for me. One day when the teacher was giving us a lesson, something happened to me, I was filled with so much anger thinking of my situation.

I stole my friend’s money and bought food during break. I began stealing money in class everyday without anybody noticing that I was doing this.

I was not stealing because I was a thief, I was stealing because I was in a bad situation and I had to survive.

One day I was caught out! I was not aware that one of my classmates was looking at me when I was busy stealing. She told the teacher. The teacher took me to the principal’s office and they called my mom. It was terrible.  However, I stopped stealing.

In grade four, our lives began to be better because my father found a job at Welkom Harmony Gold Mine. He saved a lot of money to build a better house for our family and we were all happy because he was meeting all our needs and wants.

I even began performing well at school because my problems were over. I had a friend who chose to forgive me and forget all about the past. I was really enjoying school now.

In 2013, I was doing grade seven and my father fell ill. He did not tell us so were no aware of his illness and that he was in hospital. We heard from his friends and we could not believe them. My mom borrowed some money, headed for Welkom to see if it was true or not. When she arrived at the mine offices, they told her that my father was indeed in hospital and save her got directions to where hospital was.  When my mom arrived at the hospital, the doctor informs my mother that my father had died two days ago as he was suffering from TB. She collapsed; just imagine a father dying without telling his family that he is ill, a father dying all alone.

We started to learn a new life, a life without our father. It was not easy at all. He was our sole breadwinner and we depended on him for everything.

Now life is ok because the mine is supporting us with money for our education on a monthly basis. My experiences have taught me to face challenges that may come head on. My mother used to tell me that life is a journey, a test. I am so proud of her because today I am a student who has a bright future ahead, I am an intelligent, respectful, kind and a God fearing young person and this is all thanks to my mother being strong for me.

I would like to say that the good and the bad aspects that have happened to me in my life have helped me because I have focus, I have direction and I am inspired to have a better life. I know where I am coming from and where I am going, I am getting a good education and I think these are good principles for a great life.

I trust God in all things that I am doing, will do and all the challenges I am facing.

Oct

21

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The school year is ending and while youth want to be done, it is not yet time to relax. . .

In an area economically challenged, hopelessness can be pervasive leading to drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, and truancy.  These are key barriers to youth passing and completing their education.

On Saturday we welcome Mike Benson and Joe Tucker who will be joining us in the public schools of Qwa Qwa.  They are bringing a message of HOPE, one that will motivate the learners to finish strong and overcome every challenge they face.

Please pray for the assemblies, the after school events, and all those involved and attending throughout the week.  We trust that God will use these events to alter the trajectory of many lives through His saving grace.

Jul

30

303

It’s that time again….

Pages opened, thoughts flowed, pens have written and re-written as hearts have poured out their story.

Only those who dare, share.

Our fourth Intermediate and second High School Creative Writing Competition has arrived. Essays have been read by five judges and the top stories selected. Now begins preparations.

Our team will meet the young authors and their families for interviews starting this weekend.

It is an honour for us to visit and help them share their lives, their stories through this competition. We hope our videos will capture and introduce these gifted students to you, as well as provide a fun and captivating background to our award celebration in October.

Pray for Amanda and Thabang as they make home visits and interview both the writer and their family. 

 

Jul

23

Africa Trip_2 2013-333

For the first time ever our FlashPoint program will be hosting an assembly tomorrow in a neighboring township, Khalanyoni. Our coach team in partnership with a former coach will be bringing God’s love and His purpose for the students of Kgethatsebo school. They will cover, among other things, our Living on Purpose curriculum, HIV/AIDS education and abstinence.

We are all very excited for this open door and are grateful for God’s leading in this.

Will you pray for this school and students that…

  • their hearts would be receptive to the message the coaches will be bringing,
  • Khotso (former coach) will have the opportunity to continue supporting them,
  • the coaches will receive favor as the teach and safety as they travel,
  • relationships be build with the school body,
  • the coaches as well as the learners will have fun throughout.

God is good!

Apr

24

mali-79

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

What I like about my work is that it gives me an opportunity to talk about God’s gift of love for us; I get to teach young people in different schools about how important it is to know that we have unmerited favor and how embracing this gift is all God has ever wanted for each of us.

When I was a youngster, we didn’t receive information like this at all, God’s Word seemed more like a “theory” than something I could actually live out daily. The teachings I receive now are the kind that equip you to prosper in everything you set your mind on.

Sharing my testimony with the learners encourages them to never give up. To never doubt themselves and be bold as the God in them is greater than any man of this world.

I am truly blessed! 

Seeing learners discover God’s love in their own lives, re-ignites in me the passion to continue teaching  and helps me grow spiritually.

 

Mali (Nomali) Kubeka has been a coach with Ignite South Africa for two and a half years. She currently teaches in 8 schools bi-weekly, with 0ver 300 students. Mali, the youngest of 5 in her home, experienced a changed life in grade 11. Because of this she desires to serve youth and provide opportunities for them to learn, grow, and become whom God created. 

Follow these links to read about our Flashpoint program, look at our curriculum, or check out photos in the schools.

Apr

17

we are the branch. he is the vine

The seed is only of benefit if it is planted. Just like the Word of God, it should be planted in our hearts.

What I like about my job is that it exposes me to a lot of spiritual growth and develops my leadership skills. I get to teach learners and share my past with them.

Also, walking side by side with each learner to discover his/her goals and dreams and bring them to know God and His Kingdom , makes my job so much more than a job. As does helping learners who suffer by motivating them through the Word of God, that is a humbling experience.

Knowing God and doing His will motivates me even more when I see learners inspired and growing in a Godly way.

This job waters my soul, it provides spiritual food and growth for me and I make it a point that I am on time in everything so that I can take in as much as I can and go out and share with others.

 

Aaron Sibaya is a Flashpoint Coach teaching and mentoring over 300 students bi-weekly. His passion for the youth of Qwa Qwa is evident in the time he spends preparing for class, and sharing with students outside of the classroom as well. If you want to support Aaron, and the work he does with the youth, you may do so by following this link!

Mar

20

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Our educator workshops have been going well.  Educators have enjoyed discovering their DISC personality styles, and learning to better appreciate and interact with those who are different.

When we asked educators what they enjoyed about the workshop, here is what some of them shared.

“I enjoyed the workshop a lot, we knew that different people have different personalities but getting to know how they operate was a huge revelation. I also learnt that it is important to use each ones personality to build up the school, we must help and co-operate with each other because this will also help the learners in the school.” – Mr. Matlakala S.J

“I really enjoyed learning about others and how to accept their personalities as we know we are unique.  I really enjoyed it because I am now aware of my strengths and weaknesses and I can work on them too.” – Motsapi M.E

“I enjoyed how D,I,S,C are working. I did not really know myself. After this workshop I know myself and I will be able to pick up which personalities my learners have, as well as my children at home.” – Modikeng P.E

“Getting to know my personality better and how to relate to other people who have different personalities was really enjoyable. I am also delighted to know how I will interact with my learners from different personalities.” – Mokoena M.M

“The workshop was very interesting. I didn’t know myself quite as much as I thought I did. It has also come to me that learners are not the same and are all different, meaning my teaching style should be accommodating to all learners.” – a teacher

Please joining us in praying for our local teachers and principals as they apply what they’ve learned in their classrooms and in their lives.

Feb

20

eduator

We are passionate about the Schools, Students, and Educators of Qwa Qwa .

The last two weeks Busisiwe and June have spent time in the schools, with the Educators.
As part of our new collaboration we are providing multiple educator workshops throughout the year. This quarter the topic is personality styles and communication. The workshops have been an overwhelming success and a lot of fun as the teachers discover their unique styles, and that of their peers.

Here are a few comments:

I enjoyed the workshop because I have learnt more about how to deal with different people. This workshop has helped me on dealing with different children from different backgrounds. It has helped me on how to impress my boss too, keep up the good work, you have opened  our eyes. –      Malimabe M.E

The explanation of the personalities and the practical activity on personality system analysis I really enjoyed. The facilitators were well prepared and focused, they did their job really well. The practical engagement made me realize what kind or type of a person I am. What I have learnt today as a teacher made me understand the type of learners I deal with daily in the classroom. This was really enjoyable, an eye opener and very fruitful. – Masangane M

I really enjoyed the workshop. I learned a lot as a teacher and as a pastor. Dealing with a group of people can be demanding, so knowing how to handle different personality is really a bonus. – Ramathe J.J

It opened my eyes to the realization of my true self-Identity. Moreover it also made me to understand different character traits.With learners at Secondary Level, the workshop and the material could help educators come to a better understanding of the learners as well. – Maholele P.C

The Workshops will continue through March as we visit all of our schools. Join us in praying that the Educators are refreshed, encouraged, and learn new tools to use in their lives and classrooms.