Having to live without at least a mother,has never been easy after her passing away when I was 11 years old & my other younger sister was only 6 months old. Talking child and youth headed families,going to school without any lunch box, the only means of survival being the old age grant for my grand mother who only lived close to three years after the death of our mother.

Persuing education was the only decision that saw me through it all. I ensured above average educational achievements which made it possible for me to study up to honours degree. I still wish to persue masters degree & go for doctorate. However,I made it through it all - the challenges and difficulties I faced from my childhood made me to be a woman and strengthened my resilience in life. Today I am employed as a Community Development Practitioner for the Department of Social Development and because of the love & passion to reach out to others who may be in the situation I once found myself in,I have also founded and registered a non profit organisation namely,Love Foundation.

Through this channel I have managed to reach out and contribute whatever I have,whether big or small -during my private time/weekends I mobilise resources starting with the people I know (friends & relatives),I use my car and travel with my two young children to collect donations in a form of clothes & food. At times we travel to as far as Rusternburg which is located 215 kilometres from where we stay. On other weekends I do house visits to offer support & care to mothers with disabled children; and that has also yielded fruits as one of the children in those families got admission in one local school for children with special needs. When the family was referred to me by a community member,I got to visit & the mother had lost total hope for her child to get a chance to a class room. I encouraged her and offered support in a form of advise and financial assistance for completion of necessary forms & medical reports.

This one case,gave rise to an awareness that there are several cases within the locality which need intervention,as a result I am in the process of mobilising resourcing so as to have a common place where we can meet and establish a support group for this women and their chieverythinghat they also feel as part humanity. The organisation has also assisted various families identified in deep rural families & have also adopted people who live & work at Majemantsho Land Refill Site. We visit them on a yearly basis & share with them whatever we have gathered & managed to procure. I also get a get chance during social gatherings to talk to the youth, especially girls and my peers. I do motivational talks and encourage them through all that I had to face in life; encouraging them that education is the key to impossibilities.

I still long to spread wings wider as an eagle,there are many needy people,families & communities,without any hand to assist.

It is what gives me the grace & courage to push forward daily, with hope and a heart filled with gratitude that I have more than what many of this people lack & need for at least daily survival. I look forward that there will be abundance to care and cater for most of them,if not all of them.

This work & initiative is carried out by a young woman who will be turning 32 in October, but can say she has passed through fires of life which have refined her and positioned her for such a great call. A woman,such as any other woman who at times cry and laugh; who experience financial shortages; who is also a single parent to two boys,aged three & seven, after having to opt for the road less travelled, of divorce in 2013 and yet refused to be swammed up in a turmoil of difficulties. A young woman who has also been a pillar of support to her younger sisters & is still ensuring their livelihood.

Through everything i have been through,I have learnt that difficulties in life can only build a person and not break him/her, only if he/she doesn't sucum. And that whatever we face and go through in life,is not only to build us but its also for the betterment of others, to uplift them & give them courage that 'if I made it,so can you'.

May the fountain of peace, gratitude, joy & contement flowing in my spirit,also affect every reader who will have a chance to read this story, and know that we are carriers of change,the world can be a better place if we all put a hand to helping others who do not have the means or ability to help themselves.

Boitumelo Mokgwasa boitumelomokgwasa@gmail.com.com Mmabatho, North West Province South Africa

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Comments

Mokgwasa dear Your story is not only touching but also inspiring. When I say inspiring, I am looking at how rough your childhood and growing up was yet you help others. The common trend with people in our society is when they pass through such situations, they become embittered people and always causing trouble. It is on that premise that I find your view on life's challenges valid when you said "everything i have been through,I have learnt that difficulties in life can only build a person and not break him/her, only if he/she doesn't sucum. And that whatever we face and go through in life,is not only to build us but its also for the betterment of others, to uplift them & give them courage that 'if I made it,so can you'."

It is for the same reason that working as a teacher in my community I see my childhood in the girls I teach. The devastating effects of polygamy which I been mentioning in most of my post are slowly destroying the girls. As my own contribution to their lives, I am using my experience, education and zeal for change to help these girls survive in the community. I have contacted people to help or participate in any move to change situation.

I must tell you sister that the burden of the cruelty you suffered becomes lighter when you help others in similar situation. I am feeling relieved now because I have a 10 weeks program with the girls on building true sisterhood by immediately eradicating bullying among them. To achieve a 100% success for this I am organising an interschool competition where I believe they will learn in a fun filled manner.

Frankly I admire you and wish to exchange ideas with you on this journey. God strengthens us all

Masalien's

Mokgwasa dear Your story is not only touching but also inspiring. When I say inspiring, I am looking at how rough your childhood and growing up was yet you help others. The common trend with people in our society is when they pass through such situations, they become embittered people and always causing trouble. It is on that premise that I find your view on life's challenges valid when you said "everything i have been through,I have learnt that difficulties in life can only build a person and not break him/her, only if he/she doesn't sucum. And that whatever we face and go through in life,is not only to build us but its also for the betterment of others, to uplift them & give them courage that 'if I made it,so can you'."

It is for the same reason that working as a teacher in my community I see my childhood in the girls I teach. The devastating effects of polygamy which I been mentioning in most of my post are slowly destroying the girls. As my own contribution to their lives, I am using my experience, education and zeal for change to help these girls survive in the community. I have contacted people to help or participate in any move to change situation.

I must tell you sister that the burden of the cruelty you suffered becomes lighter when you help others in similar situation. I am feeling relieved now because I have a 10 weeks program with the girls on building true sisterhood by immediately eradicating bullying among them. To achieve a 100% success for this I am organising an interschool competition where I believe they will learn in a fun filled manner.

Frankly I admire you and wish to exchange ideas with you on this journey. God strengthens us all

Masalien's

Thank you for sharing your experience, wisdom and words of encouragement to help others by any means that we can. Your efforts in the community is testimony that this can be achieved with dedication and that every pebble laid, no matter how small can eventually create a mountain. May you receive the support required to keep up your amazing work.