Thrive Africa’s mission, as pulled from the back of their ministry guide, is “Discipling believers, equipping leaders and strengthening the church in Southern Africa.” Today I witnessed a shining example of their mission in action. Approximately 120 youth, ages 14 to 19, gathered in a local church in Qwa-Qwa for the Leadership Summit, where they learned leadership principles and discussed ways they can cast vision in their communities and schools to make a prevailing impact.

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Four years ago Thrive began training local Besotho Christians to become mentors of the youth in the school system. These coaches work at the schools, often mentoring 300+ children single-handedly after the school day is over. They invest in the children’s lives significantly, infusing them with hope and courage and character. The coaches are also instrumental in teaching the students about HIV/AIDS and the importance of abstinence in curbing the AIDS epidemic.

As of today, 17 coaches are paid by Thrive to invest in 17 schools. The group who gathered today were pulled from these schools, chosen by the principals and teachers as the students with the most leadership potential. Literally, these youth are South Africa’s future. 100_5219

This program has been so incredibly successful they have been asked to put a coach in each school throughout the entire province. This is HUGE! Unfortunately, Thrive can’t add anymore until additional supporters are able to sponsor coaches (each coach is paid $120 per month!) Though this is such a small amount in our standards, each coach will end up impacting over 300 students.

I listened to these students talk about their desire to make a difference, share their vision for their village and hopes for a better life. They came to this Summit even though they are on school break, and they hung on every word of their leaders! I was more than impressed. I wanted to move here and dig in! If you are interested or want more information, please check out the Thrive website or email them at office@thriveafrica.org. This is good stuff, people!

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