We have learnt a lot this year.
We have learnt that collaboration is not merely partnering for mutual benefit – an “I get something, you get something” scenario. We have come to view collaboration as assisting one another to achieve something more together than we could alone.
Last year saw IkamvaYouth work with several other organisations who were delivering after-school tutoring in the Western Cape. From January to November a group of between 4 and 12 organsiations would meet monthly to share what they had learnt over the last month and together we discussed and created solutions to our collective challenges.
Collaborative Community Workshop
In addition, when possible IkamvaYouth were able to visit organisations, provide advice and guidance on their specific problems and learn from them about the realities of their context and what could be done to lessen the obstacles that are inherent to these contexts.
The organisations who participated in 2014 were: EwB, Grassroots Boxing, Sozo Foundation, Ikamva Labantwana Bethu, SALT, Amandla Edufootball, Nebula Skateboarding, Masakhaneni Community Development, Emagqabini, and SAEP.
The majority of these organisations improved the quality, sustainability and even size of their programmes over the year. I can’t possibly list all the achievements as they are numerous but some particular examples of success are worth mentioning.
Nebula Skateboarding is an organisation that combines skateboarding and tutoring. They offer primary aged learners the opportunity to get help with their homework, learn to skate, and access a specialised curriculum that draws connections between skateboarding and life! This curriculum explores the concepts of self-awareness, discipline and self-expression and looks to develop various aspects of the learner – both socially and academically – to prepare them to rise above the challenges and obstacles that they are likely to face.
Siya shares his dream to be a skateboarder and mechanical engineer!
Rayne Moses, the founder of the organisation has worked tirelessly this year to: secure a grant from The Learning Trust, secure a venue, establish a consistent programme, entice more learners into the programme and even explore an additional site. Check-out this amazing video that was made for Nebula, which shows just how far they have come!
Sozo Foundation went from strength to strength last year, through the incredible and inspiring commitment of the Sozo team. Consistent improvements in learner’s attendance, receipt of grant funding and rewards, and building a whole new building were just some of their achievements. The hard work that was put in last year by the staff, tutors and learners was acknowledged at the end of year prize-giving, which I had the honour of attending.
Prize-giving in the new Sozo Educentre!
SALT’s admirable determination to learn from others and to improve their programme proved to do wonders for their Saturday morning tutoring sessions. A sight to be seen! Eager learners, committed enthusiastic tutors and welcoming staff was truly inspiring! The quality of their programme was reflected in their amazing results. Out of 11 grade 12s, 7 were placed in tertiary education institutions in the fields of mechanical engineering, physiotherapy, psychology, maths & science, and computer technology! The other 4 are being supported by SALT and are rewriting supplementary exams in March.
While all the organisations involved would have likely implemented tutoring programmes and may well have achieved these feats without IkamvaYouth’s support, being part of a connected community who could be called upon in times of need or doubt, and a community that could provide connections and resources has proven to be a hugely valuable initiative.
“It has been such a privilege and honour to be part of the Collaborative Community, partnering with IkamvaYouth and other likeminded organisations!…We have learnt so much from the monthly meetings and one-to-one mentoring sessions particularly with the foundational structures of our programme.” Arlene Block, Sozo Foundation.
The collaborative community will continue in 2015, with the support of The Learning Trust and hopefully grow and strengthen to form a country-wide support network for after-school organisations that allows us to achieve more by working together than any of us could alone.
If you are an after-school education organisation and would like to discuss how IkamvaYouth and other organisations are (or could be) working together and sharing resources to increase the impact of all our programmes please get in contact.