Catch us at the Basic Education Conference

Catch us at the Basic Education Conference

Over 320 abstracts were submitted to the SA Basic Education Conference from teachers, principals, academics, government, non-government organisations, and the corporate sector, and IkamvaYouth’s submission has been selected as a poster presentation on 2 April. Zamo Shongwe and Joy Olivier will be representing the ikamvanites at this event, and are looking forward to learning, sharing and connecting with the conference delegates from all sectors. Professor Metcalfe, the conference chair, said that “it is very encouraging to see the creative and innovative ideas coming from teachers and principals at the coal-face of basic education”, and we’re looking forward to being a part of it.

IkamvaYouth’s poster presentation will be uploaded here in the coming days, together with background information, references and acknowledgements. We hope that readers will engage with it and send us your comments and questions via the facebook comment functionality below.

IkamvaYouth Gauteng Hosts a Strategic Planning Afternoon

To download the report from the Afternoon Brain-Storming and Action Plan Click here.

Both the Ebony Park and Ivory Park branches in Gauteng came together on Saturday the 17th of March from 12:30pm to 3:30 pm. The reason for the afternoon Strategic Planning Session was to introduce IkamvaYouth to all new volunteers and also brainstorm on how we can improve the IkamvaYouth experience for the learners and the tutors.

We had over 50 volunteers attending, including the Branch Committee members for both branches, and the topics that were discussed that afternoon were:

  1. What can we do to make the tutoring experience better for both the learner and the tutor?
  2. What ideas do we have for the Matrics given that they cannot come regularly on Saturdays?
  3. In what ways can we show some tutor appreciation?
  4. How do we improve the career guidance programme?
  5. Do you have any ideas for side-projects (either: tutor or learner-driven)?

One of the volunteers Paul Khokololo said, “The planning session was such an informative session and would definitely help the tutors to become better at helping the learners. Participating and  working together to make suggestions and additions to IkamvaYouth has been an awesome experience.”

We are moving forward!

For a report of the Afternoon and Action Plan Click here

Income generation towards self-sustainability

Income generation towards self-sustainability

IkamvaYouth is speedily setting about garnering the support and partnerships we need to establish more branches across the country. Our results come with the responsibility to replicate, and while our high impact model is also low cost, scale is nevertheless expensive. 

IkamvaYouth is also very fortunate to be supported by visionary donors who’re providing the means we need to grow in the face of the overwhelming need for our services. However, in looking far forward into the future of our organisation, we’re planning to create an income stream that is directly related to our key assets: the wonderful ikamvanites. Our first step in this direction was a brainstorming workshop held in April last year, facilitated by Freda Gray.

Now, with generous support from the Bertha Foundation, IkamvaYouth is working with Mindstir, an innovation company, to develop a social enterprise who’s aims align with  the organisation’s key mission of enabling ikamvanites to access post-school opportunities, which would also generate profits, to be donated to IY. 

The current thinking is around linking BBBEE Skills development contributions to student loans, bursary programmes, learnerships and internships. Business struggles to find the right students to support: they mostly recruit students via campus exhibitions/ advertisements but receive loads of applications and it is costly to sift through them, get aptitude tests done and eventually when they select the students they will sponsor, they are not sure if the relationship will work. Businesses have to spend money on “institutional based theoretical instruction” as it contributes to the Skills Development points they can earn to make up their BBBEE score.

As IkamvaYouth works closely with committed learners who prove themselves over many years, the organisation can provide these businesses with an attitude indication and develop a way to match students with corporates.

One potential solution is to provide a service to corporates similar to that where foundations manage CSI spend for companies, but focused on bursaries and student loans. Corporates would pay us a small management fee and this enterprise takes the pain and cost of recruiting students as well as reduced risk that these learners will drop out of tertiary.

On 3rd February, Freda Gray and Anneke de Bod facilitated a scoping session where ikamvanites and key supporters collectively brainstormed the concept and set the scope for the pre-feasibiliy study. Ikamvanites were lucky to be joined by IY Chair and MD of TSiBA education, Leigh Meinert; Amrik Cooper from ikapadata; Prof Darren Lorton, Executive Dean of Applied Sciences at DUT; Charles Ainslee from the Learning Trust ; Lolita Barends from Capitec and Susan Godlonton (IY board member and PhD fellow at the University of Michigan); each of whom contribute significantly to supporting and growing IY. 

The scope for the pre-feasibility was set, and interviews are currently underway. IkamvaYouth is grateful to all those who’re giving their time to participate, and we’re looking forward to finding out whether our ideas have wheels to hit the road towards self-sustainability. 

Nyanga Branch is open for business!

Nyanga Branch is open for business!

Thanks to the support and assistance from Thabo Bidla, Mxolisi Gontsa, other community leaders, a team of amazing painters; Liesel, Siswe, Busiswa, and Wanda, and the kind donation of 10 tables from Black Sash, the Nyanga Branch has opened its doors at the Zolani Centre.

Tutoring sessions, learning and fun times have begun!

 

Learners tackling Math during Thursday’s tutoring session

The first couple of weeks of tutoring have been tulmultuous due to strikes at Mandela High School that involved many Ikamvanites who were outraged at the illegal request for learners to pay for their textbooks that are issued at financed by government. The principal was called to task and learners and parents demanded that the textbooks be distributed without the additional payment. Learners felt it was important to stand up for their rights and were successful in getting their voices heard.

The strike over, and with textbooks in hand the learners are now showing diligence and commitment to IkamvaYouth. Saturday morning saw a brilliant turn out of learners and tutors, all fully engaged.

Exciting programmes and activities are planned for the centre. The Kahn Academy together with a grant from the US Embassy are establishing a brand new computer lab at the centre. This will enable the delivery of computer literacy activities as well as offering the Kahn programme itself which is an innovative solution to math education. Learners are able to work through a series of activities at their own pace, and therefore take control of their own learning.

Lovelife have also expressed an interest in collaborating with IkamvaYouth and will provide a Health and Life Skills programme once a month  for Ikamvanites. The focus will be on HIV/AIDS but with the added element of life skills and personal development. This initiative will be starting at the beginning of next term.

With a beautiful space, new furniture, eager learners and tutors, and many plans for the year ahead Nyanga Branch is full of excitement!

Reviving the Masi Man Club: Take 1

Reviving the Masi Man Club: Take 1

Initiated in July 2010 by the World Teach volunteers, the Masi Man Club’s has been created for answering youth concerns, promoting personal development, supporting collective actions within the Masiphumelele Community.

In 2011, the Masi Man Club’s members have been really active in supporting people who have been affected by the fire in May 2011. In fact, they volunteered their time to help carry building material and rebuild houses.

The format of each session answers 3 requirements:

 –  To be outside of the Library or outside the Community,

 –  To have a physical activity through sports or collective games,

 –  To provide time for a topic discussion.



Nick Jones, history teacher and tutor at the Masiphumelele Branch, took over the Masi Man Club to propose a space where Ikamvanites can raise their concerns, express their opinions; propose solutions in a safe environment.

Members proposed the following topics to be discussed and developed along the year:
–  What does that mean to be a Man for me today?
–  What are the different kinds of relationships? And how a young man will deal with them?
–  Peer pressure and peer support?
–  Drug abuse and risks behaviours
–  Protected sex.
–  Dealing with my emotion.
–  Get more information on fire safety, and get skills to answer this issue in the community.
–  Career choices
–  Hiking
–  Repartition of tasks within the members
–  Fundraising for the Masi Man Club activities and outings.

 

To be continued… 🙂