Masi Drama Club in demand!

Masi Drama Club in demand!

 

We’re really going places’ Drama Club

The drama club started in Masiphumelele several months ago and with their performance of a scene from Broken Promises, an exciting new book launched by non-profit Cover2Cover, they have found local fame.

They have already performed at the Masiphumelele Library, Franschoek Literacy Festival, Matthew Goniwe High School, and Open Book Festival Cape Town. Phumza Kibi is a member of the group and was asked to be the cover girl for their latest book ‘Sugar Daddy’. The posters are up in the library, at school and obviously in Phumza’s house!

Cover2cover provided each member with their own copy and profuse thanks for their involvement.

Cover2cover is a fresh new publisher dedicated to filling a need in the South African book market: popular fiction relevant to the lives of the millions of township teenagers. It is making a huge difference toward creating a culture of reading in South Africa, particularly amongst township youth. The eagerness that Ikamvanites have approached these books has been fantastic. Reading and re-reading copies that are already well-worn.

 Cover2 Cover made an initial donation of 10 books to Masiphumelele Library and have been kind enough to offer a donation to other IkamvaYouth branches.

 The popularity of the books and their demand has demonstrated that there is a need for relevant literature aimed at this target audience. However, these books shouldn’t just be distributed in townships as the issues raised are relevant to all teens. In a way this exciting social entrepreneurship organization could have a profound impact on the way youth in South Africa read as well as building understanding and relationships between each other. It is wonderful to be a part of such an exciting venture.

The drama club are busy scripting the whole of Jealous in Jozi so that they can put together a full drama performance – watch this space!

Masi Ikamvanites Clean up Kalk Bay’s Act!

Masi Ikamvanites Clean up Kalk Bay’s Act!

 

In an attempt to raise awareness of the environment and the fundamental reasons why we need to respect our surroundings we took a small group of grade 9 and 10 to the Kalk Bay beach clean up on 17th September to celebrate International Coastal Clean Up Day.

 Long time tutor Tracey Drew came to help with her ERMteam and provided all the bags, gloves and snacks.  

 

 

There was a real sense of purpose and when talking to learners about why it was important to pick up litter, there seemed to be a great awareness of the reasons why they should do it. When pushed on why they thought people didn’t do and why, particularly in township areas there is a lot of litter pollution they were far hazier.

 Some said that people just didn’t care about anything beyond themselves. While others promoted the fact that people cared about others, the environment and animals but could not see the benefit of engaging in conservation activities. The main reason being that it does not have an immediate impact on their lives; stealing from the future to satisfy the present.

 Is it a luxury to be able to care about conservation and environmental sustainability? The answers to this were manifold and would need a whole other blogpost.

 As a learner stumbled across a shopping trolley filled with smashed glass bottles hidden at the back of the beach, the discussion turned to solutions. Again a multitude of suggestions were put forward and many faces were scrunched in thought – or maybe it was just the sun in their eyes!

 The suggestion from most was that the motivation to pick up litter (or not to drop it in the first place) would only come if people saw the negative impact of it upon their own lives. It is great to come to a beach and learn about the importance of environment and not littering but when they return to their homes they enter into a community where it is not seen as taboo to through a plastic bottle into the river or the street. So, in order to change peoples’ habits of littering and polluting their environment they must be taught about the negative effects in their environment. To get people to start cleaning up the townships you have to start cleaning up the townships; make it visible and educate along the way.

 Obviously the day made the learners and myself think a lot and hopefully ERM will assist in organising many more activities of this sort.

Chris Hani learners making it happen in Makhaza

Chris Hani learners making it happen in Makhaza

By Liesel Bakker

 

It’s been hard to ignore these past few weeks the coverage at Chris Hani High School in Makhaza involving a brutal attack leaving Malibongwe Melani, a grade 12 student, severely injured in hospital. (See articles in the Voice of the Cape and Cape Argus) Students are feeling very embittered with school life, the dysfunctional state of the school and the powerlessness of feeling unsafe in the very place they’re supposed to be learning and developing. A small group of students vented these frustrations in a very destructive way, making fires, throwing desks, rocks, sticks and other objects off the 2nd floor school building, at the principal, police and whoever was unfortunate enough to be in their path, shutting the school and disrupting scheduled exams.

 

 

However our amazing Ikamvanites are not letting this huge disruption to their exam period and school life get in their way of being the agents of change in their lives and of their friends. The Grade 11’s from Chris Hani came to us asking for extra physics classes to catch up not only the 12 weeks of work they missed by not having a teacher as well as the 2 weeks of disruption to their regular school day. So today, while the sun is blazing and their friends are all playing soccer in the road, they are instead sitting in our office learning about lenses and light with practical examples taught by our newest volunteering ikamvanite, retired UCT lecturer Prof John Greene.

 

 

 

 

These learners are really inspirational not only to other Ikamvanites but to their friends as well as the small group of destructive students. These are truly learners making the impossible happen for themselves, showing the others how no one can stand in the way of being the change in their lives.

Well done Ikamvanites, and Big Up to Prof John Greene!!

 

The Village Raising a Nation

The Village Raising a Nation

The fifteen people who’re ensuring that hundreds of South African youth pull themselves and others out of poverty through education finally got to work together in person. For an entire week! 

Being an IY natcom member isn’t easy. It’s a huge amount of responsibility, with high expectations and the pressure to make every cent stretch further than most people would think possible. One of the ways in which we run a low-cost, high-impact model with national reach is by leveraging technology, and our national team works from townships and cities across the country, connecting via Skype, email, gchat, google docs and the ikamvanitezone. Connectivity challenges at many branches make our online meetings difficult, and we often find ourselves trying to have big conversations and make important decisions with distracting background noise, calls dropping, and participants either unable to hear or be heard.  

So the 18th September marked the day that many natcom members got to meet their colleagues in person for the first time. And eish but did we maximise that face-to-face time all week! 

Mignon Lotz-Keyser from Peer Power generously volunteered her time, skills and expertise to facilitate our conversations, from vision & values right through to the action-item-to-do list for ensuring that this vision is realised. Key strategic partners Capitec, the Learning Trust and iKapaData joined us at points during the week, and our chairperson Leigh Meinert took leave from her day job as MD of TSiBA to provide valuable input over two days. Dennis Clark, our accountant, joined for the Thursday evening braai and Friday Finance Day, where we spoke about improving our financial tracking and reporting processes and presented the first round of proposed branch budgets for 2012.

We’d parked many big decisions for the week which meant long conversation, dialogue and debate which often stretched late into the evening. The chunky issues we grappled with were themes within this overarching one: “How do we grow, expand our reach, improve our professionalism and operate sustainably without negatively impacting our organisational culture and losing our soul?”  We realised that our organisation is at another growth phase, whereby the need for more structures and procedures has presented itself to a group of social entrepreneurs who value democratic decision making, independence and autonomy, and hold views as strong as their performance is high. 

Thankfully this small group of people who’re changing the world are smart, committed, and work wonderfully well together. The culmination of beautifully diverse yet unifying views and ideas, expressed in the inspirational setting of Goedgedacht farm, resulted in a strong, thoughtful plan for our next steps and leaps forward. 

Read the full report, or simply get an overview of what it’s all building towards from our co-created vision for the next five years:

Our culture of responsibility is creating a ripple effect of thriving individuals and communities. Our intergenerational ikamvanites provide access to quality education in inspirational spaces everywhere. We are an integrated network driving change by paying it forward. 

From Left to Right, Back row: Dennis Clark (Accountant), Nombuyiselo Dziba (Nyanga coordinator), Modjadji Selowe (Ivory Park assistant), Liesel Bakker (Makhaza coordinator), Zoe Mann (Natcom project manager & Masi assistant), Phillip Mcelu (Makhaza Supplementary Tutoring Head, MathsYesWeCan project manager and fieldworker for IkamvaYouth Evaluation), Mignon Lotz-Keyser (Facilitator), Joy Olivier (Director)

From Left to Right, Front row: Andrew Barrett’s shadow (Gauteng coordinator), Sbonelo Cele (Cato Manor assistant), Nico Commeignes (Masi coordinator), Asanda Nanise (Nyanga assistant), Joe Manciya (Ivory Park coordinator), Thobile Mthembu (Cato Manor coordinator), Zukile Keswa (Makhaza coordinator) and Zamo Shongwe (National coordinator) 

Meeting an astronaught

Meeting an astronaught

Last Wednesday 80 Ikamvanites had the chance to come face to face with a NASA astonaught – Dr Catherine Coleman, and to learn first hand about her experiences living and working in space. They were shown what life is like at zero gravity, see what the earth looks like from space and learn about the skills needed to become an astonaught. It was an amazing opportunity for our Ikamvanites to be a part of the Living Maths World Space Week event.

They even had an opportunity to talk to her and take a few pictures..