From learner, to tutor, to staff and beyond…

From learner, to tutor, to staff and beyond…

Since 2003, IkamvaYouth has over 1000 learners complete their matric. Our alumni are encouraged to continue to be involved in the organisation as tutors and mentors, and can even see themselves working for the organisation as interns/full time staff members, or even serving on the board! 

Zukile Keswa (Zuks), joined the organisation as a grade 11 learner in 2004. During his tertiary studies, he came back to IkamvaYouth to serve as a volunteer tutor. Zuks was the first alumn to become an IkamvaYouth staff member in 2011, starting as the Makhaza Branch Assistant. Since then, he’s held a number of roles in the organisation, and is now the Gugs Comp Branch Coordinator. 

This year, we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming quite a few of our alumni back to IkamvaYouth as staff members. One such alumn, is Phelela Mokwana, who matriculated in 2008. Here’s what she had to say about her new role in the organisation:

I was once a learner at Ikamva during my high school days from 2006-2008. I’m now working as a B.A for Makhaza branch. My experience working at Ikamva is amazing. I’ve started working during winter school 2016, It just reminded me of the days when I was a student, seeing learners engaging themselves in the the tutoring space and the commitment of tutors has just reminded me of why I came back to work for Ikamva. 
Through the journey of being in and out of companies has just made me discover my potential which is
working in empowering young minds, helping them to achieve good results, helping them to become positive role model in their communities and have a dignified living.

Phillip Mcelu, who matriculated back in 2006, just joined the team this month. This is what he had to say about coming back to IkamvaYouth:

“I am happy to have found my way back to the IY family, as I am an alumnus from the Makhaza class of 2006! I’ve been working in the ICT industry for the last 5 years and am excited to be starting as the Tech Coordinator for IY. I’m looking forward to building a national network and sharing my ICT knowledge with my IY family.”

Below are the alumni that joined the IkamvaYouth body of staff this year:


And now… IkamvaYouth is seeking an alum to be a board member of the organisation. The successful alumni will learn a great deal about what it takes to run an organisation.


Level of Commitment required:

  • The Board requires a commitment of four board meetings a year (lasting approximately 2 hours) as well as prepare for the board meetings which will take approximately 2-3 hours.
  • There may be other ad hoc events that the board member will be required to attend.
  • The successful alum will not get paid for his or her time but will be making a meaningful contribution to the running of IkamvaYouth.

Areas of expertise sought (any of the following):

  • HR 
  • Sustainability 
  • Leadership 
  • Fundraising 
  • Finance
  • Passion or interest in the education of disadvantaged youth 

Serving on the board of IkamvaYouth is a wonderful, enriching experience, especially for someone early in their career. Aside from the joy of working for a public good, it can broaden your experience and skills, which might help you find your next job. For more details of what being a board member entails, please click HERE, where you’ll find our constitution. 

If you would like to nominate any alumn for this position, please click HERE.

Get that JOB! Workshop

Get that JOB! Workshop

On the 5th of March 2016, IkamvaYouth alumni and tutors were invited to attend a workshop aimed at helping them improve their CV writing and interview skills. This was an opportunity for our Ikamvanites to learn some valuable job hunting skills from each other, as well as from our HR manager and Communications Coordinator, who co-facilitated the workshop.  We asked one of the workshop attendees, Aphiwe Sobutyu to give us his take on the event. Here’s what he had to say:

It was a day filled with fun and surprises when I attended a CV writing workshop with other IkamvaYouth Alumni. I always thought that my CV was OKAY… but guess what, I was fooling myself, because on that day I discovered that my CV is [not that great] and it needed to be pimped.

On the day of the workshop I learned that no matter what job or industry you’re applying for, you will need a CV in the process of the application, we were also told about which information to include in our CVs and why it is important to tell it as it is, for it represent who you are and the other things that you have engaged in, in the past.

That was a very great workshop and I hope it can spread from the alumni group to the learners, for they can benefit from it and be equipped with the right skills – learning CV writing while they still in high school.

Aphiwe matriculated in 2012, and is currently studying Public Management at CPUT. He is also a dedicated tutor at the Nyanga branch. 

IkamvaYouth is committed to supporting its alumni and tutor community through providing access to various opportunities for self-development. The next workshop is coming up on the 20th of May (Yip, that’s TOMORROW!), check out the details here.  

 

Ikamvanites are grieving the death of Thembakazi Nyakatya

Ikamvanites are grieving the death of Thembakazi Nyakatya

 The news of the passing of one of our Ikamvanites has come as a shock to the IkamvaYouth family. Thembakazi Nyakatya joined IkamvaYouth in 2008 while she was doing grade 10. As a young girl from the township, education was the only option for her to become successful. Despite the peer pressure young girls experience in townships she chose education and kept up her attendance until she matriculated in 2010. While she was in grade 12, her positive influence encouraged her little brother Unathi Nyakatya to join the programme, thereafter her second brother Bazise Nyakatya in 2012. In 2011 Thembakazi came back to IkamvaYouth as a tutor. She believed that her background could not be an obstacle to achieving her goals, and it wasn’t. In 2014 she graduated with a diploma in Management at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. In April 2016, while she was sick in hospital, she missed her BTech graduation.

Thembakazi was a role model not only to her siblings, but to many in the IkamvaYouth family and the community at large. We would like to express our condolences to her family. Lala Ngoxolo Thembsie.

IkamvaYouth achieves a 90% placement rate for the class of 2015

IkamvaYouth achieves a 90% placement rate for the class of 2015

In January this year, we were super excited to announce that our matric class of 2015 had achieved a staggering 80% pass rate, beating the national average by 9%.  Passing matric, however, is only the first hurdle that South African youth need to clear, in order to set themselves on the path towards earning a dignified living. IkamvaYouth strives to ensure that our learners access post school opportunities in the form of tertiary studies, learnerships/other apprenticeship programmes, and employment. IkamvaYouth are pleased to report an overall 90% placement rate for our class of 2015, an increase from last year’s 85%!

56% of the learners who passed are now pursuing tertiary studies, enrolled in a wide range of courses this year. The fields of study being pursued the most this year are science & engineering, with an impressive 25% of the cohort pursuing qualifications in these areas, followed by a close 19% of the learners enrolled in commercial studies.  Other courses being pursued by our class of 2016 include Psychology, Legal studies, Nursing, Maritime studies, and Media/Marketing related studies.

After the excitement of passing matric, and then getting accepted into tertiary, our learners have to contend with yet another hurdle: accessing funds to finance their studies. While we are concerned about the high number of learners who have not yet secured funding for their studies this year, we are really pleased that most (57%) have secured funding through study loans (mostly through NSFAS: 43%) and bursaries/scholarships. We are particularly proud of these Ikamvanites who managed to secure bursaries/scholarships:

  • Palesa Machabela from the Ebony Park branch received a university entrance bursary to study Human Life Sciences at the University of Stellenbosch.

  • Thabang Rankeng, also from Ebony Park was awarded by the Gauteng City Region Academy, for being among the top three performing learners in his school. He is now studying towards a BSc (Chemistry) degree at Wits.

  • Chumisa Yapi from Makhaza was awarded a university entrance bursary by UCT, to study towards a BSc degree.

  • 6 learners were awarded the prestigious Moshal Scholarship: Wandile Majozi and Nhlanhla Mabaso from Chesterville, both studying towards Bcom (accounting) degrees at UKZN; as well as 4 learners from Ebony Park: Puledi Chipape (Geological Sciences at Wits), Kefilwe Maake (Mechanical Engineering at UCT), Sharon Maota (Biological Sciences at Wits), and Onkarabile Kau (Computer Science at the University of Pretoria).

Here’s what 2 of the bursary recipients had to say:

“Ikamva has taught me the reward of focus and preparation especially when it comes to post matric preparation. Honestly without IkamvaYouth I would not have been heading into the bright future I am heading into today (Going to Stellenbosch University, my parents not having to pay for my fees)” – Palesa Machabela

“I feel very happy and blessed that the Moshal program granted me this scholarship. I really feel special and thank the program for believing in me and giving me this opportunity to further my studies. … Receiving the scholarship means … the world to me… it showed me that some people out there believe in me and have faith that I can do wonders in this field.” – Puledi Chipape

Congrats on getting your feet through the door towards a brighter future, Ikamvanites! We are so proud of what you’ve achieved so far, and are so looking forward to seeing you realise your dreams.

The Western Cape Alumni Meetup

The Western Cape Alumni Meetup

On Saturday the 6th of February 2016, IkamvaYouth hosted its first alumni meetup for the year in Cape Town. The aim was to get the alumni to meet one another especially since they attended different IkamvaYouth branches in high school, across different years, but may currently study at the same tertiary institutions and live in the same areas. Another goal was to get them thinking and talking about the various post-school opportunities available to them and plan for the year ahead. Thabisile Seme, the Alumni Coordinator, facilitated the session and ensured that it was informative and fun!

The alumni shared what they are currently doing (be it work or study) and what their plans are for the year. Leànne from Mintor joined the meetup and gave the alumni an in-depth explanation of how the platform works. Mintor is a platform that allows students to build skills and credibility ,broaden their work experience and earn some money in the process. By completing a profile on their site, students avail themselves to businesses looking for skilled candidates . Leànne founded the platform when she realised that one of the pressing issues in the country is the difficulty that exists around finding employment after studying, partly due to lack of experience. Mintor seeks to connect students to what she calls “Micro-internships” which is part-time work a student can do from the day they start studying. Such opportunities may also help students come to realisations about their field of study earlier giving them the chance to gain certain skills or change their career path. Mintor also caters for graduate job-seekers and students looking to complete learnerships and in-service training. Leanne emphasised that the best way to improve your credibility is by “demonstrating your interests alongside what you study” instead of waiting for an opportunity. You can learn more about mintor here.

For the first activity, everyone was given a sheet of paper with different statements like “Matriculated before 2010”, the goal was to match a statement to an individual and get them to sign for it. Individuals weren’t allowed to sign for more than 2 statements per sheet. It was a really fun way for everyone to learn some quick facts about one another.

For the second activity, alumni were asked to form a straight line in order of when they joined IkamvaYouth, the twist was that no speaking or writing was allowed! As they moved around mutely,occasionally giggling, everybody quickly found a way to communicate their position in the line.

At the heart of the day’s activities was having everyone paired up and sharing their “IkamvaYouth story”. We heard from Thobela Bixa who was part of the first cohort of matrics to go through IkamvaYouth; he went on to pursue studies in chemistry and earned a Masters in Chemistry. He currently works as an analyst in the Finance sector and is pursuing his new passion: Business. As everybody shared each other’s stories, it became clear that there are different ways that they can help each other in their studies and careers from sharing books to guiding someone in their job-seeking or letting them know of new opportunities in the workplace.

The last activity reinforced the concept of how everyone is connected; it involved everyone throwing around a reel of string (without impaling anyone) and saying what they are looking forward to this year. The common thread was that everyone wanted to learn more this year and equip themselves to create even better lives. In the end, the string had formed a web which connected everyone and Thabisile demonstrated that a tug at one end of the web could be felt by everyone. She encouraged the alumni to support one another through the programme, reminding us all that: “whatever you do in your life, you have an impact on other people and if we consciously want to make an impact, that impact becomes a lot bigger…”

We’re looking forward to seeing the alumni again on the 5th of March at the Get that job! workshop. You can see the event details here.