2018 Ebony Park Winter School for the courageous

2018 Ebony Park Winter School for the courageous

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.

3rd Annual Girllgnite Africa Summit 2017

3rd Annual Girllgnite Africa Summit 2017

By: Bongiwe Nkambule

GIRLIGNITE Africa Academy is a youthful brand that uses education for social impact and positive social change. The Academy strives to solve Africa’s challenges by bringing together dynamic and driven African teen girls from across the country to an intensive weekend-away.  From Friday the 22nd to Sunday the 24th of September 2017, Girlignite Africa hosted their 3rd Annual Summit at the Sediba Kwele Adventure Lodge, and this year, IkamvaYouth female learners from the Gauteng and North-West Region were invited to be part of this event.  The Ikamvanite learners from the Ivory Park, Ikageng and Mamelodi branches attended the Summit and played a part in finding ideas that would sustainably create socio-economic change in their communities, and in turn, help shape Africa’s future.

The 3 day Summit featured interactive workshops, engaging speakers, networking opportunities, outdoor activities and a final round of the Girlignite Africa challenge, whereby groups of girls are given 10 minutes each to pitch their business ideas. GirlIgnite conducts entrepreneurship modules for girls to teach them about the basics of conducting a business and help them to develop a business concept, a business model and a business plan.  GirlIgnite also raises funds so that the participants can see their business models come to life. The aim of the annual Summit is to skill the participants and equip them with the necessary tools they will need in life, whether they are employed in corporate, running a business unit or become entrepreneurs.

Our learners were exposed to the topics of entrepreneurship, globalization, team building, project management, leadership and working within a culturally diverse environment.

 

The Guest speakers: Mr Gabriel Chapara, founder and MD of Mantis Africa P/L Zimbabwe, educated the girls on financial literacy and Miss Naledi Mashego, founder of BlackCherry Media gave a talk on the importance of digital marketing (Social Media) in the advertising of a business.

Giving Back: Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa Empowering Our Communities

Giving Back: Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa Empowering Our Communities

Don’t you hate it when big corporate organizations neglect their duty and promise to give back to communities they operate in? Well Coca Cola Beverages South Africa has been showing the community of Ebony Park, Rabie Ridge and Ivory Park that they give back to communities through various interventions.















 

On the 22nd of February, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa together with the IkamvaYouth Ebony Park branch launched a Soul Ambassadors network for CCBSA employees and participated in the Ebony Park Mentorship day. The Soul Ambassadors are a network of CCBSA employees coming together for a good cause.  Soul Ambassadors are CCBSA employees who are passionate about the community and give of their own time to deliver positive change in the communities where we operate.  CCBSA supports these individuals by providing them with extra time outside of the one day community leave given to all employees to execute this work as well as funding to deliver the plan.

The idea is to offer CCBSA employees a chance to change someone’s life through mentorship; by helping learners / scholars move from their current state to their desired state. Learners from different schools around Midrand and Tembisa who are part of the IkamvaYouth family came in numbers to celebrate the day and also be part of the mentorship program together with CCBSA Soul Ambassadors.  During the launch, the Ebony Park branch Grade 11 learners were all paired up with mentors from the CCBSA Soul Ambassadors and signed the IkamvaYouth Mentor-Mentee agreement.

The IkamvaYouth mentorship program enables learners to access post-school opportunities. Although the career guidance workshops increase learners’ awareness of post-school opportunities and ways to access them, IkamvaYouth learners also need one-on-one support from a mentor to help them make the transition from secondary to tertiary education. The mentoring programme ensures that every Ikamvanite accesses tertiary education and/or employment once they matriculate. Secondary objectives of the programme include developing communication skills, self-knowledge and self-esteem.

Ikamvanites who participate in the mentoring program get the following benefits:

  • Increase in the mentee’s self-confidence

  • Helps the mentee learn to take better control of his or her career

  • Teaches the mentee how to speak up and be heard

  • Educates the mentee on how to accept feedback in important areas, such as communications, technical abilities, change management, and leadership skills

  • Improves the mentees interpersonal relationship skills

  • Provides an important networking contact for the mentee

This mentor-mentee relationship also enables the CCBSA Soul Ambassadors to:

  • “Give back” — to the organisation, the community and the mentee

  • Reminds the mentor how to listen actively rather than passively

  • Encourages the mentor to share knowledge and help shape the future of our youth

  • Strengthens the mentor’s interpersonal relationship skills and perceptions of the various problems facing our country’s youth and education system

  • Teaches the mentor about other areas/departments within the organisation

  • Helps re-energize the mentor’s career


Ikamvanites had this to say;

“We all need that one person who can share knowledge with you and guide through your difficult time and also be there as a thinking partner”- Adele Kayitare

“It’s a good opportunity for me to know more about Coca-Cola as it is one of the biggest organisations in South Africa. Having someone from Coca-Cola to mentor me is a blessing and I’m looking forward to the relationship” Tsolofelo Moeletsi

As Ikamvanites take a journey to success, CCBSA Soul Ambassadors will be right there with them to ensure that they reach their desired outcome.

Their Future is in their hands.


Ebony Park Open Day

Ebony Park Open Day

IkamvaYouth Ebony Park, held the 2017 open day on Saturday the 28th of January. This open day was attended by over 340 people, most of which were IkamvaYouth learners, parents, community leaders, educators and IkamvaYouth volunteers.

This magnificent affair kicked off in the morning and was blessed with beautiful weather. We had a lot of activities which kept everyone present energized and informed about IkamvaYouth and its programmes. Lerato from the Ivory Park branch started the programme with a video presentation of the IkamvaYouth model. IkamvaYouth maintains a 1:5 ratio (one volunteer for five learners). Lerato explained that this ensured that enough attention is given to each learner. During her presentation Lerato reiterated the IkamvaYouth mission, which is to enable disadvantaged youth to overcome poverty through education.

The programme for the open day was engaging and informative. Welsh Dube, a committed IkamvaYouth Ebony Park volunteer, lead the programme as MC.

 Amongst the many activities was motivational speaking by Percyval Mabizela one of Ebony Parks longest serving tutors who spoke about keys to open doors to success in 2017.  Laughter erupted across the hall with a comedy performance by a former Ikamva learner from the class of 2016 Andrew Fezile Sicongwane.

 

Learners, parents and community members were mesmerized by a presentation from IkamvaYouth Alum Kefilwe Maake, who matriculated in 2015 with five distinctions, and is now doing Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town. The top performer for 2016, Motlatso Maredi, obtained three distinctions and will be studying at UCT towards a Bcom in Accounting Science.

The highlight of the day was the prize giving ceremony, which awarded outstanding academic achievers with generous prizes (Casio calculator, bags, power banks, certificates and diaries)  sponsored by Coca Cola Beverages South Africa and IkamvaYouth. Among those who attended were sponsors and IkamvaYouth partners such as Tzu Ching Foundation, an organisation devoted to spreading love through its work in charity, medicine education and culture. Long serving sponsor and partner to IkamvaYouth Coca Cola Beverages South Africa was represented by Lebogang Tlomatsane who gave a presentation on the relationship between IkamvaYouth and Coca Cola.

Kudos to all involved with IkamvaYouth Ebony Park for making this open day a success. Much gratitude to the sponsors for helping IkamvaYouth fulfill its mission and for sponsoring this event. Truly IkamvaYouth 2017 Ebony Park open day has unlocked doors to success in 2017. 

IkamvaYouth Learners from the City of Gold Shine

IkamvaYouth Learners from the City of Gold Shine

Ivory Park achieved a 100% pass rate!

The matric cohort of 2016 had the “highest enrollment of learners in the history of the basic education system of South Africa” as announced by Minister Angie Motshekga in her speech on Wednesday evening. Gauteng remains in the top three nationwide, with matrics having achieved a soaring  pass rate of 87%. Ikamvanites in the Province did particularly well, achieving an impressive 94% pass rate!

IkamvaYouth currently has 3 branches in Gauteng; the class of 2016 comprised 87 matrics in Ivory Park, Ebony Park and Mamelodi. We are very proud of each branch’s great results:

Aaron Raphadu is one of the learners from Ivory Park who received his matric results this week. “I joined (IkamvaYouth) in 2014 as I wanted to improve my academic results, especially mathematics as I struggled with it before”. Aaron matriculates with a Bachelor pass and scooped four distinctions with incredibly high marks: 99% in Business Studies, 97% in Economics, 91% in Accounting and 91% in Life Orientation. Aaron comes from a family of five and would like to go to Wits to study towards becoming a Chartered Accountant. “Never doubt your dreams. Always keep in mind that you can achieve whatever you want” is the message Aaron would like to pass on to the next group of Matrics.

The Mamelodi branch achieved a 94% pass rate this year

Our Community Collaboration Programme (CCP) also yielded some impressive results in Gauteng. My Career Corner learners managed to come out tops with a 100% pass rate. Boipelo Modibane from My Career Corner puts their success down to their “Willingness to learn – we didn’t have to try hard to retain or motivate them as this is what they wanted. They chose to come to tutoring sessions and even organised additional time. I honestly expected them to do this well as they have worked extremely hard.”  IkamvaYouth launched CCP in 2014, with an aim to connect with, train, and support other after-school organisations who share the same goal of enabling young South Africans to pass matric, access post-school opportunities, and secure gainful employment. We are thrilled to see our partners achieving such excellence, and hope that this is just the beginning of many more organisations and communities working together to ensure bright futures for learners across the Province

IkamvaYouth’s tutoring programme is available to learners from grades 9 -12, three times a week and for two weeks during the winter holidays. The tutoring programme is made possible thanks to the hearts and smarts of the amazing volunteer tutors; most of whom are university students and many of whom are ex-learners from the programme. The organisation operates in Gauteng thanks to very supportive partners, including Coca-Cola Beverages South AfricaSA AirlinkDeloitteNedbankThe Education AgencyCOMENSA in addition to the schools which provides access to branch venues free of charge, and the feeder schools and other tertiary institutions in the region.

About
IkamvaYouth is a non-profit organisation, enabling disadvantaged youth to pull themselves and each other out of poverty through education. The organisation provides free after-school tutoring, career guidance, mentoring, computer literacy training and extra-curricular engagement to learners in grades 8-12. The organisation is currently operating in 16 townships in 5 provinces across South Africa. To find out more, go to www.ikamvayouth.org or call Hetile on 062 105 1707



It’s A Wrap

It’s A Wrap

The months of June, July and August have been good to the Ebony Park branch. IkamvaYouth has managed to implement its programmes and achieve its goal of ensuring learners receive the necessary information which will prepare them for their journeys in life.

IkamvaYouth Ebony Park branch invited several service providers; Stock Shop, Rivers Foundation, Dr Khubeka, and had a visit to CCBSA plant. The branch’s goal for the term was to incorporate all its programmes and ensure that learners were exposed to career guidance, mentoring, job shadowing  and life skills workshops. On the 23rd of July, Ikamvanites in Gauteng had the opportunity to engage with Stock Shop, an organization that empowers young individuals about the financial world and their own personal journeys. Ikamvanites were also graced by the presence of Luvuyo, a Chartered Accountant who gives back to the community by motivating and sponsoring young males who wish to pursue accounting studies. Luyuvo’s motivation was based on the interest learners had in accounting studies. Furthermore, A connect group, Rivers Foundation, of professionals from different departments ranging from Accountants, Directors, IT Technicians and many more visited the Ebony Park branch to celebrate their 67 minutes of Mandela day with IkamvaYouth learners by tutoring and sharing information on their professions.  

Chris Dykes, a learning facilitator, facilitated a workshop for Ikamvanites in grade 11 and 12 on the 14th of August. The workshop focused on how the brain works and on how to study smart not hard. Sechaba Mosia, a grade 12 learner had this to say “I have learned how my brain can really catch up and how to study and also the difference between headings, subheadings and sub-subheadings.” A job shadowing opportunity at Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa was the next stop. The process of knowledge is one that is divided into two, inspiration and information thus the Ebony Park branch in association with CCBSA set off to one of the largest Coca cola plants in the world in the quest for knowledge.  The name Coca Cola is one synonymous to greatness, however, the humble beginnings and the story behind the brand is one that is not echoed to ordinary citizens.

Learners were warmly welcomed and taken into a lecture room by Thembi Sithole where the process of thorough inspiration and information took place. Firstly, a video about the brand was played followed by a question  and answer session with learners.  Upon hearing that the product dated all the way back to 1892 “ahhhhs”   buzzed around d the lecture room. At the end of the video, “Who created Coca Cola?” was an immediate question asked by Sphamandla Ndlovu a grade 10 Ikamvanite, the question was thrown to all the learners, after moments of hesitations “Pemberton” (Dr John S. Pemberton) was shyly shouted only for the rest of the group to join in much to the amusement of the facilitator.

 

After a session of explaining and giving theories, learners were taken around the plant and shown the entire processes of creating the product from packaging to bottling. As this wasn’t enough for Ikamvanites, the branch together with its branch committee organized a career hour on the 10th of September. The career hour was meant to avail professionals to visit the branch and engage in a dialogue session where learners get to know the day to day duties of different careers and all the information needed to survive in that particular profession. The branch invited professionals from different organizations  like Standard Bank and SAMSI. There were also  psychologist, lawyers, statisticians, an environmentalist, corporate managers and bankers present.

As we work towards uplifting the youth from disadvantaged communities, the Ebony park branch has achieved its goal of ensuring that learners received the necessary tools to use as they challenge the life ahead.