tutor training/ team building
On the 16th of September 2017 IkamvaYouth Mamelodi branch held a team building session/ tutor training. The team building was facilitated by Zoe Mann, it started at 09:30 to 14:00, the session consisted of the volunteer tutors and the branch staff, in total there were 42 participants.
The purpose of the team building/ tutor training was for the volunteers to familiarise themselves with one another, with the leadership/ staff of the branch, to discuss some of the challenges pertaining to the various programs offered, and more importantly to get to thoroughly comprehend what Ikamva is, what it stands for, its values and the organizational culture.
The day began with a brief introduction of each individual in attendance through an icebreaker, then each member articulated briefly their expectations for the day.
The first activity of the day, participants were given a task of walking around and briefly engaging with the next person on how their journey to Ikamva began, be it starting from their home on that day to Ikamva, be it starting from the day they became alumni, be it the day they became part of the branch staff and many more.
The participants were put into groups of 5 people, and instructed to articulate some of the greatest challenges they face pertaining tutoring in whatever aspect, and some of the things that frustrate them within the organisation on a daily basis, and in their respective groups they were given an opportunity to present their observations, what they had written down, and to motivate where clarity was imperative, so a dialogue was in place for the activity.
Some of the burning issues were:
- Learners expecting tutors to do their work instead of helping them understand
- How to deal with ill discipline
- Punctuality challenges, both for learners and tutors
- The loitering of tutors during tutoring
- Tutors not being truthful about their reimbursement money
- Lack of communication between tutors and the branch staff
Upon completion of the first task the follow up task was to articulate solutions to the given challenges, so the groups convened yet again to discuss how the above mentioned challenges and more can be solved, and what can be some of the innovative ways of moving the organisation forward.
Over and above, the purpose of the team building session and expectations were met, out of the challenges, innovative ways and strategies of solving the challenges were put in place, and the relevant people( portfolio heads) together with the branch staff given a mandate of ensuring that the strategies be implemented going forward. We thoroughly comprehend that transformation takes time, thus it was agreed that five strategies out of the articulated be chosen for implementation this year, given the fact that we have new staff members, the fact that the solutions/ strategies are many and implementing them all at once will be chaotic, and lastly given the fact that the year is almost over.
A morning of fun, hard work and victory
On Saturday, 30 September, the Nyanga tutors and staff embarked on a journey to hike up Lion’s Head in Cape Town. The Lion’s Head mountain peak is best known for its rocky and somewhat steep hiking trail. It also overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and provides great views of Cape Town. The group was armed with water, Powerade and fruit for the journey ahead. At 7am, the hike began just as the morning sun was starting to warm up. There were both feelings of excitement and anxiety amongst the group. The trail started off on a very steep note and it soon became clear that things were getting serious.
It did not take long to separate the ‘A’ team from the ‘B’ team. The ‘A’ team maintained a steady lead from the beginning until the end. On the other hand, the ‘B’ team made sure to take regular breaks and to soak in the beautiful Cape Town scenery. It was also quite a busy morning on the trail, with many groups going up and coming down. This was a source of inspiration for the team; especially when the journey seemed to be getting tougher.
One of the biggest challenges of the day was overcoming one’s own fears. It was the will to continue pushing yourself even when your legs were telling you to give up. If you were not able to push yourself, team members stepped in to motivate you to continue going forward, no matter how hard it seemed.
We are proud to announce that every Ikamvanite made it to the summit. The hike itself was mentally and physically challenging, more so for those of us who do not exercise on a regular basis. It was through teamwork, mutual support and guidance that each of us were able to make it all the way to the top. The moment of victory was indeed sweet.
After basking in our individual and group victory, it was time to head down again. For most of the team, going down the peak was even more challenging than going up. However, with continued support from each other, we all made it safely down. No member was left behind or left to fend for themselves at any point.
As a teambuilding activity, the hike achieved and surpassed all the expected outcomes. The Ikamvanites started and finished as a team. One of the tutors used a quote by Nelson Mandela to describe their journey: “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. This is indeed true for all of us who accepted the challenge. The Nyanga branch challenges other branch tutors to take this journey!!
On Saturday, 2 September 2017, 45 Ikamvanites from the Ivory Park and Ebony Park branches had the pleasure of being taken through Andy Warhol’s “Unscreened” exhibition, held at the Wits Arts Museum. We are grateful for this opportunity which was made possible by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML), who sponsored the spectacular exhibition in collaboration with Wits.
While admiring the array of original pieces of artwork, the learners were privileged to have been given a private tour of the exhibition. They had a chance to interrogate the meticulous screenprint style of each painting. The paintings, which featured recognisable icons such as, Marilyn Monroe, Muhammed Ali, Mickey Mouse, Superman, and an animated self-portrait of the artist (Andy Warhol), seemed different from the styles of artwork in the gallery. The vibrant pop of colour and intentional use of angles was a style regarded to have transgressed the normal boundaries of what art was in the 1960s, yet was made popular by Warhol.
The tour included reflective exercises which challenged the learners to think about the intentions Warhol may have had in producing the screenprints. The exercises made the learners think about the history behind each painting and the significance of the political and social influences of the time.
The learners also had the chance to create their own art by drawing popular brands that they enjoy using on a daily basis and presenting back to the group about why they chose those items. This showed the influence of media and pop-culture on people, how we behave in our time, and how the role of media and pop-culture had on Warhol.
The exhibition was concluded by learners hanging personal messages reflecting on the exhibition on beams which previous visitors of the exhibition had an opportunity to put up. Many of the learners considered the exhibition fun, eye opening and a chance to get in touch with how they can breakdown norms in their own lives, whether it is through art or other ways in which they can express themselves and showcase who they are. We hope that one day we will have an opportunity to hear, see and learn of our Ikamvanites on platforms as big as the one we were invited to witness.
Ramadhani Urimubandi, a grade 11 from the Ivory Park branch, spoke highly of the tour and explained that, “although some of us are not interested in the arts, such as drawing and painting, it was educational and we got to learn the basics of the painting style and Andy Warhol. Besides the exhibition, I had the interest of seeing more of the whole building and see how the staff work in the entire WITS building, maybe next time we can view the campus.”
The excursion increased the learners’ curiosity about the spaces in which they will possibly study and work in one day. IkamvaYouth looks forward to exploring opportunities, such as University campus tours and one-on-one mentoring sessions with professionals etc with Bank Of America. We believe that this will awaken the career interests of learners and encourage learners to embark on educational pathways to eventually realise their dreams.
Upcoming events at the branch in September:
25 September 2017 – Heritage Day Celebration Workshop with WITS Psychology Postgraduate Students and grade 11 Learners
We believe these events are a culmination of the vision to lead learners to identify their significance in the spaces they live in, i.e. school, home etc, and take ownership and responsibility for the opportunities that will lead them to a dignified life.
The branch is planning on building capacity within the branch by training tutors on how to enable learners from grades 9 to 12 to begin thinking about possible careers and begin their individual processes. This training will introduce them to practical online tools and resources that will equip them and support them.
We also aim to have a stronger Mentorship and Job Shadowing presence in the branch for the grade 11s and 12s, and we believe with timeous planning and involvement of external partners we can introduce learners to mentors that will support them more regularly in taking ownership of their lives post-matric.
By Respond Nola
Anyone would expect a Mandela day to be of physical charity and more. But the founders of the Thekvest group found a far more fun, educational and inspirational way of paying their bid to the 67 minutes pledge of giving back to the community by merging with other organizations and groups to host the career link program which has been running for the past two years on this delightful day. This program was aimed at connecting, motivating and awakening youth on the misconceptions and after life of studies. With different items for the day, the emphasis was put mostly on the expectations and reality checks of youth and employment. Having top of the class cuisine and prizes won, items included special guests from From Mr Jorge Maia an economist, to Mrs Lerato Ditshego-CEO of Art and visual agency and motivational speaker, talk was from statistical alert on the countries employment issues-Educational talk to personal experiences and motivation-inspirational talk. The youth that was part of this exciting event were fortunate enough to have one-on-one chats with the leading online recruiters of our country (Pnet and Harambe) allowing them to open discussions and more knowledge on these agencies.
As part of the whole initiative we then had to go through intimate chats with the professionals who have experience of over 20 years. Conversations around the world of work, challenges faced and also looking at their successes, and, how could one arrive to that kind of satisfaction regarding ones career. They also had conversations around meeting all your career and personal areas of interest and opportunities were discussed and brought to the volunteers attention.
Some tutor quotes about what they took from the day,
“Don’t ever burn the bridge between you and your dreams”
“Strive to be the best, regardless of any circumstances, be a beast”
Ikamvayouth has partnered with Unleashed Woman to bring a change and ensure that the future is in their hands, tutors were really informed and motivated.
“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”
We would like to thank Unleashed woman for the opportunity.
By Bongiwe Nkambule
This year, the Ivory Park branch hosted yet another successful winter school programme that commenced on the 3rd of July until the 14th of July. The programme started off with an opening ceremony attended by tutors, learners, branch staff as well as other IkamvaYouth staff from the Gauteng team. Over 45 Tutors and approximately 165 learners were then grouped using a colour system with the purpose of sharing tasks and ensuring that there is order.
Our programme included a minimum of 40 hours of tutoring, afternoon fun activities and educational workshops, talent show preparations, winter school tournament/sports day as well as academic games such as trivia and general knowledge.
We managed to get through our winter school programme accordingly and in line with the schedule. What worked really well was the condition of the venue, registration of tutors and learners before the commencement of sessions, name tags, colour coding, as well as the tutor team tasks schedule.
Learners and Tutors during the Opening Ceremony
Before the start of tutoring sessions, registration and ice-breakers were the culture of the Ivory Park branch whereby tutors and learners would get name tags and proceed to the assembly for an ice breaker. Tutoring sessions began at 09:30 am each day with fundamental subjects such as Mathematics and English being the main focus and then followed by all the other general subjects (Accounting, Geography, History, etc.).
Tutoring sessions taking place inside and outside the classrooms
During the first week, Lovelife and The Unleashed Woman hosted workshops for our tutors and learners. These workshops took place in the afternoon on Thursday the 6th of July in which Unleashed Woman conducted a tutor session with our tutors while the Lovelife ground breakers had our learners participate in fun activities. During the second week, SADAG explored ways for young people to escape the negative binds of drug abuse with our grade 9s. Our Grade 11 learners also attended a three-day Capitec Financial Training conducted by the Diepsloot fellows Zikhona and Thabo. Sonke Gender Justice hosted a workshop for our male learners and tutors on the 11th of July to empower them, as the branch focus during the first half of this year had been mainly on female empowerment.
Learners with one of the LoveLife groundbreakers
At the end of the first week, learners and tutors participated in the winter school tournament/sports day. Indigenous games like hopscotch, uMgusha,donkey and skipping rope were played.
On the last day of winter school, the tutors and learners showcased their talents from the choir, dancing and singing, modelling, poetry and rap as well drama. Tutors were handed certificates as a token of appreciation from the Ivory Park branch for availing themselves during the winter school and committing to the programme.
Mahikeng Winter School 2017
This year, IkamvaYouth Mahikeng once again hosted a Winter School holiday tutoring program for 60 learners and 18 tutors which was all funded by our partner Coca Cola Beverages South Africa and made successful through the vigorous efforts of a highly motivated group of tutors and the IkamvaYouth learners who earnestly wanted to improve their academics and also enthusiastically engage with their fellow Ikamvanites thorough support programs offered.
The successful Winter School program complimented the core IkamvaYouth programmes that run throughout the year by providing a 2-week opportunity of intensive concentration of academic and non-academic interventions from the 3rd of July to the 14th of July. The highlights of this year’s programme included: focused tutoring sessions in all school subjects for a maximum of 44 hours in the 2 weeks; career guidance and mentoring; life-skills workshops, HIV testing (with the consent of the parents); aerobics (facilitated in house) and the Talent Show to end of the holiday program. The learners are looking forward to attending a CCBSA plant tour and Career Day on the 24th of July 2017 (when the schools re-open).
Every morning before tutoring sessions began; we held an assembly and conducted various energizers and icebreakers. The essential component of IkamvaYouth’s Winter School is the academic component. Tutors offered the learners assistance in their school work, past exam papers and homework to enable the learners to focus on areas and subjects they struggle with. Tutoring sessions also help learners improve their confidence in speaking English while improving their grades. Learners also received an hour of one-on-one tutoring sessions. Each subject had an assigned tutor who was assisting the learners, and the tutor sat with the group for the entire Winter School duration to ensure maximum impact as they get to finish the conversations they started with the same tutor the next day. This does not normally happen at the branch on normal tutoring days, as the learners sit with different tutors on different days for the same subject.
A few workshops focused mainly around themes relating to life skills, HIV/Aids awareness and voluntary testing, career guidance, and physical activities were held throughout the two week period. Different stakeholders (such as Lifeline Mafikeng, Families South Africa (FAMSA), (South African National Tuberculosis Association (SANTA) and South African Police Services- Mahikeng (SAPS), came to present to the learners and tutors on various aspects they specialize in.
- Lifeline Mahikeng
The Lifeline facilitators came to the branch to discuss the importance of family and how to respect one another. They emphasized that the one cannot live without a family and that the learners should abstain to avoid unwanted pregnancies. The learners enjoyed the session and related to it by speaking about how they see some of their families living in difficult situations and they do not want to put themselves in such a tight corner.
- Lifeline Mahikeng (Voluntary HIV Testing and Counseling)
The organisation came in to the branch to conduct voluntary HIV testing. Before the testing began, learners were taken into the hall for encouragement to participate and pre-counseling. They facilitated a highly interactive and engaging session on managing one’s personal health, particularly with regards to HIV/Aids. About 55 of the learners including tutors took the opportunity for voluntary counseling and testing. This was done so that learners and tutors know their HIV status and encouraged to live healthy lives.
SANTA explained to the learners how HIV and Aids inter-link with each other. They also highlighted that for one person to get TB, it does not mean that you contract it from a person with it, and mentioned that anyone can get TB from anywhere.
FAMSA brought professional social workers to facilitate a session on the issues of peer-pressure. They explained to the learners that anyone, at any age can feel the pressure.
On the 14th of July, the last day of the Winter School programme learners came to showcase their talents. With the theme being “The future is in your hands” the learners entertained their fellow Ikamvanites and parents/guardians with different performances. What a day! This was a fantastic opportunity for the learners to unwind for a day and enjoy some great performances as well as see another side of the tutors and IY staff who were also participating in the talent show.
The Mahikeng tutor who won “best tutor” of the 2017 Winter School with the most learner votes was Thapelo Mulutsi, a 3rd year Wits student studying Electrical Engineering who is originally from Mafikeng. Thapelo was the guest tutor for Winter School period and has assured the branch staff that he will dedicate more of his time at the Gauteng branches as he is residing there now while at tertiary.