The School of Hope is a place of learning where we value HOPE FAMILY TRANSFORMATION RESPONSIBILITY AND GIVING. We are education-junkies, sold out to breaking the cycle of crime, poverty and unemployment by giving every person the chance to complete their education. There is nothing more important that we can do for South Africa today!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July News

More Than Just Alumni

Wilson Johnson, Human Resource Management student, and
Maninho ‘Mr Shack’ (Music Producer – started his own record label
called Shack Rekordz based in Cape Town).

The School of Hope celebrated its first ever Alumni event this month, welcoming graduates for a night of impassionate reminiscing and great food.  We know that it is important to not only forge relationships in the spirit of family, but continue to grow in fellowship even after our learners have left. The transition into the ‘real world’ can be quite challenging, so it was very encouraging to hear stories about how our past learners are championing. Equally important was that we were able to measure our success as a school. Afterall, giving hope through education is what we do!
There was much anticipation on the day as we found ourselves trying to sort out last minute details. We quickly assembled the troops, and made our way to His People in N1 City to put together a décor that made the wait even more difficult. The atmosphere was rich vintage. Centred on each table was a picture of each of our graduates. The lighting was subtle and perfect for intimate conversations and laughter.

“The people at School of Hope are very friendly”, says Lunga Mdingi (22) who is currently completing his final year in Human Resource Management. “I now have a vision for my life. I’ve learnt that you don’t have to sit around waiting for things to happen. You must work hard to become successful”. Lunga, we are proud of you, and wish you all the best for your future.

The school boasts graduates who are headed to make their mark in a variety of industries. From being a HR manager, owning a restaurant and publishing a cooking book, music producing; and successful entrepreneurship. “I’m currently running a business with my dad.” Together with her father, Mishqa Benjamin (22) who graduated in 2011 now transports school children. Go Mishqa - we need more entrepreneurs!  Of course, these are just a few of the remarkable young men and women who have walked through our doors. We thank you for journeying with us this far, and we celebrate your successes and achievements. There is so much available to you, and we hope to continue this friendship for many years to come. Your lives are forever etched in our hearts.

Sipho Banda, Educator (English)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Meet Destino Nzonzidi, a Man with a Destiny

My first time visiting School of Hope after I arrived in South Africa, I had the privilege of meeting a remarkable young man by the name of Destino Nzonzidi from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  I was blown away by how he overcame the odds stacked against him.

This is Destino’s Story

My name is Destino Nzonzidi.  I came to South Africa from DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 2008.  I was playing for the national soccer team in Zambia in grade 12.  We lost games in a tournament and couldn’t go home because the fans were waiting to beat us when I arrived.  We feared for our lives.

My aunt told me I needed to go back to school, so I decided to do that instead of pursuing a professional soccer career in South Africa.  I tried looking at alternative schools to finish my education starting at grade twelve and was placed in grade eight because my first language is French and I couldn’t speak English very well.

When I started at grade eight in 2009, I failed.  I tried again in 2010 and failed once again.  Someone suggested I go to English school.  I did that for two months and when I finished, I came to School of Hope in 2011 and they enrolled me in grade eleven!

I am a Christian and have always been one, even in DR Congo.  In addition to the teaching, we have devotions every morning at School of Hope and it helps me know how to deal with the day-to-day problems that come my way and remind me of who I am as a person.

Is there a particular person that went out of their way for you at School of Hope?
One person that greatly influenced me was a School of Hope volunteer from England, Andy Lee, who also spoke French.  He helped me when I had difficulty understanding English and would translate for me.  My marks improved and even though I’d failed grade eight in another school, I was able to pass grade eleven with Andy’s tutelage.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
From here, I am pursuing a degree for three years and after that I am willing to do my master and doctoral in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and at same time continue to run the political program I am running now.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?
I see myself in the senate and as the future president of DR Congo, fighting for equality, peace and love for the whole continent of Africa:
- Equality for all of Africa in economical, politics and social classes, whichever race you are.
- Peace for all of Africa, and to let the whole world know that Africa is the home of war.
- And to love one other as Africans, love our visitors, love our nations.

Additionally, I see myself participating in organisations helping youth, like people have helped me.

What is the one thing that School of Hope did for you that stands out most?
They gave me knowledge.  I lost hope that I would graduate, but School of Hope gave me hope and I started believing in myself.  No matter what I am going through now and however big my goals are, I am able to achieve them.