Please scroll down to the bottom of this page to send your own message of support.
Join us, the community of Khayelitsha and the IkamvaYouth branches across the country, in expressing our complete outrage and disbelief of the events of the past few days.
Yet, as we write this, we are also deeply grateful for the messages of support that continue to pour into IkamvaYouth’s inboxes and we thank you for all the well-wishes. Already, Ikamvanites, their parents, volunteers and members of the Khayelitsha community are helping clear up the devastation that was left in the wake of these senseless Freedom Day acts. It is, afterall, the ordinary people from all sections of South Africa that are the heartbeat of this country and we join together in a collective resilience and assurance that actions like these, that seek to destroy, will always be self-defeating.
Click here for details of the events that occured.
Click here for ways to help.
We are especially grateful for the support of our friends at Equal Education and the support of the many people below who join us in recommiting ourselves to building communities across South Africa that are about growth, hope and a future without violence and poverty. We will not rest until we get the country (and the world) we so dearly desire.
Responses to the news of the petrol bombing of the IkamvaYouth offices in Khayelitsha from ordinary South Africans whose support help make us feel extra-ordinary (feel free to add your own at the bottom):
IkamvaYouth lost equipment, materials and resources worth hundreds of thousands of rands when a petrol bomb was thrown into its office on Freedom Day.
Everything is gone. Smart phones from our Nokia project; computers recently donated for our programming course; the PCs used by our branch coordinator and administrator; all our Answer Series study guides which were to be handed out to ikamvanites this Saturday; film and photography equipment (some of which belonged to volunteers); all our office furniture; photographs; files and records.
We’re calling for support via time or money:
– If you’re available to help with the cleanup, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 0789929269.
– If you’re a qualified counsellor and can volunteer to counsel affected ikamvanites, please contact email@example.com.
– Please donate funds to help us begin trying to replace all we’ve lost (please use FREEDOM as the reference) ** see below for bank details if you want to do a transfer from the US or the UK.
– If you have office furniture, equipment or computers to donate, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
– If you have toys, furniture, books or equipment that the Zimele pre-school (our neighbour that was also affected) could use, please contact Monica on 0823103829.
Thanks everyone. The future is in our hands.
** To make a bank transfer in the US, please use the following account:
Account holder: Susan Godlonton
Bank: TCF Bank
Account Number: 6883542078
Type of Account: Checking
Branch: South University Branch, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Routing number: 272471548
** To make a bank transfer in the UK, please use the following account:
Account holder: Sally Bloy
Account Number: 00539589
Sort no: 20-65-20
Less than two weeks after being heralded in the Minister of Basic Education’s Budget Speech, IkamvaYouth’s head office in Makhaza, Khayelitsha was petrol-bombed.
“I thought I was going to die” said Mpumzi Klaas, an ex-learner who has been volunteering as a tutor and mentor since 2007.
“We had just taken our learners on an excursion to Ratanga Junction to enjoy Freedom Day, and five minutes after they left the office someone threw stones and fire through the window, and the recently-donated Answer Series study guides caught alight.” Mpumzi and Sinethemba Lutango, another ex-learner-turned volunteer who’s currently studying at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), hid under the tables and called the police.
Thankfully they managed to escape unharmed, but were very shocked upon their return to the office this morning where they found that the premises had been further attacked and completely destroyed. The roof is burnt; the computers have melted; all equipment, records and resources reduced to ashes.
IkamvaYouth is a non-partisan, non-governmental organisation that was established in 2003 in Makhaza with the objective of enabling disadvantaged youth to pull themselves out of poverty and into university and employment through peer-to-peer learning and support. The programme’s success (87-100% matric pass rate since 2005 and over 70% of learners accessing tertiary for the past three years) has led to the model’s replication in five townships in three provinces, and numerous accolades include winning the Mail and Guardian / Southern Africa Trust Drivers of Change award in 2010.
IkamvaYouth’s office space is availed to the organisation free of charge by the municipality. In addition to destroying the office, the attackers threw stones into the Nazeema Isaacs Library and torched the adjoining Zimele Pre-Primary school. “We just don’t understand why anyone would do this”, said Monica Nabuya, the principal of Zimele.
Mrs Bidla, who has two grandchildren in grades 9 and 10, says “I cannot begin to express how badly I have been hurt by this. As a parent, I just cannot understand how anyone can do such a bad thing to an organisation that helps our children. IkamvaYouth has kept our children off the streets and helped them focus on their studies.” She has suggested a parents’ meeting “so that we can protect the future of our children”.
“We are trying to free people from poverty and yet on Freedom Day our office was burnt. This means that people do not understand what Freedom Day stands for, and they do not understand that we’re trying to balance disparities and redress injustice”, said Thobela Bixa, an IkamvaYouth board member and ex-learner who’s currently doing his MA in Chemistry at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Mrs Sobethwa whose child is in grade 10 said “You do not expect something like this will happen to an organisation like IkamvaYouth… I believe that there is still hope… the name Ikamva sums it up, the organisation has a brighter future and more good things are going to happen. This is the time we have to stand up as community members and oppose this kind of behaviour”.
“I’m so hurt by all of this. I was looking forward to a great day of tutoring but only to come to this”, said Unathi Gcani, a grade 10 learner who joined Ikamva in 2011.
Unathi continued, “this is going to impact badly on our studies. I blame our community for all this because no one can come from another township to vandalise our resources, how do they expect us to pass when they burn our Answer Series booklets? Against all of this, I am still committed to Ikamva because I have seen the impact it has made to previous learners.”
Makhaza Branch Coordinator
On the 3rd to the 4th of April 2011 the Nyanga top attenders hiked Table Mountain and camped on top for the night
The Camp was organised by BEEP (Beyond Expectations Environment Project) which works with kids in disadvantaged areas and help in educating about their environment while simultaneously tackling the issues they face in their communities
The Camp was attendered by 16 learners from Grade 9 to 12, girls and boys who were so excitted as it was the first time for most of them
Many came back expressing the how much they have learnt and would love to make hiking their hobby
A Big thanx to John Raimondo one of our Gold donors for sponsoring this fun filled Adventure for our learners
The Masiphumelele Ikamvanites who attended 100% of tutoring sessions in the first term were rewarded with an amazing trip to the Cedarberg wilderness during the holidays.
On Thursday 7th April we set off, and after many, many twists, turns, bumps, and a couple of rather green and sick looking Ikamvanites we arrived at the idyllic Leopards Trust Camp in Maijtiesriver. Everywhere we looked we could see mountains, mountains…and…erm… that was about it! The beautiful scenary surrounded a secluded little camp; home to the Cape Leopard Trust.
We were welcomed by Elizabeth and Matthew who would be guiding us over the next few days. We arrived late and after the surprisingly quick erecting of tents we went on a small drive and walk to some amazing rock formations. As the sun was setting over the mountains and turning the sand stone a rich golden colour, everyone had a smile on their face.
The next day was somewhat more of a challenge. Awoken at 6am to the sounds of fighting baboons on the mountain behind us, we sent about the day which involved a gruelling hike to the Wolfberg Cracks. The 5 hour hike was testing at times, but the Ikamvanites rose to the challenge. They moaned, grimaced and perservered. When they arrived at the top of the spectacular rocks there were smiles, laughs and hugs all around.
The afternoon was spent sleeping, playing cards and reflecting on their amaizng accomplishment. The evening was spent dancing and singing around the fire with a lovely night sky gazing session under a full canopy of stars.
The wonderful thing about the camp is that it was educational as well. Whilst we walked and talked we also learnt. Elizabeth and Matthew are both trained teachers with a love and passion for the outdoors, animals and wildlife. We were shown skulls, rock art, leopard traps, taught how to track, how to identify different rock formations and plants, and even shown a plant that makes you smell nice! We saw insects, bugs, baboons, jennets, birds, and even Klipspringer.
The final day was ended in a swim in an isolated and beautiful river where we frolicked in the water as the sun set. Back to camp for a delicious meal prepared by the Ikamvanites and a evening spent lazing around the fire storytelling. The weekend was tiring but fantastic and as the learners got off the bus the only question was ‘When is the next one’.
Thank you to Peter and Allison for volunteering to come along and to all the learners who were amazing!