The Status of Youth Report 2010 aims to provide comprehensive information on the socio-economic and demographic circumstances of young people in South Africa. The NYDA act specify under section 6(1) that “ The agency must, every three years, submit to the President a report on the status of youth” and subsection 3 of section 6, state that “The President must table the report in Parliament within a reasonable time.
Tumi “Stumza” Thoka (IvoryPark Branch Exco member) was caught right-hand on camera, networking for IkamvaYouth with Laurein Graham(a PHD student at University of Johannesburg). The consultative forum ensures that the status of youth report provides accurate primary and secondary information on: Who are the youth? Where are they? What do they do? What are their key challenges? What opportunities are available for them? What interventions are necessary to support the youth and create opportunities for them?
You are welcome to voice out your views on these issues, the vocal IkamvaYouth delegates will voice them at the forum for the attention of the president.
Polly Saul came flying in to Masi 3 months ago to engage Ikamvanites in philosophy. With the assistance of Zoe Mann they delivered a course on the love of thought. Pondering expressions and inquisitive questions became the order of the day for the 11 participants on Thrusday afternoons. The sessions encouraged the learners to discuss questions, develop concepts and delve deeper into subjects they have never before given the time to.
The discussions were enthralling. Questions like; ‘what is certain in life?’; ‘What is evil?’; And ‘If we have a choice are we free?’ were generated throughout the last few months. As well as heated discussions about the Information Bill, Zuma’s many wives, and the value of culture in today’s society. A mind-blowing amount was discussed and many topics and ideas arose. Along with this many quotes were posed to the learners to get their philosophical juices bubbling in their minds. The favourite seemed to be ‘Nobody can be made to feel inferior without their permission’.
It has no doubt broadened their minds and started to provoke philosophical questions in everyday life. Their participation has improved their English skills, self-esteem, vocabulary, and the sense of self-belief is through the roof. We hope that we can continue this programme next year with a new group to crack open more young minds!
By Lizile Hams
IY Makhaza branch conducted pre-exam grade 10 English literacy assessments on Saturday, 30 October. The objective for the evaluation was to gauge each learner’s ability to read, spell and write and to test individual comprehension and reasoning process levels. Since their enrolment at the beginning of the year, the grade 10s demonstrated keen interest in improving their individual abilities to speak, write and read the English language. Credit to a number of interventions from IY volunteers and other visiting professionals, the learners are a least five steps better than they were when they started at IkamvaYouth. More importantly, publicly available research indicates that an improvement in the English language for second language speakers is sure to have a positive impact on how they progress in other learning areas.
The evaluation took a fun and interactive format and learners enjoyed it thoroughly. To encourage dedicated participation and a spirit of winning, the branch organised prizes for two best performing learners. Branch co-ordinator Mr. Winile Mabhoko could not contain his excitement, “This is not just another grand opportunity for our learners but a great platform for us to prepare them for the final exams in their respective schools,” he said. The evaluation process was moderated by visiting volunteer Mrs. Ayanda Nyoka. With a strong academic background in Communications and Political Science and experience in working with children, she developed an immediate connection with the learners. “IkamvaYouth is doing a sterling job in developing these young minds and I can’t help but feel obliged to come back and contribute more,” she said.
The award is a joint project of the Mail & Guardian and the Southern Africa Trust – a non-governmental organisation that supports public policy development to overcome poverty.
I regard myself as being fortunate to have been one of the few invited to the event.
I had the opportunity to interact with and be exposed to individuals as well as organisations that are qualitatively confronting the developmental challenges that the Southern African region continuesto face.
Among the winners was a community-based youth organisation called Ikamva Youth. Ikamva means future in isiXhosa.
Ikamva Youth is a township-based nonprofit organisation with branches in Khayelitsha, Nyanga and Masiphumelele in Western Cape, IvoryPark in Gauteng and Cato Crest in KwaZulu-Natal.
The organisation runs after-school classes for pupils from under-resourced schools. It is run by volunteers – including students from nearby universities and local professionals who offer their time to assist pupils from grades 8 to 12 in navigating all their school subjects.
Asked why he got involved in the project, IkamvaYouthIvoryPark branch coordinator Joe Manciya said: “We are driven by the dire situation prevailing in our schools.”
According to Manciya, of the 30000 schools in the country only 1500 are “good schools”. That is, they have all the necessary resources and facilities, including libraries and laboratories.
Manciya says an estimated 24000 throughout the country are “bad schools”. That is, they are badly under-resourced.
A South African Institute of Race Relations survey released last year showed that only 10percent of the South African youth access tertiary education. Only a fraction of this comes from the townships.
“As Ikamva Youth we do not believe in folding our arms and pointing fingers. We assist the youth who come from poor communities like IvoryPark to take their future in their hands.”
The project’s success is measured by the number of Grade 12 pupils who access tertiary institutions and-or employment-based learning opportunities when they matriculate.
So far (according to the organisation’s records) Ikamva Youth’s matric pass rate has been between 90 and 100percent each year since 2005. More than 70percent of the last two matric groups gained access to tertiary education (compared with the township average of about 5percent).
Manciya says what makes the project unique is the fact that it is run “by the youth for the youth”.
The call from Manciya is that the country needs “an education revolution where all sectors of the community are involved”.
Parents must play an active role in supporting their children, while teachers must show their commitment to providing quality education.
Ikamva Youth is just one of the initiatives with which ordinary people in the region are making a contribution to bringing change to the lives of the poor and marginalised.
Having a youth-driven project winning such an award is an indication of the role they can play in overcoming the obstacles created by the unequal societies they find themselves in.
The awards must in general also serve as a clarion call for all sectors of the society to be involved in the fight against poverty and underdevelopment.
But it is important that those who do get involved do not do so because it is good public relations but because they are committed to changing the society they live in.
They must do so also driven by their commitment to social justice, and the belief that such justice will only come when those who do not suffer injustice are as angry as those who do.
We all understand how stressfull the exam time can be, and how stressfull preparing for the unknown. Although writing the final examination brings anxiety and tension amongst other people, but for the learners at Ikamva Youth (Makhaza) this year’s preparation for exams was blessed with some words of inspiration. The Makhaza branch was visited by a renowned international motivational speaker Mr. Dan Brule who has travelled the world conducting motivational sessions with professionals using Breathing Technques. What a beautiful session we had and the learners we thrilled by what they have experienced on the day. The session came at the right time when they really needed some inspiration to deal with their stressfull exam time. Dan Brulé is a modern day teacher and healer. He is a world-renown pioneer in the field of Breathwork, and leader of the worldwide Spiritual Breathing movement. Dan is one of the originators of Breath Therapy, and was among the first group of Internationally Certified Rebirthers. He is a leading member of Inspiration University, the International Rebirthers Association and the International Breathwork Foundation. He is a master of Prana Yoga (the Hindu Science of Breath), and of Chi Kung/Qigong (Chinese Medical Breathing Exercises). On that high note I’d like to say to all the learners out there that you have already made a GOOD move to commit to your school work thus far, now it’s time to go for the BETTER move. Ayoba!