Ikageng first tutoring session

Ikageng first tutoring session

It’s 6am and Johannesburg roads are slowly waking up to Saturday. Four of us in the burnt orange rental Micra bound for Potchefstroom for the first tutoring session at the Ikageng branch. It’s early, so we check in, both the left and right brain present, albeit with complaints about the crack of dawn call time.

It’s stifling hot by the time we park the car inside the school gates. We are greeted by Zanele’s (Branch Co-ord, Ikageng Branch) ever calm face, no sign of anxiousness about this historic event – she’s got this, no worries. Themba’alidanisi is a no-fee school with some underused classrooms. They are our hosts for the next few years and within safe travel distance from three local high schools. By the time we arrive, we’re a little sweaty, a little hungry, but Patrick (District Co-ord, GP) and I are travelling with professionals.

Shelton and Richard, veteran tutors from the Ivory Park branch get to work straight away, unloading books, sorting learner forms and reseating learners into 5 a table as per IY style. These guys are the real deal, fast and efficient.

The learners, hmm a bit early for them too and this is a whole different experience. They are more than bewildered when we go through the energisers; forty bodies being led through “in the river, on the bank” and “tsamaya reka Omo”. But that’s what was needed to get them going, they are alert and wide awake by the time we return to the room.

During introductions, learner after learner speaks of their challenges. But it’s their dreams we are here to serve, from the aspiring charted accountant, the mathematician, climatologist, to the many-many lawyers to-be.

The session was fun, Vision 2030 seems so achievable with all the enthusiastic charges. I dredged up fuzzy high school information, as I moved from group to group. Yep, I could remember the difference between debtors and creditors. Tick, on the question on similar triangles. I was feeling a little confident by now. This is far removed from the admin that dominates my day at hq. It was then that Tsepho mumbled a hard one across the table. It came out hesitantly, losing pace between the fingers that were covering his mouth. Even I thought I misheard him. “Do mosquitos have eyes? Because teacher says they sense the carbon dioxide and lactic acid off warm bodies; they can’t see”. Four pairs of eyes abandoned the Life Sciences book in favour of my very blank face. I thought I knew this, don’t they have compound eyes like flies? But I wasn’t sure-sure. Tick-tock, they were waiting. So I politely excused myself and consulted my best friend Google. It reminded me why the 5-a-table tutoring style works so well. Tsepho lacked the confidence to pose that question in class, he still hesitated in the small group, but he walked away with an answer.

Overall a great day one. Well done to Zanele for pulling it off. And here’s to Vision 2030, no learner to be left behind.


Cooking Classes 2013 in Nyanga

Cooking Classes 2013 in Nyanga

Hi Ikamvanites!

We are two students from Metropol University College in Copenhagen, Denmark, studying a degree in Global Nutrition and Health.  Currently we are based in the beautiful Mother City soaking up the summer sun and doing an internship at IkamvaYouth (IY).

For our internship our idea was to teach a series of cooking classes to a group of 15 students at the Nyanga branch to promote health, educational skills and cultural awareness.  To our delight IY liked the idea and said that we could join their team for 3 months. How lucky are we?!

Our aim is to explore ideas around culture and food.  Some of the questions we asked ourselves were – What is culture?  What constitutes as a ‘meal’ in different cultures?  Is it meat and potatoes with some veg on the side or is it an open sandwich with a root vegetable topping or some hering?  What utensils do different cultures use to eat a meal with – hands, forks, chopsticks, spoons?  How is food presented and how does it stimulate the tastebuds visually?  Most importantly – how can we push our own boundaries and develop tastes for new and unfamiliar foods?

The idea is to expose students to unfamiliar ingredients as well as showcase how plant-based foods can be used to prepare a variety of imaginative and tasty dishes.  On the one hand we are using ingredients that are not always easily available and on the other hand we want to explore how students can enjoy and introduce fresh and healthy, yet affordable foods into their daily diet.

However, at the heart of any cooking classes should be fun and laughter, and this is exactly what we got up to this weekend for our first proper cooking class.  

On the menu was fast-food.  We made Danish smørrebrød which is a traditional open sandwich, enjoyed by the Danes at lunchtime.  We also got our hands stuck into whipping up and rolling some Japanese inspired veggie sushi.  

Between the two countries, Denmark and Japan, Denmark came out on top and the students loved the Danish rye bread and toppings.  The sushi however received mixed reviews.  Some people were close to vomitting, no jokes 🙂  Oh the DRAMA!  It was awesome!

Let’s face it – learning to aquire the taste for the fishy sea vegetable, nori, can take a bit longer than just one afternoon.  And then there is the wasabi – the green stuff!! Love it or hate, we had great fun and were all pros at eating with chopsticks by the end of the class.

Check out the pics below!  The students simply inspired us with their commitment to the task at hand!

One more thing peeps…

We are planning a Yoga & Lunch Charity Event in the Park and YOU are invited! 

We are hoping to raise R5000.  All proceeds will go towards the IY cooking classes.  

Like us on facebook:  Yoga & Lunch Charity Event in the Park and read the ‘ABOUT’ section for more info OR email us at yogaluncheoncharityevent@gmail.com.

AND please show your support and join us for some socialising and feasting on 17 March 2013.  The lunch will be prepared by the students.  Our first catering event!!

P.S. Any donations are always welcome and would be much appreciated!

Bye for now 🙂

Jepser & Sharline











2013 off to a flying start for Makhaza

2013 off to a flying start for Makhaza

The weekend consisted of planning for 2013 as well as an election to choose the new branch committee as well as choosing the different heads of the different portfolios. Present were more than 30 learners from different grades and tutors and they all had a chance to discuss the decision making, planning and electing the branch committee.

The Main goal of our SPW was to elect a branch committee (in charge of roles and portfolios) and for new volunteers (grade12 from last year returning) to take ownership of programme and become part of the management team. It was also a great weekend for the leaner reps and tutors to get to know each other better.

On Saturday we discussed the year program and we also had a look back at what happened in 2012. The morning started off with an introduction and the group explaining what their expectations of the weekend will be, we then discussed what happened in 2012 and then we ended with looking at what IkamvaYouth is doing well, what challenges we are facing, what IkamvaYouth is offering learners and the community and what we can do to improve the programme. We had a lot of first time branch committee members, but the rest of the group made them all feel included and welcome.

On Sunday the election took place and everyone had a chance to vote for the different nominees. The nomination and election process were very democratic and the nominees had to explain to the group why they were best suited for the different portfolios. The different portfolios were Tutoring, Volunteer Coordination, Career Guidance, Media, Image and Expression, Computer Literacy, Health and Life Skills and Alumni.

The different portfolio members also had to discuss their portfolios and present a plan of action for the group and will need to present this plan of action to all the Ikamvanites at Makhaza. They had to present their goals, when the goals should be reached and by whom. Emihle, a grade 8 learner and newly appointed portfolio member said that the weekend was a dream come true and that she enjoyed the interaction and discussions that took place and that she is really happy and proud for being chosen as part of the health and life skills portfolio.

Mandisi Gladile, a tutor says, “the weekend was really informative and made me realise the value IkamvaYouth adds not only to the learners but also the community and I feel really inspired for the things that we have planned for 2013.”