One seldom finds the time to spend with nature, especially on a Monday morning. IkamvaYouth KZN Matric learners, staff and a few volunteers spent their Monday morning, 19th January 2015, embracing nature and its life lessons at the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve and Wilderness Leadership School in Yellowood Park, Durban.
Before the trail walk began everyone was instructed to switch off their cellphones or any other device that might connect them to the outside world. This was simply done to ensure that everyone becomes fully immersed with life in the wild and does not get to miss out on anything important.
Our trail walk throughout the nature reserve was led by tour guides who have years of everyday experience of the wildlife. Along the trail we spotted a variety of wild animals, but not wild enough to eat us, thankfully. The animals seen at the nature reserve ranged from the Red and Grey Dykes, Springboks, Zebras, and although we were told to look out for snakes, we did not come across any. Some animals could not be seen but heard, such as the Purple Crested Lourie and the Sombre Bulbul birds. A lot was also learnt about the different trees we saw including our very own national tree the Yellowood, and the importance of treating natural habitats including the animals in order to survive in the wild and preserve nature.
After a lengthy walk of more than two hours, everyone was treated to delicious lunch which was sponsored by ABI. Visiting the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve was a good exemplar of just how life’s lessons can also be learnt from outside the classroom and that nature also has a few stories to tell.
A lot can be said about the experience and lessons one gained from visiting the nature reserve, this is what some of the learners had to say about the trip:
“What I learnt is that respect is the most important thing in life,”-Slindile Ngubane
“It was my first time going Yellowood Parkand it was a great day. And I saw different types of animals like Zebra’s, snakes and chickens.” – Nobuhle Zulu
“…along the way we saw a Yellowood tree, our tour guide told us why the place was called Yellowood Park. He said because the Yellowood tree was the most available tree in that place.” – Anele Vezi
The 2013 IkamvaYouth Annual Report highlights the remarkable achievements that we have made in 2013 by enabling disadvantaged youth to pull themselves and each other out of poverty with education.You can view the full annual report here but here are some of the highlights from 2013:
- 92% of our learners passed their matric (including supplementary exams); 62% achieved a bachelor pass (compared to 30.6% nationally) and 90% of our learners accessed a post school opportunity (tertiary, learnership or employment);
- The first survey of IkamvaYouth’s alumni was conducted. The findings were more encouraging than we could have hoped: IkamvaYouth learners are almost half as likely to drop out of tertiary studies, four times more likely to graduate and are three times less likely to not be in education or employment than the average South African young person.
- IkamvaYouth WON the Stars Award which exists to reward outstanding local organisations improving the lives of children in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. IkamvaYouth WON in the category of Education in Africa and the Middle East.
Thank you for taking the future into your hands, and to holding ours. Let’s keep reaching for the stars together.
©Neo Ntsoma/Majority World
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On the early morning of Saturday, 11th October 2014, 40 grade 8 & 9 learners departed from Makhaza to attend the annual ReThink Leadership Un[convetion]al workshop. The IY masterminds arrived at District 6 Museum at 08:00 am.
They were welcomed with a healthy and delicious breakfast before their fun filled day kicked off. The registration period was from 08:30 – 09:00 am after which the workshop started with some ceative activities and introduction.
The purpose of the Un[convention]al workshop was to engage high school learners from different backgrounds to share ideas on how to tackle issues that face their communities.
The young and dynamic minds were energized to think out of the box to bring forth unparalleled suggestions as courses of action.
One of the grade 9 learners, Tania Siswana said, “I learnt a lot of interesting things at the ReThink Leadership Un[convention]al. I learnt how to make a chair out of tyres and how to make a lot of other things from material that you would not think of. I understood how travelling the world could be beneficial to me . It was great, it was fun, it was exciting, it was inspirational and yet educating. I will never forget what they taught us about the 3 C’s which are be CURIOUS, be COURAGEOUS and to COMMUNICATE.”
The young minds were really inspired to be involved in constructive dialogue and meeting youth that they would not normally engage in conversations with.
A huge thank you to the Rethink Leadership team for such an amazing day and inviting the Ikamvanites.
“On the third Saturday of September each year (20 September 2014), volunteers around the world take part in the world’s biggest coastal cleanup, known as International Coastal Cleanup Day. The event has been held internationally each year for over 20 years, when people head to the beaches and begin removing debris and rubbish from shorelines, waterways and oceans”.
This year was no different, as the Western Cape Ikamvanites took to the Helderberg Marine protected area coast to clean the 4 km of beach which is the least disturbed part of the northern shore of False Bay. The Nyanga Ikamvanites came out in numbers and were more than excited to participate in such a great initiative of keeping our coasts clean.
“On the third Saturday of September each year (20 September 2014), volunteers around the world take part in the world’s biggest coastal clean-up, known as International Coastal Clean-up Day. The event has been held internationally each year for over 20 years, when people head to the beaches and begin removing debris and rubbish from shorelines, waterways and oceans”.
This year was no different, as the Western Cape Ikamvanites took to the Helderberg Marine protected area coast to clean the 4 km of beach which is the least disturbed part of the northern shore of False Bay. The Western Cape Ikamvanites came out in numbers and were more than excited to participate in such a great initiative of keeping our coasts clean.
Sesethu Soboyisi says “If the current generation doesn’t take care of the earth, what kind of earth will the next generation inherit?”
“The Clean-up was fun, it took us outside of our usual areas of residence and had us doing something good for Mother Nature” says Bubele Fokazi
This great day was made possible by various partners, thanks to the ERM team for inviting Ikamva to the coastal clean-up day.
Thank you very much to Arne Purves for the beautiful pictures, as found on this blog.
The Ikamvanites teamed up with Science Spaza, for a hip-hop competition in celebration of National Science Week at the Bat Centre. A group of 40 Ikamvanites were selected to participate and show off their talents in preparing Hip-hop songs as they worked with Rooted Souls, Science spaza and Dr Sphamandla from UKZN Westville.
Ikamvanites learning about the formation of Crystals
Dr Sphamandla, as a science lecturer from UKZN, taught the learners about crystals, how they were formed as well as what you can possible use crystals for.. The learners were divided into 7 groups to prepare their songs. One of the Umlazi Groups had already prepared a song to sing at the Bat Center and performed it for the Science Spaza team. After these awesome performances, Rooted Souls ,and science spaza Team along with Dr Sphamandla were assisting the learners with their rhymes, grammar and if they were sticking to science for their performances on Saturday.
Learners Preparing thier songs
Ikamvanites performing thier song “Suffering Acids”
Just before lunch as the learners were still at it, IFANI, the SAMA award winning Hip Hop Artist walked in and the learners were over the moon excited. The learners then got an opportunity to sit down and ask him a couple of questions about where he comes from, his inspirations behind his music as well as what he studied. Ifani is not just a musician he is also a computer scientist, who worked as an engineer for 4years. His love for music started at a very young age and he is finally pursuing it.
Ifani Performing at the BAT Centre
The 7 groups were ready to dazzle the judges with their performances. The judges were Hillary from Science Spaza, Dr.Sphamandla and Ifani. The judges were looking for rhythm, energy and does your song get the message across about crystals. Parents, friends and fellow ikamvanites arrived to support the performing groups .
One of the competing groups performing
In the end we had a winner the ladies that called themselves the fourth Harmony from Chesterville Secondary in grade 11. The ladies received Science Spaza t-Shirts as well as Ifani’s latest Album. The event will be broadcast on Hectic NINE-9 during national science week from the 2nd of August till the 9th of August 2014
The whole event was a success IkamvaYouth is grateful for such an opportunity that Science Spaza provided for the Ikamvanites. We surely hope to work again with them soon.