We had 9 new students enter the Ignition Programme in January and we kick started the year with a very successful three-day seminar. This is our biggest single intake so far!

We had numerous guest speakers from Campus Outreach, Heartlines, Family Kitchen as well as individual professionals. Our highlight talk was by Motseki Majake on climbing Kilimanjaro – truly inspiring and motivating!

Another very exciting thing about this year is that it was the first time one of our Ignition graduates came and gave a morning session!

All our students met up with their mentors – the new entrants for the first time.

Another exciting circle that is closing is that for the first time one of our beneficiaries has become a mentor to a new student. It is something we want to work toward much more – our beneficiaries coming back to feed into new students and share what they have learned.


6 students’ results in 2017

48 semester courses registered for (43 first time courses, 5 repeat
courses), in total

91% of the first time courses were passed

88% of all courses were passed

– 35% were distinctions (including 1 CUM LAUDE in BComm Economics!)

8 ex-students started full time work in 2017 finding work in industries as varied as microbiology, HR, estate agency admin, airline ground crew, oral hygiene and interning at Doctors Without Borders (Medicins Sans Frontieres International). We continue our mentorships during this first year of employment.

4 students graduated from their studies in 2017 and are fully qualified in their chosen fields of auxilliary  social work, fitter & turner, end user IT/office administration and economics. We’re still looking for employment opportunities for some of them. This is a wonderfully stark contrast against an article published in Business Day in March 2017:

“The Department of Higher Education released a report in 2015 highlighting that 47.9% of university students did not complete their degrees. Black students had the highest drop-out rate, with 32.1% leaving in their first year” 


An e-mail from a mentor, who has been mentoring someone for 2 year, now graduated, read as follows:

“I feel like this experience was truly a blessing for me as well and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey with Rays of Hope, as well as Kgopotso who was a real ray of light and hope. I hope I was helpful to the process & Kgopotso’s growth into the world of work. I really believe that your programme is making a big difference to those lives it touches and I really hope your programme grows to affect many more.
All the best
Thato Lehlongwane”
– March 2018


  1. We’re needing help with placements for our graduates – auxilliary social worker, fitter & turner and an office admin (with speech impediment)
  2. Work experience opportunities for all our students
  3. Raising funds for our current students so that we can continue to assist new students entering our programme
  4. Raising awareness within your networks for the need we have for funding, to continue our work
  5. Sign up as a potential mentor, for next year’s intake of students
  6. Volunteer time to assist our one part time staff member with important administration tasks & marketing for funding

Please drop us a mail at Ignition@RaysOfHope.co.za if you’re able to assist with any of the above.

However, none of the above would be possible without our incredibly dedicated sponsors, mentors and students! These wins really are an ode to teamwork and perseverance.

BIG Thank you to everyone involved!