We have laid a solid foundation towards the greatness to come at end of 2018
The Ikageng branch hosted its two annual flagship events, the 2018 Winter School (WS) took place from 25th to 29th of June, followed by the Matric Week camp on from the 9th to 14th July. The tutoring for these events mainly focused on challenging subjects such as mathematics, physical sciences, accounting, etc. This was to present learners with vital opportunities to get a better understanding of what they did not understand at school during the first half of the year. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing volunteer tutors who demonstrated passion and dedication in helping our committed learners, diligently, throughout the process.
Below are some of the fantastic events hosted at the branch:
- Pre-Winter School Tutor Training – making sure all our tutors were equipped with important tutoring skills before the commencement of these two big events.
- The Current Grade 11’s Matric Induction – workshop for grade 11 learners on the prerequisites for tertiary enrolment and application procedures.
- Matric Applications Day – our grade 12 learners were hosted by the team of their mentors from North-West University to proceed with their post-matric applications, bursary and learnership research.
- Talent Show – a platform for the Ikamvanites to showcase their respective talents.
- Learner of the month – The award winner is selected based on good attendance and courteousness.
- Tutor Appreciation Barbecue
- Joy Olivier our Executive Director (ED) visited our branch to bid farewell and getting to know in person our new ED Lungile Zakwe.
Below is what some learners and tutors had to say about their Winter School and Matric Week experience
“I enjoyed mostly being a tutor because last year I was a learner”
“I loved the tutoring sessions because they helped me a lot and want to do more in my studies”
“We had excellent tutors and mentors who made the matric week journey a wonderful one!!”
Thank you CCBSA for your continuous support in assisting us to provide quality programmes for our learners so that they may be able to have a bright future.
From 2-6 July 2018, the IkamvaYouth Diepsloot branch hosted its first winter school programme. The week was successfully led by branch coordinator Sakhile Dubazana along with a group of tutors and other branch staff members who all showed great enthusiasm throughout the entire week-long programme.
The winter school programme kicked off with tutor training on Saturday 30th June. This was an opportunity for the tutors to engage with each other through a series of activities that focused on how they can make this week the most effective for the learners.
From Monday 2nd of July, we welcomed learners from different High schools around Diepsloot, who despite the winter cold were very eager and excited to be part of the programme to learn and prosper.
Each day, the learners started their day with a social activity while having tea and that was followed by quick icebreakers that are very fundamental into building social connections. The icebreakers were also an opportunity for the learners to bonds with the tutors.
During the course of the winter school programme, the tutors were hands-on in all the subjects that they were assisting with. All the learners from grades 10-12 were engaged in the work that they were doing and their curiosity was really evidence of their willingness to learn and engage with the content. The mathematics learners also took part in a math Olympiad.
The winter school programme also included a career expo day. We invited different experts in different fields to come and address the learners in a session that was very informative and valuable to all learners, particularly the matriculants preparing for their post-matric life next year.
On the last day, we had a thought-provoking debate session which was facilitated by the English tutors. Learners were really engaged in the various discussions that emerged as they debated about issues that affect the youth on a daily basis. Finally, we closed off the week with a talent show and the learners showcased the potential that they have outside the classroom environment.
The following week was focused on the matriculants, helping them complete their online University applications. As part of the process, the learners participated in the regional Gauteng Matric Applications day at the University of Johannesburg. This day involved a career guidance and mentoring session, led by one of the lectures on how can students effectively prepare themselves for University and what to expect when they have finally made it there. Thereafter, the learners were given access to a computer lab and were assisted with tertiary applications. The day ended with a campus tour.
Massive gratitude to the Mamelodi team; Neo, Tokelo, and Obakeng (tutor); Lerato from Ivory Park and Masego (Ebony Park tutor), whom after their own week-long winter school came to support our branch. Siyabulela! We experienced real teamwork, collaboration, and peer-to-peer support.
- Xolani Nkosi Diepsloot branch intern
“Winter school for me was a delightful and an insightful experience. I am saying that because I was very impressed with the commitment and dedication to hard work that the students portrayed throughout the entire week. It was evidence of their eagerness to achieve more and be better people in their communities. For my own self-enrichment I was thankful enough that I also learnt a lot from the students as well. More in particular, the debate session we hosted where the students were speakers made me realise a lot about certain topics that concern us as the youth of today. Overall, winter school was a great success and each and every day you could see growth within the environment both in numbers and the mindset of the students.”
- 2. Karabelo Mosupeng (grade 10 Diepsloot Combined)
“Winter school was great for me because i spent my holidays studying and having fun with people who wanted to learn and do better with their lives. We had a lot of tutors coming in and helping us with our term1 and term2 work, we also touched on term 3 things. We also did things like group work outside, where I had to work with people I had not talked to before, we played 30 seconds against the tutors, I was also one of the speakers during a debate. We were told about different careers that we didn’t know like biochemistry and the importance of having entrepreneurial skills. What I loved the most was the talent show, it was my first time singing in front of people. I had a lot of fun during the winter school and learnt a lot. I cannot wait for our second winter school.”
By: Micheal Thema
When the school holidays approach, most high school learners are excited to go home to the homelands to visit grandparents and relatives. School holidays help students take some much needed time off to relax and relieve the stress of schooling. This is not the case with IkamvaYouth learners. IkamvaYouth learners are required to attend an annual winter school during the school winter holidays, to brush up on basics they may have missed during normal school days and offer additional support for the subjects they are struggling.
The IkamvaYouth winter school covers concepts that might have been unclear to learners, tutors assist with simplifying complex concepts and topics, and consolidate basics. Furthermore, the programme is not all academically focused, this year we had more fun than ever. The Agora Talent show, Love Life games and many more activities were implemented in this year’s winter school.
Our 2018 winter school theme, created by the learner representative was ‘Be Bold’. The ‘Be Bold’ campaign revolves around people being able to speak for themselves; showing a willingness to take risks; being confident and courageous; it’s believing in your ability and knowing who you are and what you stand for. Furthermore, learners were encouraged to think out of their comfort space and being able to take steps academically to achieve better marks.
The branch welcomed students from the University of Johannesburg, University of the Witwatersrand, Pearson institute, University of Pretoria and UNISA who came in their droves to tutor. The first week of winter school mainly focused on mathematics, two more core subject from each stream and English basics. The branch conducted more one-on-one sessions to better assist learners and also helped them create goals for the particular subject. Grade 9 & 10s had an online career assessment to determine the career prospects of each learner. The career assessment was to look into each learners qualities and recommend career options to suit the learner’s gifts and talents. After the assessment, the learners where give a report on the possible career options they can pursue.
“I always knew I wanted to become an engineer, and now I know what kind of engineering I will do“, said Koketso Manyama after receiving her assessment report.
The branch also had a visit from Love Life who facilitated dialogues on teenage pregnancy and safe sex practices. The organization also had a number of outdoor activities which promote teamwork and leadership amongst the IkamvaYouth learners. This act helped learners socialize, connect and have fun together. The branch finished the week with the Agora Talent Show organized by the learner representatives of the branch. The first week of winter school concluded with an entertaining treasure hunt. The young talent of Ebony Park showcased their magic to the crowds and tutors treated the audience with a play by the “Mraka Acting Gang” and a performance by Musa the poet.
The second week of winter school was a buildup from the first week, the branch dedicated the second week to tests and assessments of the content covered in week one. The branch covered tests from all subjects with the aim of generating a report to learners. The branch organized a debate and public speaking contest where learners were given topics to challenge their thinking and help them engage with high-level thinking. The branch had a reading club which was aimed at improving learners reading abilities as literacy and reading was a major concern during the first week of winter school. The branch focused on the novel, 1984 by George Orwell and the Sherlock Holmes stories, this was an initiative from tutors to aid reading skills and literacy among the learners. The key objective was to promote reading for meaning which is a major academic problem identified at the branch. There was a resolution to carry on with the reading club and continue advancing reading skills throughout the year.
The week was brought to a close with outdoor games, such as the egg on a spoon race, 30 Seconds, Monopoly and many more.
With the support of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa; who have been supporting the branch for many years, the Ebony Park branch will continue to address some of the identified challenges our education system is currently facing through volunteerism, hard work, and perseverance to ensure that our future leaders achieved their goals.
by: Amanda Luyenge
IkamvaYouth Co-founder, Joy Olivier has officially stepped down as Executive Director and after a long and extensive search, it is our great pleasure to introduce IkamvaYouth’s new Executive Director, Lungile Zakwe!
Lungile joins us from the Treatment Action Campaign, where she was the Chief Operations Officer and National Manager overseeing every aspect of the organisation. Before that, she worked with Accenture and Trialogue, amongst others. We are all extremely excited to have Lungile’s energy, enthusiasm, capacity and passion for education to the service of IkamvaYouth.
More about Lungi:
Q: Tell us us a bit about your background, where did you grow up?
A: For those who believe in star-signs, I’m a libra. I’m the youngest of three girls and I was a convincing tomboy. I was raised in Soweto, Diepkloof. I was a kid of the 90’s who enjoyed listening to Brenda Fassie, Roxette and Cyndi Lauper… Lol!
Q: How would you describe yourself as a kid? Is there anything you wish you had changed?
A: I was a very busy kid with a full schedule! I participated in everything at school and loved it. I wouldn’t have a changed a thing!! Not because it was perfect but because it was all a part of my life experience and it has made me who I am today. Grateful for the journey.
Q: Coming from a public health background, what do you think is the link between health and education?
A: There is an important relationship between education and health; education matters to health and vice versa. Good education gives you access to the knowledge economy; jobs, benefits including health insurance coverage, allows people to afford a healthier lifestyle etc. I’ve simplified it but the two speak to each other in profound ways.
Q: What challenges do you think face the youth of South Africa in townships?
A: Unemployment immediately springs to mind. Young people in the townships are sitting idle; so much talent is wasted because the system continues to fail them. Unemployment leads to serious loss of dignity and purpose which ultimately leads to challenging behaviour. With that said, it is important to remember that there are a great number of capable, eager, talented and ambitious youth that come from the townships; that will jump at various opportunities that come their way. I am one of them.
Q: What solutions has IkamvaYouth put in place to overcome these challenges in making sure the youth thrives?
A: The IY model is driven by the youth, for the youth and that in itself is powerful. The solutions organically come from the young people that participate in our after-school programme. More than 50% of IkamvaYouth alumni become volunteer tutors and mentors while they’re in tertiary, to pay-forward the help they received by supporting the next generation of learners to achieve similar success. Through peer-to-peer learning, role modeling what’s possible and strong relationships that provide psychosocial support, the Ikamvanites have achieved annual matric results of between 80 and 100% since 2005; with 50% of youth accessing tertiary education, and over 80% accessing post-school placements.As our motto goes, ikamva lisezandleni zethu (the future is in our hands)!
Q: You recently went on branch tours with the former Director, Joy, how was the experience?
A: It was a life-changing experience for me. I am so inspired by the team; learners and tutors at all 17 of our thriving branches across the country! Everyone was actively engaged and fully participated in the shaping of their futures. I witnessed and listened to the stories the learners openly shared about the real impact the programme has had on their lives. The branches are a safe space for the learners to learn, grow and support one another. The tutors who volunteer their time at our after school programme are real life superheroes! Also, Joy and I had a great time (working and playing) together! It was the best way to finalise our fruitful handover process.
Q: After meeting the learners and volunteers, what are your hopes for them?
A: I hope they continue to live in service and carry the spirit of paying it forward wherever they go in life. May they always strive to live their best lives. I wish everyone of them a fulfilling life.
Q: If you were given 20 seconds to share IY’s story, what would you say?
A: We provide a safe space for peer-to-peer learning to take place and equip young people to become change agents in their communities.
INTERESTING FUN FACTS ABOUT LUNGI:
- Her worst fear is: Is being paralysed by fear itself. I’m learning how to walk through the emotion of fear
- She has never: Lived in a more beautiful, dynamic, warm, inspiring, diverse, frustrating and funny but hopeful country like South Africa. We are generally a wonderful people notwithstanding Apartheid and state capture *sigh*
- She dreams of one day: Living in a world that prioritises true freedom for ALL. This includes but not limited to economic, political and spiritual freedoms for all of (wo)mankind.
- If she would be given an opportunity to spend a day with someone who has passed on, she would spend the day with: Those that have come before me; my Ancestors. As Maya Angelou aptly puts it, I stand as ten thousand. The beauty of this is that I don’t have to wait for one day, we all have access to this power if we so choose to access it. It’s that inner-voice. It’s that knowing. I’d spend the day with more than just one person, I’d have a party with these Giants!
- In her spare time, she enjoys: reading, dancing, drinking red wine and practising deep thinking (others may call it day-dreaming)
To contact Lungi, you can get her details here
Next level leadership coming up at IkamvaYouth
There are some big job ads being advertised at IkamvaYouth at the moment; the Executive Director role was advertised a few weeks ago, and we have just put out an internal and external call for applications for Chief Operating Officer. We thought this might raise some questions, and so are sharing some of the background behind these big changes in case people are interested.
In January, Joy (our co-founder and director since 2003!) resigned, with 6 months’ notice. After 15 years with the organisation, she believes it’s more than time for new leadership and fresh perspectives to take the organisation to the next level. IkamvaYouth has become a big organisation over the last four years especially; with over 60 full time staff members, 17 branches, hundreds of partners and thousands of learners and tutors. The budget has also grown significantly, and the organisation is fortunate to be supported by a diverse group of committed supporters, both locally and internationally, and across sectors, including foundations, corporates and government. IkamvaYouth has also recently entered into a ten-year partnership agreement with the Department of Basic Education, and is looking forward to this collaboration, which will achieve far-reaching impact.
Yasmin (our COO, and previously finance manager, who has been with IY for four years) had to relocate to her home country, Ghana, at the end of last year, as her husband had new exciting work that side, and her family wanted to spend more time with their twin babies. As IkamvaYouth works virtually on a daily basis (our
head office is split between Pretoria and Cape Town, and our branches are in five different provinces), we have been able to continue with Yas working remotely for this first quarter. However, while it has worked very well, it is obviously not ideal to have the COO out of the country most of the time, and so while we are heavy hearted to say goodbye to Yas, we are also thrilled that she’ll be continuing the important work of promoting access to quality education and changing lives through the very impressive work being done at Ashesi University in Ghana.
The ED recruitment process is well underway, with interviews happening in the coming weeks, and we plan to have made an offer in time for our new director to participate in the final interviews for the new COO. Yas will be available for a comprehensive hand-over to her successor, also as Joy is with IY until mid July, there will be plenty of time for onboarding, orientation and handover to the new leadership. We are extremely fortunate to have a very committed board of directors, comprising experienced and smart individuals (please see link to IY Board Members here), who are driving the very rigorous and comprehensive recruitment process for the ED.
IkamvaYouth embarked on organisation-wide conversations about transformation last year, and we are committed to ensuring that all levels of the organisation are both diverse and representative of the communities we serve. We are very excited about welcoming our new colleagues, and to learning from them as they bring outside experience and perspectives into a strong organisation!