IkamvaYouth’s 2011 Annual Report is out and available here for download

Many thanks to our super-talented designer Lynne Stuart, to Julia de Kadt for proofreading, and to everyone who contributed stories, quotes and photos. We love it, and hope that all the readers will too! 

Ikamvanites got through some really rough times in 2011: our office was petrol-bombeda devastating fire in Masiphumelele destroyed 1000s of homes, and learners spent a week rioting after their classmate was badly injured while beaten at school. 2011 was also a year of tragic loss: three heroes (Mphumzi Klaas, Nomzamo Kali and Dave Eadie) all passed away before their time, but not before they’d each made significant contributions to IkamvaYouth and South Africa at large.

There were some good times too: 560 ikamvanites (learners & volunteers) spent their holidays at one of the five winter schools (hosted by TSiBA, UWC, Masi library, DUT and SEF), and 426 learners achieved more than 75% attendance, three times a week, through all four terms. 100 tutors regularly spent their spare time tutoring at the five branches. The ikamvanites’ hard work paid off: 99% of learners in grades 8-11 passed onto the next grade, and 85% of our matrics passed (41% Bachelor, 39% Diploma passes). 69% of matriculants are at tertiary institutions, and 9% are in learnerships and/or employment.

IkamvaYouth’s track record of impressive results has led to some important and exciting attention. We were visited by the Minister of Basic Education (twice!) and mentioned in her budget speechthe Duchess of Cornwall popped in, and Jonathan Jansen inspired our learners at the Masi branch. We were featured in national media including Business Day, SAFM and SABC2 and MNet, made our own Live magazine, went to Slovenia and won a bunch of awards.

A key organisational objective for 2011 was consolidation, and despite the challenges, we’ve managed to achieve this; thanks to the support from our visionary donors. We ran our first-ever national strategic planning week (when many of us met the colleagues with whom we collaborate online on a daily basis in person for the first time); open-sourced our model through the ikamvanitezone (where you’ll find shared information and resources, how-to guides, tools & templates); had an independent evaluation conducted by Servaas van der Berg and his team of education economists, and grew our team.

Over the past year, IkamvaYouth has received 28 requests from communities in all provinces to establish more branches. And after our year of heads-down consolidation, we’re ready to step up and respond. 2012 has seen two new branches established: African- Bank-funded Ivory Park and ABI-funded Umlazi. Next on the horizon are Grahamstown and another two Gauteng branches. We’ve also begun thinking about ways to generate income and sustainably scale expansively, without entirely relying on donor funding in the future.

Ultimately though, IkamvaYouth’s sustainability lies with the ikamvanites. During our first few years, people would often tell us sagely that “initiatives that rely completely on volunteers aren’t sustainable”. We don’t get that anymore. And indeed, ikamvanites have shown that not only is the model sustainable due to the learners becoming tutors, and the tutors being so committed, but that volunteers produce results in contexts where few can.

We invite you to get involved in whatever way, and be a part of the change we need in many more communities throughout the country.

We hope you’ll enjoy the 2011 Annual Report multi-media experience we’ve curated for you, and make the most of the hyperlinks providing detail behind the headlines to youtube clips, blog posts and reports.

Thanks again to every indivdual who played your part in enabling all that was achieved and overcome in 2011, and to those who’re boosting us to ramp it up for 2012!