Carried by a New Life-Song

December 4, 2019

Ziyanda approached the table quietly. She had such a wide smile that made her cheeks full and glisten in the sunshine. And yet all the words within her seemed to halt at that smile, as she nervously played with her hands.

Slowly, as she reflected and processed, the words began to come. And like the birds that sang in the background, her words seemed to float along to the same tune.

“My name is Ziyanda.

I was a mess.

I was broken.”

And so began the tune to the song.

She described her “old self” as a woman unlike the one sitting at the table─a woman who was caged by anger and bitterness against others, and especially against God. Ever since the death of her husband, the father of her two eldest children, she struggled with understanding how to make sense of her life.

Then one day she heard about her friend’s son, who was enrolled in the Holistic Life Development Program at Hope Africa Collective. The computer skills being offered through the program piqued her interest.

After quitting her job to commit to the program, and begging the staff to enroll her—even though she was older than the designated age cap—she stepped into her first class.

And the caged door on her life creaked slightly open. The tune of her song began to change instantly.

Ziyanda was challenged more than she had anticipated. She had simply expected to learn computer skills, but to her amazement the Life Development Program was much more than that. She had to face her feelings about her history, forgive her past, and rebuild her faith in the Lord.

“It was during the Life Development Program that I first saw hope─the light at the end of this dark tunnel of my life. The staff in the program took the pieces of my broken heart and put me back together. My life now is all because of God and Hope Africa Collective.”

Soft tears filled her joyful eyes, and her hands—tightly clasped at the beginning of her story—began to loosen. Her smile still remained. It was one of joy and peace found outside of herself.

Within a month of graduating the Holistic Life Development Program in September, 2019, she began a learnership at a local college. (In South Africa, a learnership is a specific work-based educational program whereby you receive a certification at the end.) This learnership was a blessing from God, as it was given to her despite her age and without requiring any payment. She is overjoyed to be furthering her education and studying to become a Kindergarten teacher.

“I love kids,” Ziyanda exclaims.

Ziyanda now has the capability to envision the future, to see herself as successful. And she giggles while whispering her dream of owning a big house and having her own car.

She believes that anyone who is even considering enrollment at Hope Africa Collective, should definitely do it.

“Hope Africa changed my life.”

She has declared this statement numerous times throughout the sharing of her story, however each time it is said with the same amount of conviction.

“Hope Africa changes lives. Hope Africa gives hope.” She ends with a sigh, still smiling, her cheekbones still lifted high.

And there she sits, free as a bird—a changed life with much hope.

The birds continue to sing their tune in the background. And Ziyanda’s life-song, now one of hope and purpose, carries her forward and inspires those around her.


Will you join us with a gift of $20/month in 2020 to help bring this hope and purpose to others?



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Carried by a New Life-Song