What are you interested in? What are you good at?

What are you interested in? What are you good at?

As grade 11 ikamvanites prepare themselves for the final hurdle of their schooling journey, they had to ask themselves which careers to follow, what interest them and whether they meet the requirements needed. Half of the youth in South Africa is clueless on what to do when they finish their high school. Ikamva Youth prides itself in helping the youth with the necessary information and giving them opportunities needed to further their dreams. On the third week of October, Ikamvayouth Ebony Park hosted an online career guidance followed by a career talk.

The day started with an online career guidance that is meant to provide comprehensive, individual meaningful career guidance based on learners/students interests, skills and personality characteristics, to ensure a career path best suited to them. A complete report ensures individual career direction, recommendations on school subject selection, tertiary qualification and institutions, as well as full details on the ideal career options. This enabled Ebonites to find the subject choices, tertiary qualification and career direction that is ideally suited to them. When Ikamvanites completed the online guidance, they walked away with a booklet that includes their career choices, requirements needed for chosen choices, universities that offer such choices and companies they can work for.

As if this was not enough for Ikamvanites, a career talk followed which was conducted by SAB Miller employees. The career talk was facilitated by professionals from different departments of the company like Finance, Human Resources, Engineering, Marketing and logistics. This session focused on post school options (besides universities) for students to explore, given that many may not achieve sufficient grades to get into university i.e. University is great to get into, but not all will have the opportunity to do so. Ikamvanites heard about various career opportunities, and more tailored and engaging sessions where Ikamvanites can pick specific career options to engage on looking at the online career guidance report.

 

This session helped ikamvanites know about drawbacks, challenges and successes that comes with certain professions. Most of the youth from disadvantaged communities do not know that there’s other profession’s than those they see each and every day in their communities.

The responses from learners were amazing as Theory Mahomane said “having my future career typed for me in a form of a book and being able to meet professionals from big companies, telling me about different careers that are unknown to me than those we see at our communities like Police Officers and Soldiers”.

It’s fascinating to see how individuals offer their support to prepare the youth for tomorrow. Thanks to Ikamva Youth and its relevant stakeholders for preparing future leaders with knowledge needed to realise that their dreams are possible.

 

Ebony Park Winter School Week two

Ebony Park Winter School Week two

Week two of Ebony Park 2015 winter school started with a motivation from staff, thanking Ikamvanites for the commitment which they displayed during the first week of winter school. The second week was full of excitement and joy from both learners and tutors who managed to overcome the intense first week of winter school.

 

The branch partnered with organisations such as LoveLife, Capitec (Financial Literacy Training), Fujifilm and The University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Education Rights and Transformation.  These organisations took over the afternoon sessions from 2pm until 4:30pm.

Love Life covered controversial issues on topics like HIV and AIDS and other tips on teenage conduct which most learners are currently facing these days. This resulted in a debate between Ikamvanites; both learners and tutors had their opinion on HIV and AIDS matters and the fact that government wants to have condoms at schools. Through these discussions, advices were given and others agreed to disagree. It was amazing to see how Ikamvanites were participating and giving valuable inputs towards these topics. Capitec gave training on financial literacy on how best to save and use your finances, this gave learners real life application of subjects like Accounting and Economics.  Mr David Balwanz, a Researcher from Centre for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg, did a workshop on “knowing yourself”. The workshop was an eye-opener for the learners and benefited some of the tutors as it helps them know their personality.  It also helps Ikamvanites to realise that each and every person has a personality and the personalities are different from one individual to another.

For the first time during winter school, Ikamvanites were visited by representatives from Fujifilm Mr Elsie Basson and Professor Raphael de Kadt to do a workshop called “photography is fun”. Ikamvanites learned that photography is a combination of Science and Technology and it also expresses pictures better than art. “For one to be a better photographer you need to travel a lot, be patient and be creative” said Mr Rafael. Ikamvanites learnt that photography is a way of seeing the world in a better view. It was an eye-opener for Ikamvanites to see photography as a career path to pursue. Ikamvanites expressed their gratitude to Fujifilm for donating memory cards to all who participated in the workshop. They also appreciated the great experience they had with Mr Basson and Mr De Kadt during the workshop and they will forever cherish the moments they had with them.

As the week was nearing to an end, Ikamvanites were preparing for a talent show and a soccer match between the tutors and learners. What kick started the day was a soccer match between the tutors and learners. The match took place at the local soccer field by the ikamva branch. Members of the community came in numbers to witness the glorious battle between the tutors and the learners. As the self-proclaimed soccer analyst Lesedi Ramushu predicted, the Tutors were victorious with the score of 2-0. The plan to maintain a friendly relationship between tutors and learners was achieved as everyone had fun till the end of the game, with a learner Sydney Phalandwa as man of the match. The reason behind the soccer match was to refresh the minds of both the tutors and learners after two weeks of intense tutoring.

Singers, Dancers, Actors and many more showcased their work as they left the audience breathless at the 2015 Ikamva talent show. A poem by Njabulo Mutle had everyone in tears as she reminded everyone about brotherly and sisterly love. Then the flood came when the dancers moved every one up-and-down to the rhythm of “Break-dancing” and “Pansula dance”. To close the Talent show there was a spectacular performance by a group of dancers who left the audience in a celebrating mood.

“This Year’s winter school left everyone wishing they can go back in time not change anything just to have the feeling of unity, teamwork and excellence all over again” said Welsh Dube (Head of Tutoring).

A closing speech was given by staff members to show their gratefulness to tutors and learners for a job well done.

Thanks to everyone who supported Ebony Park 2015 winter school!!

IkamvaYouth Ebony Park 2015 Winter School Week 1

IkamvaYouth Ebony Park 2015 Winter School Week 1

There is nothing quite as fulfilling as a group of leaners, working in solidarity; striving to feel the warm embrace of their dreams. Despite the piercing cold of the Gauteng Winter mornings, and the weight carried on the backs of the learners because of the several layers of clothing that winter requires; these learners soldiered on. They marched in eagerness, with joy painted all over their hopeful faces. Their enthusiasm for learning, even when most of their peers lay comfortably in bed, utters something commanding about these learners. It shows that like Lupita Nyongo, Ikamvanites believe that their dreams are valid; and they moreover identified IkamvaYouth as a vehicle to making their dreams manifest.

Week one of the annual Ikamva Youth winter school kicked off with a thought provoking English fundamental worksheet, which inspired reflection about the efficiency of non-violent protests. Answers varied, but there was no denying that planting a vision and working towards it is powerful; especially when looking at civil rights protest leader Martin Luther King, Jr and our very own, Nelson Mandela. The English fundamental activity was a particularly imperative one because it not only created a space for the learners to polish their grammar and add new words to their already impressive vocabularies, but it also created a space for the learners to sharpen their eye for social responsibility and transformation; especially since South Africa just celebrated its 21st celebration as a democracy.

As the week progressed, the sun came out to send its salutations; giving the learners and the tutors an added excitement which increased the already jubilant mood in the tutoring hall. This excitement demonstrated by the Ikamvanites for their studies manifests itself with high levels of concentration, inquisitiveness and hunger for knowledge; and of cause a few chuckles here and there. Ikamvanites have made the mandate clear; their aspirations are legitimate and excellent marks will make them come true, hence their constant submission to the tutoring lessons.

The annual Ikamva Youth Winter School prides itself in not only being an agent of positive change for Ikamvanites; but also a source of knowledge from external influences. On the 2nd of July 2015, the Ebony Park branch welcomed education students from the University Of Missouri (USA), who visited Ikamva Youth to acquire information about the alternative learning methods that Ikamva uses and the vast achievements that Ikamva has had with respect to academic excellence and learner placements post matric. Lesedi Ramushu, a Wits Accounting student and tutor at Ikamva expressed that the multicultural interaction given by the students from the University of Missouri opened his eyes to the fact that education is a universal phenomenon. According to Ramushu, Ikamva has enabled him to come to the realization that when people unite, the world becomes smaller and better.

Mphoentle Mogorosi, a grade 9 Ikamvanite excitedly announced that she would rather be at the Ikamva Youth Winter School, than at home sleeping; because getting help with her academics is an investment to her future. Bongiwe Zulu, a grade 11 learner added that waking up in the morning in winter has proved to be very difficult, but the vision that she has set out for herself pushes her out of her warm blankets every morning. Whilst listening to these inspiring learners, Nelson Mandela’s words occupied my mind, reminding me that truly; education is the most powerful tool that can change a child of a domestic worker and transform him/her to being a president of a great nation.

Ex-Ikamvanite Ntebaleng Morake had this to say “When we say IkamvaYouth: the future is in our hands, we are not merely uttering these words; rather we are planting a seed of greatness that will catapult the continent. It lifts my spirit to see young people, laboring hard in their studies to give our country and continent the gift of service”. As we wrap up week one of the winter school, there is so much anticipation for next week.

Do you know how a thirst for knowledge looks like? Come to IkamvaYouth and experience it for yourself.

Ebonites Study skills workshop with Dr. Welcome Khubeka

Ebonites Study skills workshop with Dr. Welcome Khubeka

Ebonites welcomed Dr. Welcome Khubeka to grace Ebony Park branch with study skills and career guidance talk. Ebonites had a chance to experience Dr. Khubeka just like their brothers and sisters did in 2014. Dr. Khubeka has been faithful in giving IkamvaYouth Gauteng Branches (except Mamelodi Branch) motivational, career, and study skills talks.

Dr. Welcome talked about the following;

  • How learners should manage their time, especial when it comes to their school work. He advised learners to make their own timetables which will guide them on how to study all their subjects which they are doing at school.
  • He also urged learners to prioritise their school work over their other activities.
  • He advised learners to reward themselves every time they achieve something.
  • Choosing careers based on research and passion.
  • Pursuing dreams and not giving up on what they want.
  • Showing determination and hard work in their studies

A lot have benefited from his talks. In 2013, IkamvaYouth witnessed a high number of varsity placements and employment in Gauteng branches, it showed that such workshops were effective and prepared learners on their future endeavours. IkamvaYouth helps high school learners to improve their marks and get to varsity. The only way learners can choose their career path wisely is to involve professionals like Dr. Welcome and others like him to help them realize that their dreams are possible.

‘’Our engagement with the IkamvaYouth (Ivory Park and Ebony Park) branches is on how to assist learners to study in a creative way.  Hence we believe that empowering them with the academic study skills at an early stage will contribute positively in their academic journey. The sessions which we offer to them cover critical study skills such as, time management, how to take notes, how to take examinations (focusing on analysing an assessment) and staying motivated during their studies’’, said Dr. Khubeka.

IkamvaYouth Ebony Park branch coordinator, Nyasha Zvomuya, mentioned that Dr. Khubeka’s talks have been good for the Ebonites, as many of them didn’t give us a hard time when choosing careers to pursue. We are grateful to partner with him and Gauteng branches will always open the door for Dr. Khubeka.

“It’s crucial for learners to take part in these workshops which help them to make career choices and gain effective study skills. We have witnessed how learners in lower grades react to such talks and presume It will be easy for them to make good career decisions once they reach grade 12”said Michael Thema (Branch Assistant, Ebony Park).

 

IkamvaYouth Gauteng branches will continue to inspire high school learners with such talks from professionals like Mr Khubeka. 

IkamvaYouth Ebony Park 2015 open day

IkamvaYouth Ebony Park 2015 open day

On the 17th of January 2015, IkamvaYouth Ebony Park opens its doors to new ikamvanites. New applicants form different schools across Tembisa came to see what IkamvaYouth is all about. A total number of 358 learners and parents were present for Ebony Park open day. On the day, IkamvaYouth Ebony Park branch coordinator gave a warm welcome to parent, sponsors and ex/future Ikamvanite for supporting the event.

The day started with an ice breaker from IkamvaYouth Ebony Park branch assistant to get everyone energized. MC for the day, Mr Clemence Msindo, explained what IkamvaYouth was all about and how IkamvaYouth would assist the learners within the community. Many of our sponsor’s includingABIand Tzu Ching Foundation were present cheering all the learners on to take responsibility for their future and improve their marks. The open day was graced by the presence of Mr. Solane Mlambo from the Department of Education who gave a motivational speech to Ikamvanites on taking opportunities that IkamvaYouth brings to the community; also a parent for one of the top IY performers gave a speech on how IkamvaYouth played a role in his daughter’s life. The parent mentioned that at first he didn’t approve his child attending sessions at IkamvaYouth but after a visit to the branch, he quickly changed his mind and allowed his daughter to attend, as he witnessed something good about the program.

One of IkamvaYouth sponsor, ABI, sponsored the event with drinks, food and some entertainment to Ikamvanites. An ABI representative also gave a speech on how supportive they have been to IkamvaYouth and applauded on coming second in the Gauteng Province Emerald Award which IkamvaYouth National Coordinator, Mr Patrick Mashanda, later presented the award to those in attendance.

A prize giving ceremony immediately followed and all learners with over 80% attendance and those who did Operation Fikelela through Siyakhula Computer School for 2014 were awarded certificates of achievement. Also, Grade 12’s with distinctions were recognized. Tiyiselani Mpangane, a Grade 12 with 7 distinctions who started IkamvaYouth in grade 10, said “I would like to thank IkamvaYouth for being there for learners in the community and also my school for allowing us to be part of IkamvaYouth”.  IkamvaYouth also encouraged learners to know that they too could excel at school. Amongst the top performers were learners who started Ikamvayouth in grade 10 and the commitment and dedication they have showed paid with distinctions. Quintres Sefala who got four distinctions, mentioned that tutors/volunteers and teachers who gave their time deserves credits for their achievements.

This is what another top performer had to say “I’m glad I have made a right choice to join IkamvaYouth and look at me now, I’m in the top three at my school. I showed commitment to my studies and with the help I received from Ikamva, my mentor, classmates and my principal, I got three distinctions” said Virginia Sibanda. 

2015 Strategic Planning Workshop

2015 Strategic Planning Workshop

The beginning of each year at IkamvaYouth is always an exciting time for IkamvaYouth branches across the country as we usher the previous year’s Matrics into post-school opportunities, welcome new learners and tutors and together decide on the goals and outcomes of the New Year. On the 14th of March 2015, Gauteng branches namely Ebony Park and Ivory Park held its annual Strategic Planning Weekend (SPW). Staff members, learners and volunteers came together to spend the entire day discussing how Ebonites and Ivonites can make 2015 a good year for Gauteng branches.

The day started with introductions and a fun ice breaker from a wonderful tutor, Mr Welsh Dube, to energize attendees for the day. A total number of 52 excluding staff members attended 2015 Strategic Planning Workshop.  Both branches outlined the rules and expectation for day and agreed that everyone should follow them. Mrs Zvomuya, Branch Coordinator for Ebony Park, gave a brief presentation on why should you volunteer and also introduced IkamvaYouth to the new volunteers and learners who were present. She emphasizes the need to volunteer as many employers would only consider someone who had volunteered before.

Both branches decided to have a motivation and testimonial from one of IkamvaYouth’s longest serving tutor, Mr. Percyval Mabizela, on his stay and experience hear at IY. He mentioned that he doesn’t regret waking up early in the morning on a Saturday to come and share his experience with learners from different communities and also mention that education is an important tool that a person can treasure. Speaking on behalf of the tutors, he mentioned that tutors/volunteers should be proud with their involvement with IkamvaYouth and the learners themselves.

On looking back to 2014, branch com members gave a brief feedback about their portfolios on challenges and successes they had the previous year. IkamvaYouth Ebony and Ivory Park has seven Branch Com portfolios namely, Volunteer Coordinator, Tutoring Coordinator, Mentoring, Media, Image and Expression, Career Guidance, Computer Literacy, and Discipline (Branches decided to add this to list as a portfolio).   During the feedback sessions learners, tutors and staff members grouped themselves to discuss the Branch Com portfolios and how can they make them better for 2015. The focus was now shifted to the year ahead and branches set targets to achieve within a specific time frame.

The last item on the agenda was tutor training and staff members had to facilitate this session. Staff members were each given a group to facilitate tutor training. Roles plays and general discussions were implemented during tutor training sessions, whereby tutors and learners were put to the test to see if they understand how Ikamvayouth model works. Volunteers went through what is expected of them and how to conduct themselves when they interact with learners. Learners also went through their expectations.

 

The day ended with some encouraging words from Mrs Zvomuya by saying “it was a great event, thanks to everyone who participated it was a very productive meeting.”

Miss Mosiane had this to say “it was a well-planned event, the turnout was great and I was pleased with the way learners behaved throughout the event.”

IkamvaYouth rocking 2015!!!!