Why We Exist

The Situation: National

IkamvaYouth works in 14 townships in 5 provinces. All our learners come from townships and informal settlements with almost entirely black populations. Infrastructure is poor, many residents live in shacks, and poverty levels, crime, HIV/AIDS prevalence and unemployment are all high. While reliable and up-to-date information about these areas is hard to come by, we can provide a small amount of indicative information.

Without additional support, most learners from these areas are unable to perform well enough in matric to qualify for tertiary education. The lack of career guidance and mentoring at schools leads to low awareness of post-school options and opportunities. Challenging home environments provide little or no academic support, and in many cases even complicate our learners’ efforts to obtain a good education for themselves. Many of our learners are orphans, or live with grandparents and are responsible for younger siblings, and even those who do have parents struggle with poverty. These factors have led to a significant drop in the numbers of grade 11 and 12 pupils.

National statistics demonstrate the extent of the educational challenges faced in South Africa more generally. In all international tests, South African learners consistently perform at the lowest possible levels. Matric pass rates are also low, and falling (from 73.2% in 2003 to 65% in 2007). A recent SAIRR (2009) study found that less than 10% of all South African youth access tertiary education, which is especially concerning given the high levels of inequality in our education system – statistics for the disadvantaged schools are even poorer than national data suggests. Black learners continuously perform more poorly than their white peers, particularly in mathematics and science. Without a drastic and dramatic improvement in black learners' academic attainment, the inequality that perpetuates our society will remain. Unfortunately, the statistics show that learners' performance in our schools is declining.

Schooling That Hampers Development” – by Sarah McGregor http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=37155

Some of the challenges we're addressing:

50% youth drop out of school in grades 10-12 (WCED, 2009)

2008 matric results, Western Cape:




Bachelor's pass

Black learners




White learners




10% South African youth access tertiary education (SAIRR, 2009)

62% matriculants are unemployed (HSRC, 2005)

Fewer than 40% of young people have basic info about HIV and less than 40% living with HIV know their status (UNAIDS, 2009)