Change is not quite easy, and Friday the 15th of January 2016 proved testament to that.
Alongside the branch staff and District office, were tutors and resident contractors who were assisting with the official move of the Ivory Park office.
Under a threateningly cloudy and occasionally sunny sky- cabinets, desks, files and kitchen appliances were the order of the day. Considering the challenges, with resilience, the team managed to move all the office property from one container to a brand new one.
Aching backs, scratched fingers and dusty shoes later, we managed to establish our new spot on the Kaalfontein Secondary School premises. If there is one thing to learn from this experience, is that you have to get up, and keep getting up!
Moyisi’s(Tutor) chants declaring his manhood kept us motivated and entertained, whilst Khutso (Tutor) and Lerato (Branch Coordinator) kept wondering about the condition of their nails, and multi-toned skin from being in the sun. We reminisced about the memories we made in our old container and the possibilities the new container will have for us.
At the end of the day we all need to appreciate that fresh beginnings mean new perspective and a brand new attitude.
To office moves and beyond, Ivory Park is looking forward to a productive 2016 with all its stakeholders.
Thank you to everyone who assisted in this big move!
The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers. These volunteers don’t necessarily have the time, but they have the heart. Ikamva Youth values its tutors. What better way of showing our gratitude than taking them to Zoo Lake for team building exercises? Ikamva Youth has made it its culture to appreciate its volunteers throughout the year. This year’s appreciation event was combined between the two GP branches, Ebony and Ivory Park. The idea was to create unity and friendship between volunteers from different backgrounds and walks of life
“Team building activities are essential for every organization. Some think this is about playing silly games but that is not the case. The team building activities were designed to create unity, develop good relationships between all members, giving them experience of working with different team members and to introduce processes so that they work effectively together. I strongly think we achieved that today”- said the activities instructor Welsh Dube. Participants were required to form teams, elect a leader, create a war cry and complete the challenges set for them. The day was full of laughter, shouting, singing and dancing as tutors were enjoying team building exercises. Both the Ebony Park and Ivory Park staff members handed out certificates to appreciate efforts made and services provided by volunteers to IkamvaYouth.
The categories for certificates were: Outstanding commitment, certificate of appreciation, volunteer of the year and appreciation letters written by IY Director Joy Olivier. Tutors were very happy to receive their certificates. They were shouting, rejoicing as they went to collect their Awards. Ikamva Youth really values their hard work.
As can be seen in our Annual Report 2014
was the year of growth for us: our matric class was 63% bigger than the previous year, we reached over 1,700 learners and we opened our tenth branch. But let’s not forget why we are here, for most of South Africa’s children, the only way out of poverty is through education. Ikamvanites (IkamvaYouth learners) continue to prove that anyone and everyone – irrespective of the school one attends and the socio-economic status of one’s parents can achieve his dreams and escape poverty.
Please read more in our 2014 annual report about the innovation of our model, why we need more Ikamvanites, hear from the Ikamvanites themselves and why our three largest donors of 2014 (Omidyar Network, Amalgamated Beverage Industries and Capitec Foundation) continue to support us.
It is thanks to these donors and many others that we have been able to achieve the results that we have over the last 12 years. South Africa’s future rests on the success of our children. IkamvaYouth is fundraising to reach even more of South Africa’s children in 2016 and needs your support. Please contact me if you would like to discuss supporting IkamvaYouth or find out more about us.
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!!!!
Ivory Park grade 10 learners on the 7th of March 2014 benefited from a Study Skills Workshop facilitated by Dr. Welcome Kubeka of the University of Johannesburg. Dr. Kubeka has been running these workshops since 2012, focusing mainly on grade 10 learners with the notion of building motivating learners as they cruise through high school.
‘’Our engagement with the Ikamva Youth (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 (Grade 10) will contribute positively in their academic journey. The sessions which we offer to them cover critical study skills such as, Time management, taking notes, taking examinations (focusing on analyzing an assessment) and staying being motivated during their studies’’, says Dr. Kubeka.
His commitment and involvement with IkamvaYouth learners has seen participating learners being exceptionally focused on their school work resulting in improved marks and discipline.
“The teachings by Dr. Kubeka are motivational and skill building. I hope he continues to have these workshops with us as we learn things we never imagined in studying”, Mesile Kuthumela , a grade 10 learner who attended the workshop.
We give much thanks to Dr. Welcome Kubeka for his selfless commitment to IkamvaYouth programmes and his input in developing our learners, equipping them with life skills for a better future.
“It takes a village to raise a child… IkamvaYouth has been a second parent to my child, guiding and mentoring him to become disciplined and improve his marks. ”, said Mrs Khumalo, a parent for Mbuso Khumalo, a grade 11 learner who won a school bag for Best attendance Male learner award on the Ivory Park Open day prize giving event.
Parents poured in on the 7th of March 2015 to find out the truth behind the IkamvaYouth programmes their children are committed to at the Ivory Park branch. The meeting which was dominated by presentations, questions, testimonies and discussions between parents and IkamvaYouth staff provided a vision and reason for parents to actively participate through support to their children to be disciplined and focus as well as improving attendance to keep their spot at IkamvaYouth as there is much benefit through it. 85 parents attended the meeting marking the highest parents meeting attendance since 2014 when the branch had many challenges. Most of the attendants were parents of the newly enrolled learners as they were eager to learn more about IkamvaYouth.
There was high participation and energy within the parents making the meeting effective with some strategic planning to improve branch operations. The parents agreed to support IkamvaYouth by keeping in touch with IkamvaYouth staff reporting and inquiring about every challenges and successes they notice with our learners. Agreement was reached as well that the parents would report anything with regards to learner attendance which will lessen learner administration workload on IkamvaYouth staff.
Issues of indemnity we also discussed and parents were informed about the importance of signing indemnity forms ahead of special events and travel for leaners initiated by IkamvaYouth. Great support was promised with parents agreeing to monitor and enforce the learners to attend winter school fully and also encouraging grade 12 learners to attend the best of the time they get outside the SSIP programme. Parents encouraged IkamvaYouth staff to compile a list of all learners who attend IkamvaYouth programmes and have the list kept at schools or pasted on school staffrooms for educators to release the learners for IkamvaYouth programmes where school afternoon classes bind learners’ attendance.
Dr Welcome Kubaka from University of Johannesburg blessed the meeting with some words of motivation to parents testifying that he grew up in Tembisa Township from a very poor background and still used every opportunity he got to rise up to prominence. The next parents meeting was scheduled for the sixth of June 2015 with follow up matters being discussed regarding set goals and targets. Great thanks to parents for their support over IkamvaYouth programmes and response to IkamvaYouth meetings which propels us to greater achievements through their input to successfully operate.
Simplice Kamen-Payong, one of our longest serving volunteer tutors shared a touching testimony to parents of how he changed his profession to teaching. Kamen Completed his Masters in Business and Financial Management with UJ and is curently doing a Diploma in Teaching. According to Kameni, he got touched by the poor educational conditions in Ivory Park Township and with the love he received from Ikamvanites, he felt he could do better teaching kids to enlighten their futures.