The 2015 First Black Girl Code at Wits sponsored by Thought Works
On the 7th of March the Ivory Park Branch was invited to the first Black Girls Code sponsored by one of our partners Thought Works at Wits.
The workshop started with the motivation from the guest of honor by the name of Khulekani, was born and breed in Ivory Park. She is a web designer at Absa and she studied Computer Sciences at the University of Cape Town.
After breakfast the girls were introduced to the world of computer applications. They were paired for the first challenge, figure skating with instructors called Elsa and Anna. The application was divided into stages, from the 1st stage to the 20th stage and at the completion of the last stage the participant was awarded a virtual certification of completion.
13:00 lunch was served; the girls indulged in and enjoyed the served meals. Before they could resume, the girls had to do a mini ice breaker just to get them ready for the next activity. The second activity was very insightful; the people from Thought works were showing the girls how to create their own applications and robots on their own devices using the support of Android.
“The world of computers is a world full of wonders” Buhle Byl IkamvaYouth Ivory Park Grade 11.
At the end of the event, Thought Works glamoured up our girls with the t-shirts and they looked beautiful, they couldn’t stop taking photos.
IkamvaYouth Ivory Park would like to thank Thought Works for the invitation; it was really nice to be part of those who attended.
Ivory Park grade 10 learners on the 7th of March 2014 benefited from a Study Skills Workshop facilitated by Dr. Welcome Kubeka of the University of Johannesburg. Dr. Kubeka has been running these workshops since 2012, focusing mainly on grade 10 learners with the notion of building motivating learners as they cruise through high school.
‘’Our engagement with the Ikamva Youth (Ivory Park and Ebony Park) branches is on how to assist learners to study in a creative way. Hence we believe that empowering them with the academic study skills at an early stage (Grade 10) will contribute positively in their academic journey. The sessions which we offer to them cover critical study skills such as, Time management, taking notes, taking examinations (focusing on analyzing an assessment) and staying being motivated during their studies’’, says Dr. Kubeka.
His commitment and involvement with IkamvaYouth learners has seen participating learners being exceptionally focused on their school work resulting in improved marks and discipline.
“The teachings by Dr. Kubeka are motivational and skill building. I hope he continues to have these workshops with us as we learn things we never imagined in studying”, Mesile Kuthumela , a grade 10 learner who attended the workshop.
We give much thanks to Dr. Welcome Kubeka for his selfless commitment to IkamvaYouth programmes and his input in developing our learners, equipping them with life skills for a better future.
“It takes a village to raise a child… IkamvaYouth has been a second parent to my child, guiding and mentoring him to become disciplined and improve his marks. ”, said Mrs Khumalo, a parent for Mbuso Khumalo, a grade 11 learner who won a school bag for Best attendance Male learner award on the Ivory Park Open day prize giving event.
Parents poured in on the 7th of March 2015 to find out the truth behind the IkamvaYouth programmes their children are committed to at the Ivory Park branch. The meeting which was dominated by presentations, questions, testimonies and discussions between parents and IkamvaYouth staff provided a vision and reason for parents to actively participate through support to their children to be disciplined and focus as well as improving attendance to keep their spot at IkamvaYouth as there is much benefit through it. 85 parents attended the meeting marking the highest parents meeting attendance since 2014 when the branch had many challenges. Most of the attendants were parents of the newly enrolled learners as they were eager to learn more about IkamvaYouth.
There was high participation and energy within the parents making the meeting effective with some strategic planning to improve branch operations. The parents agreed to support IkamvaYouth by keeping in touch with IkamvaYouth staff reporting and inquiring about every challenges and successes they notice with our learners. Agreement was reached as well that the parents would report anything with regards to learner attendance which will lessen learner administration workload on IkamvaYouth staff.
Issues of indemnity we also discussed and parents were informed about the importance of signing indemnity forms ahead of special events and travel for leaners initiated by IkamvaYouth. Great support was promised with parents agreeing to monitor and enforce the learners to attend winter school fully and also encouraging grade 12 learners to attend the best of the time they get outside the SSIP programme. Parents encouraged IkamvaYouth staff to compile a list of all learners who attend IkamvaYouth programmes and have the list kept at schools or pasted on school staffrooms for educators to release the learners for IkamvaYouth programmes where school afternoon classes bind learners’ attendance.
Dr Welcome Kubaka from University of Johannesburg blessed the meeting with some words of motivation to parents testifying that he grew up in Tembisa Township from a very poor background and still used every opportunity he got to rise up to prominence. The next parents meeting was scheduled for the sixth of June 2015 with follow up matters being discussed regarding set goals and targets. Great thanks to parents for their support over IkamvaYouth programmes and response to IkamvaYouth meetings which propels us to greater achievements through their input to successfully operate.
Simplice Kamen-Payong, one of our longest serving volunteer tutors shared a touching testimony to parents of how he changed his profession to teaching. Kamen Completed his Masters in Business and Financial Management with UJ and is curently doing a Diploma in Teaching. According to Kameni, he got touched by the poor educational conditions in Ivory Park Township and with the love he received from Ikamvanites, he felt he could do better teaching kids to enlighten their futures.
It’s not often that our volunteer tutors get the opportunity to attend skills workshops that have been arranged exclusively for them. The Shell Volunteer Day, on the 4th of March 2015, was therefore a much appreciated occasion, where employees from the company took time out from their day, to spend with our Ikamvanites, sharing vital skills for entering the job market. This event was organized and made possible by the Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa (CAF SA). During the workshop, facilitated by Nandi Ngubeni from CAF SA, Ikamvanites gained important knowledge about how to write CVs and cover letters, how to conduct oneself in an interview, and basic professionalism tips such as telephone etiquette.
Here’s what some of them had to say about the experience:
“Thank you very much for a great educational fun filled morning guys. I really enjoyed being around you, learning about you and what you do and hearing different views of the world at work really enjoyed the company and the advice of my team Prudence ,Snazo, and Shakira had lots of fun. I learnt a lot as well and got some tips too. I received good feedback and constructive criticism which will help me when I write my cover letter and CV. I loved the mock interview the most as it kept me on my toes and I got to expand the knowledge I already know. Thank you for taking time out of your busy days to come I received a great deal of motivation.”
“Firstly, I would like to appreciate Shell for the workshop we benefited a lot,we have learnt the tips of how to apply using emails, Sunday Times, employment agencies and how to write a cv and cover letter. And what is expected of us when we go to an interview. They also did mock-interviews with us practically, and learnt that when I am at the interview, I must get straight to the point, and to be myself.”
“I would like to send a special Thank You to the CAF and SHELL people for uniting and spending some quality time with us. I appreciated each and every moment, we had fun with those 30 second cards, i learned a lot especially on how to to a Cover Letter, (An Enormous THANK YOU to the kind and beautiful lady who was helping me with it). Thanks to the IKAMVA YOUTH for having me, Thanks to the lady who organised and Thanks to everyone who made yesterday special.”
“To the CAF and SHELL thank you very much 4 such amazing thing u did for me, I never thought of the importance of a covering letter before. Today I have a better understanding of the important of covering letter and a CV. Guys what you did for me is good, keep it up and pass it to other because a lot of people lose their dream jobs because of the covering letter. To you all of the people from CAF and SHELL I THANK YOU N I SALUTE YOU”
It wasn’t just important skills that were shared on this day, Shell also donated some much needed stationery and learning materials to the Chesterville branch! I would like to take this opportunity to thank CAF SA and Shell for the generous support. It really is through partnerships with dedicated, like-minded organisations and companies that we can make Vision 2030 a reality.
IkamvaYouth joined various stakeholders on the 26th of February 2015 in a Community Engagement meeting organised by the University of Johannesburg’s Community Engagement Department.
The stakeholders meeting, attended in representation to IkamvaYouth by Clemence Msindo (Ivory Park Branch Coordinator) tackled various issues that affect education and developments as well as strategic objectives to counter attack these barriers. In attendance to meeting were representatives of civil organisations that support education around the Gauteng region, School principals and UJ student reps and officials who were all afforded a chance to present about their works.
IkamvaYouth was given a chance to present its works, successes and challenges. The presentation which included showcasing of the Funeka video left all delegates eager to know more about, and join hands with IkamvaYouth. Invitations were extended by at least three principals for IkamvaYouth to open branches close to their schools and were however encouraged to use the IkamvaYouth model on their own and with help from volunteers they manage to source out.
The UJ Community Engagement Manager Mrs Ernestine Meyer-Adams expressed concern over our works and shortage of volunteers and promised to do all she can to drive a concrete partnership with IkamvaYouth where we see UJ recruiting and transporting volunteers from all three UJ campuses around Johannesburg to nearby IkamvaYouth branches on every Saturday sessions. Efforts had been made for UJ to provide volunteer tutors at their expense in 2014 but later failed to mature due to challenges in lack of follow-ups due to staff turnout.
The Ivory park branch has submitted a partnership proposal as per request by UJ’s Community Engagement Department officials, Mrs Ernestine Meyer Adams and Community Engagement Liaison Specialist Mrs Rachel Monki Sebigi. We give much thanks to Dr Welcome Kubeka of the University of Johannesburg for his long time volunteering delivering study skills sessions with the Ivory Park and Ebony Park branches and for initiating IkamvaYouth’s involvement in UJ programmes.