Jan

27

school girl-79

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.

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

Mamapatlakane-79

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

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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.