Dec 05

Ronnie’s Story

As I shared earlier, last Sunday was our 20yr celebration of the start of Keep The Dream196, before KTD196 was created we started our flagship program with the kids, Scouts! It was different to Scouts in South Africa because we didn’t have the resources, or the capacities for our kids to advance through the program. So we advocated and eventually changed the program nationally. Now our kids are being awarded the top national awards. If you missed that blog, please go to the earlier one to see the celebration.

Anyway, today I want to share about a young man who when he turned 18yrs of age, sent me this letter!

Before I joined the Scouts I was somehow like a terrible young man. I was the kind of person who like swearing at other people. I was a person who liked going out to the streets with my friends during the night and we’d mock everyone who passed by and laugh at them regardless of their gender or age. Lying was always on the tip of my tongue.

If I did anything wrong at home and my parents would try to rectify my mistakes I would get angry with everyone and go away and come back when they are sleeping (I was very short tempered and not very friendly to other people). I and my friends had taken to beating other children as a very fashionable style and we would beat them up for no good reason.

The worst thing about me is I was a great gambling animal. I would steal any of my parent’s cents and rob out their change when they would send me to the store or shops, I would gamble with the money. I would play dice with older people. The older people who were my friends would force me to drink alcohol and have many girl-friends, so I did because I wanted to be with them because they gave me money to gamble with if I didn’t have any.

So Scouts has changed my life completely as I am away from these hectic things I was doing in the past. I’m no longer fooling around with my old friends; Scouts has made me have good friends. I am glad I’m away from those bad things because the only thing that was left was for me was to start smoking and start dying from AID’s as I was already drinking. — Ronny 18yrs — 1st Khopo and now a Chairman of Marula Rover Crew

Ronny is now 33yrs of age, a husband to one of our original 13 girls Nkateko, and the proud father of a lovely little girl. He is a IT specialist and is currently working in Eastern Cape connecting Fibre to people’s homes and ensuring internet connection in remote areas. His wife Nkateko is an Occupational Therapist and an entrepreneur who has her own health services business. In the picture below, you will see Ronny with Nkateko on his left, then Makungu who received her Springbok Award, she is also the niece to Nkateko.

He is a wonderful father, a faithful and dedicated husband despite his rough beginnings. It was a strategic decision to work with boys and girls in the beginning because we wanted to teach both boys and girls to work together and respect each other, to see each other as amazing human beings to be encouraged and supported not to be taken advantage of and abused. Ronny, despite his formative years, was able to change, and become the husband and partner to Nkateko who supports and promotes her in her adventures. He also is so caring and supportive of his daughter (and very protective), he is not the usual young man and I am so proud of who he has become. (ps I am also the unofficial grandmother!)

We started Scouts with 13 Mabuza family, cousins and friends. Now, through such humble beginnings we have seen in excess of 30,000children over the 20yrs of service to this and many other communities. Eleven of those years with Global Giving, with your support! You have made this legacy happen. We started with changing children, then families and now we are seeing communities starting to change.

You have been instrumental in this change. You gift of support, your prayers, your encouragement has held us up, and kept us focussed. Thank you is just so pitiable, it does not convey the depth of feelings and gratefulness I have for your support to realise our dreams of building tomorrow today! Your support has been essential, fundamental and quite frankly vital to the work we have done, are doing and will continue to do!

Thank you so much