IkamvaYouth Chesterville: Beautifying Diversity

IkamvaYouth Chesterville: Beautifying Diversity

IkamvaYouth learners from Chesterville

The idea of a rainbow if you’ve never seen it before, isn’t as beautiful as once you see it. The image of more than 7 colours in one space screams chaos more than beauty. That’s the same thing that happens when one tells people about IkamvaYouth; we are an organisation that brings together learners of different schools and grades and offer them academic and social assistance, above all else. We also provide a space for these learners to be able to assist each other as much as possible.

We live in a  society that is inevitably divided by class, which in most cases motivates how we interact and treat one another. Same applies with the learners we work with. As much as they may share same geographical spaces, but some of their defining backgrounds differ which subconsciously interpret their approach. It is only normal for one to expect to see a lot of diversity and ‘clicks’ formed based on the type of schools our learners come from. Teenagers tend to feel more comfortable when they are within their norms, but what one witnesses once they enter an IkamvaYouth session is like seeing the rainbow for the first time after a stormy day.

I once had a conversation with a colleague of mine from the branch, we were talking about how beautiful it is to see learners that we know societally would have never even exchanged hellos or came across each other’s paths and yet there they are inside our branch assisting one another and forming friendships. It is such a great image to see our learners breaking whatever walls and boundaries put by society and seeing each other as brothers and sisters before everything else.

As new learners are pouring in at our different branches, I can’t help but smile and feel the utmost joy knowing that they are about to meet some of the most incredible young people of their age, who are only defined by the brighter future and being each other’s keepers (Peer to peer support).

By: Zamile Hlongwana ( Chesterville BA)

Township Afterschool Programmes in the Western Cape and Gauteng achieve 93% matric pass rate!

Township Afterschool Programmes in the Western Cape and Gauteng achieve 93% matric pass rate!

2017 end year celebration at Emagqabini

National matric pass rate percentages belie the unacceptable reality that for the most part, those who perform well in matric attend good schools and receive the kinds of support that come with being middle class. The majority of South African learners’ destinies are in danger due to socio-economic realities that predetermine the quality of education and support they’re able to access. Thankfully, there are hundreds of initiatives across the country who are working to redress this inequality, by providing much-needed support across the country.

Behind every matric cohort are teachers, parents, siblings and friends who are dedicated to seeing learners achieve. Learners lucky enough to be part of after-school tutoring programmes have tutors and programme staff as part of these teams, who are committed to doing all it takes to ensure that learners succeed. IkamvaYouth and The Learning Trust have partnered to provide training and support to such programmes; fostering collaborative effort to achieve collective impact.

In 2017, ten partner organisations participating in the Community Collaboration Programme (CCP) supported 129 Grade 12 learners who collectively achieved an incredible 93% pass rate. 87 learners achieved either bachelor or diploma passes; evidence of the power of safe spaces where learners can access care and academic support after school.

Matric learners from the Boys and Girls Club South Africa with Nandi Ngubeni, CCP Partner Support Coordinator, on the right

One of the learners from Just Grace,  Lisakhanya Mpeta says “Matric 2017 was tough; it required a lot of sacrifices and a shift in focus. I spent most of my time at school, day and night, but in the end, I made it with a bachelor pass and a distinction. This year I will be studying Mechanical engineering at CPUT”.

“It has been inspiring working with the various organisations who are passionate about the work and are constantly striving towards delivering programmes of high standard and quality to their learners. This has been continuously witnessed in the results achieved by partners over the years,” says CCP Coordinator Busiswa Dayimani. “This year we will be particularly focusing on strengthening the monitoring and evaluation processes for all our partners, this is to make engagement with data easier so that our partners can manage and track their impact.”

Just Grace Programme Coordinator, Yongama Fayi, said that “it was challenging and fruitful at the same time. We managed to build good relationships with schools as recommended at CCP meetings. Being a CCP member helped me a lot in many areas including brainstorming resolution to common challenges.”

The Learning Trust Programme Officer, Kylie Grigg, says “I am really proud of what our CCP partners have accomplished in 2017. They faced a fair amount of challenges and yet continue to add tremendous value to the children and the communities they serve. I look forward to working alongside them for even greater achievements in 2018!”

 

We are paving our way to vision 2030

We are paving our way to vision 2030

Based on our 2016 matric pass rate of 85%, the benchmark for our matric cohort is now set to achieve above this record.

Tutors at Tutor Appreciation Day Celebration

Ikageng’s 2016 matric results recorded a whopping 85% pass rate.  To sustain the branch’s positive matric results momentum, since the beginning of the year, the branch has been striving to Paying It Forward by hosting a number of career guidance sessions, matric induction into tertiary applications and placement information, mentoring sessions, and stress relief workshops for our current matric cohort.

Exam Preparation

During this term, our tutors have been available for the learners throughout the week from Monday to Saturday assisting them to review all school content covered from the beginning of the year, also in answering previous exam question papers. We then rewarded our tutors with a Tutor Appreciation trip to Potch Dam for a celebration of their hard work.

Ntombi Mahlangu (BC) Facilitating the Grade 11 Workshop

This induction workshop introduced our current grade 11s to life-into-matric in 2018. The induction process included the pass requirements for each of these levels (Higher Certificate, Diploma and Bachelor); the prerequisites for tertiary enrolment, NBTs and many more.  Furthermore during the session, learners were taught to calculate for themselves their matric pass type using mock academic reports so they could be aware of their term 3 pass status.

Facilitated by our volunteer, Thenjiwe Gazi, the branch hosted a Subject Selection workshop for Grade 9s. The workshop included psychometric assessment of personality, aptitude and interests. Followed by an online written report of the results, recommendations and individual feedback sessions. The learners were also made aware of the impact that their subject choice may have on future career prospects.

Mentorship

Our Mentors from SALT Lunching with our 2017 Matrics

When the final exams for matrics officially began, our mentors from SALT organisation lunched with our matriculants offering psychosocial support. The session focused on the importance of a balanced mental and emotional state for building resilience during exam times, to ascertain that stress and anxiety do not derail the efforts of our current Grade 12’s. We are thankful that our learners gave positive feedback of the session.

Building Strengthening Relationship with the DoE

Bonolo Thebe (Mafikeng Branch Coordinator) Delivering the Candle Lighting Speech

The branch continually strengthens relationship with the Bokone Bophirima Department of Education and Sports Development. On the 25th November, we are greatly honoured by the attendance of the DoE official Mr Tyatya who shared words of wisdom particularly to the matriculants for their final examinations. Also on the 20th October, DoE cordially invited both the Ikageng and Mahikeng branches to the launch of the Tsetsepela Morutwana campaign and the Annual Provincial Prayer for 2017 in support of learners as they write their final examinations. IkamvaYouth delivered  the Candle Lighting speech. On the next day, we were also invited to the celebration of 2017 (Provincial) National Teaching Awards of winners proceeding to the National awards in 2018.

We closed the year by hosting the 2017 Career Expo where all high school learners in Potchefstroom from different grade levels (9, 10, 11 & 12s) were invited, including parents, IY alumni and volunteers. The aim of our Career Expo is to reach all age demographics targeting high school learners in making informed decisions in selection of career paths at an early stage, with early applications at tertiary and bursary institutions, and creating awareness of more career options available at their disposal. The Expo featured a variety of exhibitors and presentation as follows; Cocacola Beverages South Africa; FAMSA; South African Police Services; Rosebank College; Vuselela College; ABSA; Virgin Active; Music Arts & Sports; JHB Culinary & Pastry School; Girls Ignite Africa; Centurion Academy; Herald Newspaper and many more…

We are committed to building partnerships with multifaceted stakeholders in improving our learner’s academic achievements, and making the tertiary/post-matric placements possible. We hope all participants will consider joining us again in celebrating our Matric Results Day hosted at our branch on the 20th January 2018.

Invest your BEE spend to change lives

Millions of Rand are committed to Skills Development (SD) under the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) policy every year by the South African corporate sector. This scale of investment holds the potential to substantially impact socio-economic transformation in the country but for many corporations, it has defaulted to an exercise of B-BBEE compliance.

With SD now taking the spotlight in the national economic empowerment agenda thanks to the Department of Trade and Industry’s amendments to the B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice, companies should be thinking more strategically about their approaches to SD and how to invest the required 3-6% of payroll in line with core segments of their businesses. It makes sense to carefully identify SD opportunities and work to build solid and reliable relationships with partners.

IkamvaYouth has set up a matric bursary programme, which represents an opportunity for corporations to earn points under the B-BBEE codes and achieve lasting impact. If you would like to know more about this programme, please contact Alex Smith at alex@ikamvayouth.org.  IkamvaYouth is a Level 1 B-BBEE supplier as more than 75% of its beneficiaries are black South Africans.

Investing your SD spend in IkamvaYouth represents an opportunity to achieve lasting impact and unlock transformative potential.

The problem that exists in South Africa

It is well known that South Africa’s education system is still in crisis. 80% of South African schools are deemed to be ‘dysfunctional’, and of the 1.3 million learners who begin school each year in South Africa, less than half will ever reach matriculation. In a study of grade 6 mathematics teachers, researchers found that 79% of teachers’ content knowledge was below grade level taught.

In South Africa, from a class of 20, only 8 will complete Grade 12 (High School Graduation), 3 will achieve a pass enabling them to access university and only 2 will reach university. Of these 2 learners, only 1 is likely to be from a township yet the majority of South Africa’s children live in townships.

What is IkamvaYouth and what impact has it achieved?

Each of IkamvaYouth’s programmes addresses the problems in simple yet effective and measurable ways:

  • Supplementary tutoring and homework sessions enable learners to improve their grades;
  • Career guidance broadens learners’ awareness of post-school opportunities;
  • Mentoring ensures that learners access these opportunities;
  • Computer literacy and access equips learners with essential skills and information;
  • The Media, Image and Expression programme affords opportunities for learners to express themselves creatively and assertively and build their self-esteem;
  • Health and Leadership programmes ensure HIV/AIDS, nutrition, and broader health awareness and voluntary testing provides learners with the information and VCT services they need to manage their health.

Learners enrolled in the programme have access to over 300 hours of tutoring & workshops per year as well as a two-week winter school programme.

By participating in these programmes in afternoons after school, on Saturday mornings and during the school holidays, ikamvanites are empowered to take their futures into their own hands.

Since our inception, we have replicated our results in 17 township branches around the country. In 2017, our branches support 2,400 learners in Grades 8-12.

From a programme’s perspective our success is measured by the success of our learners and in the last six years:

  • 1,120 learners have completed Grade 12;
  • 84.3% have passed matric;
  • 53% of learners have accessed tertiary (university or college);
  • 41% obtained a Bachelor pass enabling access to university;
  • 89% accessed a post school opportunity (tertiary, job, learnership or have upgraded their matric) putting them on the path to earning a dignified living

Please contact Alex Smith to find out more about supporting IkamvaYouth: alex@ikamvayouth.org.

IkamvaYouth Mamelodi Library Launch

IkamvaYouth Mamelodi Library Launch

By: Tokelo Hlagala

IkamvaYouth Mamelodi launched  its library on Thursday in Mamelodi West D6, to promote literacy and a culture of reading to learners in the community. The Mamelodi Branch Coordinator, Neo Rakoma said: “We decided to open the library because we wanted to promote literacy and also promote the culture of reading. Our library is also stocked with books for different schools subjects so that our learners can have different references to help them in their academic development”.

The establishment of the library was facilitated by Progress SA Foundation who help disadvantaged schools with establishing their libraries including science laboratories, after school programs, arts and crafts, sports & sports field and renovation of schools. They donated shelves, facilitated  books donations to IkamvaYouth and books were sourced are from Protea Bookshop Hatfield, family & friends. IkamvaYouth also received an incredible donation of 16b books from Credo Book Shop. Coca Cola Beverages South Africa assisted with ensuring that the library was secured by providing a security gate and Micasa Tours donated paint for revamping the branch premises.

The keynote speaker of the day was author Zama Gamede. Zama writes Life Skills books that target high school learners. One of her books, “Minding the Gap Hitchhikers Guide to the Working World”, takes graduates through the journey of the human resources process. The books gives job seekers ideas of what to expect when they enter the world of work.

According to Neo Rakoma, IkamvaYouth feel proud about having the library because they believe that it’s an investment to the future of children.