Learners and tutors from both branches joined hands at Ivory Park Lord Khanyile youth centre in favour of the health awareness day organized by the IY Gauteng staff. It was a fun and educational moment as learners eagerly awaited testing in long lines. Tutors, staff and some mentors lead the way by testing first, while also helping to encourage the learners to know their status and take charge of their own lives. The day involved, alongside the regular tutoring sessions, HIV/AIDS talks, counselling and actual testing. With the kind, brave help from SADTU’s health branch workers, assisted by the City of Johannesburg, a dedicated mobile testing team made their way to Ivory Park to come and facilitate this beneficial service to our community. All learners, tutors and staff who volunteered to be tested received the best advice, comfort and help from the health workers and left knowing that should they ever need more information, advice or counselling the were places and people who are more than willing to help. A great day was had by all filled with learning, growing and empowerment.
Ikageng Branch undertook an unforgettable adventure in one of our spectacular national parks, Pilanesberg National Park on the 28th June 2013. Ikamvanites gathered at 07h30 for 08h00 departure, everyone was beyond excited and slightly nervous to embark on this new adventure. It was an exceptionally warm winter day, despite road constructions and traffic, the excitement was booming in the busses. Enormous adventures awaited Ikamvanites as the journey led to Pilanesberg National Park.
From the moment we entered the Pilanesberg National Park’s gate, we surrendered ourselves to nature. We shared the space, at the same level, with all the animals and their powerful instincts. It was an exciting environment full of noises, smells, shadows and movements that warn of the presence of other inhabitants of the Park.
The unique habitat of the Pilanesberg National Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, birdlife and plants with the Big five on top of our must see list. According to the official park guide, there are 50 species of large mammals over and above the Big Five: Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhino. He also indicated that there are 354 different bird species found here. There are also 65 reptile species, 18 different kinds of amphibians and thousands of other small animals.
The most beautiful scenery within the entire park is viewed in the Mankwe Dam region. The dam is the largest body of water in the game reserve. This makes it the perfect place to spot a wide variety of animals; water-buck, wildebeest, zebra and impala are among the animals that make a stopover on the grassland bordering the dam.
Nature looked stunningly beautiful; Mountains of all sorts and sizes stood high forming beautiful horizons where they touched the sky. Valleys and landscapes punctuated the beauty leaving learners wanting to learn and see more.
For most learners national geographic was but a fairy tale, only turned real as the game reserve gates opened up to viewing wild animals including “the big five” and learning about wildlife and environment. It was a lifetime adventure and experience adding much more pride and value to the love of education.
Indeed it was fun, adventures and learning at its best. ‘’A Day worth reckoning’’
Friday the 5th of July was the last day of winter school, filled with fun, talent and expression. Innovative Ikamvanites presented their skills in drama and comedy, poetry, singing, dancing, Speech delivery, talk show and sharing real life testimonies, celebrating success in the most exquisite winter school as IkamvaYouth celebrates 10years of existence. Excellence beyond expected limits for a young branch was seen on this day to ever reckon, filled with emotions, tears and laughter as multi-talented learners expressed their hearts out.
The event took place at IkamvaYouth Ikageng Branch in Potchefstroom with the venue having been flamboyantly decorated by dedicated Ikamvanites. The talent show started with two well organized learners taking on the role of presenters, calling upon heart-moving performers to share their talents and abilities.
The singing, poetry and speeches did put emotions on the right spot where as a real life testimony by Thabiso Magaela made tears run down every face present including IkamvaYouth National Coordinator, (Zamo Shongwe) indeed it was a touching moment that needed something to cheer up and bring back the day.
Thabiso Magaela giving a real life story that created rivers of tears
The drama, comedy and talk show was just more than enough to break our ribs laughing.
The acts were well planned and appetizing almost sending everyone rolling on their backs and tummies in laughter.The dancers later stormed the stage with stunning moves adding spice to the already fabulous day.
The day ended well with Tutors receiving prizes and Certificates in honor to their good conduct in making Ikamva Youth’s efforts in community development visible. The day ended sooner than welcome as learners and volunteers couldn’t help sticking around taking pictures amongst each other and bidding farewell as it was the end of the most fabulous Winter School in the history of Ikageng, running under Ikamva Youth as the organization celebrates 10years of operation and success.
My future is like a creature and I’m the creator
God forbid bad friends coz I am the maker
For the walls of doubt I am the dillapidator
And all my obstructions the assassinator
Because the future is in my hands
Rain pours down my face
Getting tired of the race
Why does life lead a fast pace
When you’re not ready for the game
I smell my future is near
I sense my hands do not fear
Because my future is in my hands
Dreamt of being a doctor
Overcome by dope factors
Some will settle for being cleaners
But for me, the grass is greener
I have potential of being a leader
So you see… I attend this institution
With a Xhosa restitution
They give me free-of-charge tuition
Enthusiastic with precision
And glad to be of assistance
…………..the name is Ikamva
Nokukhanya M. Ngcobo
Matrics in the Western Cape have taken Winter School to a whole new level by being the first group to participate in a Matric camp. An innovative part of IY’s annual Winter School holiday program, the Matric camp was launched in 2013 by the Western Cape team and has seen 62 Matrics from Makhaza, Masiphumelele and Nyanga get together for a week getaway at the Rotary Glencairn camp site, for 5 days of intensive tutoring, academic workshops and exam practice.
The first day saw all the learners arriving at the site and immediately getting into energetic team-building exercises led by Masi Branch Coordinator, Johnlyn. The exercises proved a worthy ice-breaker as learners started interacting more freely across the branches, and working collectively to earn points for their various teams, comprised of Matrics and volunteers from each branch.
Johnlyn led the group in a workshop on vision and goal-setting, where she spoke frankly about being in Grade 12, the imminence of exams and what it takes to reach goals and achieve desired results. The session was an inspiring one for many learners, and Yonela Jongilanga from Nyanga branch had the following to say: ‘This is different from the other camps I have attended. I like it because the focus is about being serious.’ Tutoring started in earnest and learners spent the rest of the afternoon working on their schoolwork.
Makhaza Coordinator, Zukile took the learners through a valuable workshop on how to calculate their aggregates and types of passes they are currently receiving in their school reports, for the purposes of tertiary studies. The session also covered the National Benchmarking Tests and their importance for accessing studies at certain universities in South Africa. The workshop ushered in a very sombre mood amongst the group, as learners realised the amount of work required of them, in order to access university. Nyanga Branch Assistant, Siphelele, then led the group into an energetic slogan, where learners re-stated their confidence in their ability to achieve their dreams. The evening wound down on an emotional note, as the group openly shared individual experiences and challenges individuals have experienced.
As the Matric camp continues, the learners have all managed to do take part in a variety of activities aimed at preparing them for their final exams and tertiary studies. On day 3 of the camp, the Matrics’ mentors joined the group for an afternoon session of tertiary applications and each learner applied to 5 tertiary institutions for study in 2014. Afikile Nkonyana said the following: ‘’I am glad I had people to help me with my applications. My first option for study is Chemical Engineering and I applied to Stellenbosch, NMMU, CPUT, Wits and TSiBA and I hope I will get a place at one of them for next year.’’ Later that evening, the learners went on a trust hike up the mountain, which is one of the activities that has enriched the learners’ overall experience whilst on the camp. Luyanda Jaranda from Makhaza branch said the following: ‘As we have bonded, it has become quite easy to be tutored together and we have become so relaxed and free during the sessions.’
On the last full day of camp, the learners started the day with a workshop on writing amazing applications. For young people who are on the verge of exiting the school system and entering tertiary education and employment, this workshop came at the right time. Many of the learners are interested in accessing bursaries and other sponsorship for their studies and were very enthusiastic about a workshop that addresses writing to potential funders and employers.
One of our Masi volunteers, Janna, ran a workshop on study guidelines, schedules and time-keeping, which is essential since the Matric exams are a month away. The group also got to enjoy a refreshing walk to the beach, where they had a fun afternoon playing games, swimming, chatting, doing photo-shoots and having lunch at the beach. After walking back, the learners were exhausted, but had enough energy to get ready for a Maths workshop, facilitated by SAAO.
True to ikamvanite culture, the learners got into a rigorous tutoring session after the day’s many activities and spent a number of hours getting assistance in their school subjects from their tutors, who as usual were more than up to the task. Lindiwe Grootboom, a volunteer said the following: ‘I have found the camp very inspiring. I hear the stories from the learners and tutors and I am amazed by what they go through every day, and yet they are here, studying and working to make their lives better.’
Matric Camp has been a success so far, and Kuhle Riti from Makhaza said the following: ‘The camp is a success because we have got a chance to focus on our studies and help each other as Matrics from (the Western Cape). ‘’ This strongly echoes IY’s value of peer-to-peer sharing and IY is excited to witness the fruit of the Matric camp as the learners write their mock exams in September and final exams in November.
A very special thank you to Pick’n Pay Fish Hoek, for generously supplying camp catering, and ensuring that all our learners, volunteers and staff are well fed every day of the camp, as well as Rotary for the accomodation.
Matrics 2013 Yes we can!!!