IkamvaYouth’s Evaluation Launch

IkamvaYouth’s Evaluation Launch

The Western Cape Government hosted the After-School Game Changer’s symposium on the 16th and 17th of February. The two days were packed with interesting speakers who work in different parts of the education and after-school sector. IkamvaYouth was fortunate to secure a spot at the end of the symposium to launch the findings of a quantitative assessment of the effectiveness of our programme. The assessment was conducted in 2016 by Servaas van der Berg and Lewis McLean, economists from Stellenbosch University.

In 2012, Prof van der Berg and Dr Nic Spaull produced Against the Odds, a largely qualitative study of IkamvaYouth, which provided a range of very useful insights, for example, into learners’ socio-economic situations, their performance in Maths and Science compared with the feeder schools, and the challenges they face at tertiary institutions. However, a major limitation of this study was the lack of realistic comparator groups that could serve as counterfactuals. A big challenge was finding an appropriate benchmark against which to measure the ikamvanites’ achievement. How do we know that their great results are due to IkamvaYouth, and not due to their own motivation and achievement which would have led them to perform well anyway, without being a part of IkamvaYouth?

We were thrilled to have Prof van der Berg return in 2016, together with Lewis McLean, to tackle this challenge and assess IkamvaYouth’s impact with a more rigorous approach. In Succeeding Against the Odds, the researchers have managed to control for learners’ prior performance (and thus for factors such as pre-programme motivation and ability), by matching learners with a comparison group of learners who were not part of IkamvaYouth, but achieved the same results in the grade 9 systemic assessments. They could then compare ikamvanites’ matric exam performance with this group of learners, as well as with the results of the feeder schools (in quintiles 1-3), and with quintile 5 schools.

The researchers presented their findings by taking the audience through this presentation, and demystifying the various graphs and statistics. The graphs depicting the distribution of scores for various groups of learners are especially compelling. As background for viewing these distributions, it’s helpful to have a look at Nic Spaull’s article about school inequality in South Africa, where he shows that we essentially have two public education systems operating in parallel; the distribution of scores for learners in the lower quintiles (poorest) schools, compared with those in quintile 5 (most privileged) are markedly distinct from one another. In Succeeding Against the Odds, van der Berg and McLean show that Ikamvanites’s scores bridge this gap, and, in the case of Life Sciences, even meet the distribution of quintile 5 schools.

Andrew Barret, from Olico, said that “what is especially noteworthy about this study is not just that it shows the clear impact of IkamvaYouth, but that it in all likelihood underestimates this impact. As impressive and significant as these results are, the reality is probably even better,” as the researchers included a host of control variables.

As part of the lead up to the presentation, we heard from Yanga Totyi who is the branch coordinator at our Atlantis branch, as well as Ntebaleng Morake an alumna from the Ebony Park who completed matric in 2012. IkamvaYouth Atlantis opened in June 2016 and Yanga spoke about the challenges and triumphs they have had so far. Ntebaleng Morake is a UCT graduate with an honours degree in Gender and Transformation. Ntebaleng accredits her exposure to different fields of study outside of the conventional to her time at IkamvaYouth. Through the programme she was able to meet young, black men and women who were studying and working in different fields and the poverty induced veil of ignorance was lifted.

After the presentation, Dr van der Berg mentioned that the 2012 evaluation had made two recommendations: (i) The alumni in tertiary are struggling and need additional support, and (ii) the researchers cautioned against fast organisational growth, as they felt that the dilution of the organisation’s enthusiastic leadership across a much bigger organisation may lead to the programme losing some its attractiveness to students. He said he was very glad that the organisation had heeded his first recommendation (by establishing the alumni department), and not the second (IkamvaYouth is now operating in 16 townships; a relatively quick expansion from the 5 sites in operation in 2012). When asked for his opinion on what it is that makes the programme effective, Dr van der Berg said he suspects that there is something in the model which makes motivation contagious. He advised us to look into research around Nudge theory, which we will do, as we continue to understand just what it is that makes the ikamvanites so awesome.

We were very encouraged by the participation from other practitioners in the field, who chose to spend their Friday afternoon with us engaging with statistics. Some attendees took to the Twittersphere during the launch:

 

 

 

 

IkamvaYouth sends out loud big-up thank yous to:

  • DGMT, which got us onto this evaluation journey back in 2012

  • The Omidyar Network, which funded the 2015 evaluation

  • The Department of the Premier of the Western Cape, which accommodated us alongside the very auspicious Game-Changer symposium

  • Yanga and Ntebaleng for speaking at the launch, and grounding this research and the findings within the contextual realities of daily branch operations, and #feesmustfall activism respectively

  • Dr Servaas van der Berg, Lewis McLean and Nic Spaull from RESEP whose insights and perspectives on our work are greatly valued, especially as we know that they are all used to working with far larger datasets, for far more important entities (like the national Government!)  

Western Cape Ikamvanites ride the wave of success!

Western Cape Ikamvanites ride the wave of success!


Western Cape learners & tutors at the close of our two-week intensive tutoring during June holidays (Winter School).

IkamvaYouth branches in the Western Cape Province achieved a matric pass rate of 77%, of which 37% are Bachelor passes, and 27% are Diploma passes. 102 learners were enrolled in three branches.

The Nyanga branch came out tops this year with a 90% matric pass rate. A whopping 52% of those who passed also obtained Bachelor passes, while 29% obtained Diploma passes.

The top learner at the Nyanga branch is Kamvalethu Willie who obtained an average of 73%. He also received a distinction for Economics and will be studying towards a BCom in financial accounting at UCT with a full bursary from SAICA. Kamvalethu has been attending tutoring sessions at the branch for five years and had this to say when asked how he managed to keep coming for all those years: “I realised that the help I get is really important and Ikamva is a really nice place to be. It’s nice for me because whenever I achieve something they encourage me. I feel welcome here and it’s like a second home.”

Kamvalethu Willie from Nyanga  

The Masiphumelele community lives up to its name, which means “let us succeed”. In the December of 2015 yet another fire ripped through the community leaving many people homeless. Four months into 2016, the community was still trying to recover from the losses and rebuild their lives. Furthermore protests in the community, against crime, had a significant impact on learners’ attendance at school and tutoring. It’s under these circumstances that the Masiphumelele cohort of Matrics started their year. Regardless of all this, Ikamvanites in Masiphumelele were able to achieve an 80% Matric pass rate with 33% of the learners achieving Bachelor passes and 30% with Diploma passes.

Nicolas Commeignes, the Branch Coordinator in Masiphumelele had this to say about the results,“It is an absolute delight to celebrate learners’ successes, especially since we have been overcoming hurdles together and sharing  great achievements for almost 4 years now. Through the programme, learners gain maturity and feel more equipped to leave the location and community they grew up in. What has struck me time and time again is that they never forget IkamvaYouth as they always come back to visit; support their families and inspire the younger generation”

One of the  top achievers at the Masiphumelele branch is Samkele Hokwana who obtained a Bachelor pass and would like to pursue a degree in Medicine or Mechanical Engineering and says “It’s a matter of days for me to take a new step in life”. On how he achieved his success, Samkele had this to say, “In order to succeed, you have to capitalise on the resources available to you. For example, if I acquired more knowledge while working within a group of classmates, I would focus on that.”

 Samkele Hokwana from Masihumelele

Makhaza is home to IkamvaYouth’s largest branch, with 41 learners who sat for the 2016 Matric exams. For the 2016 Matric exams the branch achieved a 66% Matric pass rate where 29% of the learners obtained Bachelor passes and 24% with Diploma passes.

Aphaphame Mzayiya is one of this years top achievers at Makhaza and he will be studying filming and video technology at CPUT. He obtained two distinctions in Geography and History and had this to say about his results,“Finally getting my results has been a relief; it’s been one long holiday anticipating what the future holds. Now I know for sure I will flourish in my field” Aphaphame has come to be known as the resident poet and entertainer and is excited about the field of study he has chosen, “I learnt about IkamvaYouth through a video on YouTube. I then immediately visited the branch. That has been the best decision I made.”

Aphaphame’s advice to the upcoming Grade 12 class is to “just study while others are sleeping.”

The Makhaza branch didn’t perform as well as expected, given its impressive track record of results over the last 11 years. Thankfully, most of the learners who failed are eligible for supplementary exams, and will be receiving intensive support in the lead-up to these second-chance exams. Access to learners has been a major challenge for the branch this year, as learners have had to attend compulsory extra classes at school. IkamvaYouth is hoping to forge a partnership with schools and districts similar to that in the North West Province, where collaboration between the government and the NGO maximises scarce resources in serving learners’ individual needs,and yielded a 90% matric pass rate for Ikamvanites in the region.

IkamvaYouth had matrics writing in ten townships across five Provinces, and learners achieved an overall 85% pass rate; 69% of which are either Bachelor or Diploma passes, ensuring their eligibility for tertiary studies.

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


Up, Up and Away! KZN Ikamvanites soar fuelled by 41 distinctions

Up, Up and Away! KZN Ikamvanites soar fuelled by 41 distinctions

Learners have good reason to celebrate having achieved an 83% matric pass rate. 

Kwazulu-Natal saw an increase in its matric pass rate from 60.7% last year to 66.4% in 2016. This Province also managed to produce the second-largest number of bachelor passes, had the largest number of candidates sitting for the 2016 final exams and had the highest participation rate of African learners in Mathematics. Despite the increase in their pass rate, Kwazulu-Natal remains in the bottom 3 provinces with the lowest pass rates along with Limpopo and the Eastern Cape (all three making up 54.5% of the 2016 NSC candidates), reflecting the various socio-economic issues that plague the three most rural  provinces in South Africa.

Ikamvanites in Kwazulu-Natal managed to achieve an amazing 83%, surpassing the Provincial rate by almost 17%.

IkamvaYouth has two branches in the Province; in Chesterville (at the Vuyani Nkosi Memorial Youth Centre) and in Umlazi (at the AA Library). Chesterville Ikamvanites saw an 88% pass rate this year with 76% achieving either Bachelor or Diploma passes, ensuring eligibility for tertiary study. Umlazi Ikamvanites also achieved far above the provincial pass rate, hitting 77%. 53% of these learners achieved Bachelor or Diploma passes. Together, the branches had a matric cohort of 64 learners. These Ikamvanites managed to achieve a total of 41 subject distinctions; a really impressive achievement. 

Nomathemba Ndwandwe started at IkamvaYouth in 2014 as a grade 10 learner. She says, “I’m so excited and proud of myself. I achieved a Bachelor’s Degree  with 2 distinctions. My parents are really proud of me. I am the first in my family to pass Matric”.

Thabisile Mfeka joined IkamvaYouth in 2013 as a grade 9 learner. She says “it has been surreal and I still can’t believe that I’ve made it this far.  I appreciate all the support that I’ve received from IkamvaYouth. I doubt that I would’ve made it without IkamvaYouth. I thank all the tutors, staff and sponsors for making all of this possible. I was lucky enough to be part of something as wonderful as IkamvaYouth.”

Watch this interview with Matriculant Thabisile Mfeka to find out what she will be up to this year

Tanyaradzwa Chiyambiro is the Chesterville branch’s top achiever, having joined in 2013. “I am currently feeling relief and am very happy since I received my results; hopefully Wits University will approve my application to study Biomedical Engineering which is what I really really want to do. IkamvaYouth has been amazing; a combination of learning and fun. Being a part of this organisation has been awesome and I’ve learnt the importance of helping others and giving back.”

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 KZN thanks to very supportive partners, including Coca-Cola Beverages South AfricaAnglo-American Chairman’s FundDurban University of Technology, Zoe – Life, and CAFSA, in addition to the municipality, through the Department of Arts & Culture, which provides access to branch venues free of charge, and the schools and other tertiary institutions in the region.

“We are so proud of our learners, volunteers, and colleagues for this amazing achievement. Thanks to our generous sponsors and supporters; we are so appreciative for their ongoing support,” said Joy Olivier, co-founder and director of IkamvaYouth.

Thandazo Mkhize, Chesterville’s Branch Coordinator, says she is very proud and excited about the Class of 2016’s achievements. “These learners have been very consistent throughout the year and their results have proven that hard work really pays. I would like to really appreciate all those who were involved in making sure that the learners do their best, we would not have made it here without the help of the Almighty, and our very hardworking staff, volunteers, parents and our very reliable sponsors, thank you!” 

“We are delighted to be in a fortunate position to contribute to the greatness of South African young people through our partnership with IkamvaYouth. To the class of 2016, well done. You are the reason why we will keep investing in young South Africans.” says Tshidi Ramogase, Public Affairs & Communications Director at CCBSA.

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
 

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



IkamvaYouth’s class of 2016 achieves an 85% matric pass rate

IkamvaYouth’s class of 2016 achieves an 85% matric pass rate

The Ivory Park branch staff and matriculants celebrating a 100% pass rate

285 learners enrolled in IkamvaYouth’s after-school tutoring programmes in ten branches across five provinces have achieved an 85% pass rate; 69% of which are either Bachelor or Diploma passes, ensuring their eligibility for tertiary studies.

In South Africa, a major predictor of academic performance is the location of one’s school. When comparing results between leafy suburbs and tin-roofed townships, it appears that we have two different education systems operating in parallel. For most learners in township and rural schools, even reaching matric is a feat; only 58% of the grade 2s from 2006 made it to write matric last year, and so, as Nic Spaull explains, the actual pass mark for the matric cohort of 2016 is an abysmal 42%.

Unfortunately, the quality of one’s matric pass has a major bearing on the kinds of post-school opportunities one can access, and thus heavily influences an individual’s potential earning capacity.This is good news for the Ikamvanites who have managed to defy their context, and have leveraged the power of peer-to-peer learning and support to achieve great academic results. They’ve made an important step up the path towards earning a dignified living, and the organisation looks forward to reporting on the Class of 2016’s placements in a few months’ time.

“IkamvaYouth is especially proud of the Ivory Park branch, which achieved a 100% pass rate, and the branches in KZN (Chesterville and Umlazi), which hauled in an accumulative 41 subject distinctions”, says Programmes Manager Patrick Mashanda.‘’It is because of such results that IkamvaYouth continues to assist township youths, against all odds! We remain determined to see many more township youths breaking the cycle of poverty through education. The challenges the learners face are many, but the desire for a dignified living continues to inspire Ikamvanites to take the future into their own hands through hard work, and peer to peer learning. Well done to the class of 2016!’’

Vuyolwethu Zumani is a member of the Joza branch in the Eastern Cape. He achieved a Bachelor pass with 5 distinctions (in Maths, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Geography and Life Orientation). IkamvaYouth is proud to report that he is one of the top achieving learners in the district! Vuyolwethu cleared hurdles including a shortage of teachers at his school and financial instability at home, and has been accepted to study towards a BSc, majoring in Maths and Statistics at the university currently known as Rhodes this year.

Vuyolethu Zumani was awarded for being the top learner in the district.

The Ikamvanites are tutored and mentored by volunteers, who come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Most of the tutors are university students, and many are ex-learners from the programme, who pay-forward the help they received by supporting younger learners. Many of the volunteer mentors are professionals who assist grade 12 learners to figure out their post-school options, and assist with their applications. We look forward to welcoming members of the class of 2016 as volunteers.

Tanyaradzwa Chiyambiro, the Chesterville branch’s top achiever, says “I am currently feeling relief and am very happy since I received my results; hopefully Wits University will approve my application to study Biomedical Engineering which is what I really really want to do. IkamvaYouth has been amazing; a combination of learning and fun. Being a part of this organisation has been awesome and I’ve learnt the importance of helping others and giving back.”

We are particularly proud of those learners who will be studying to become teachers. Thabisile Mfeka, a top achiever from the Umlazi branch, achieved a Bachelor pass and plans to pass on her love of education and learning by studying a B(Ed) and teaching Maths, Science and English to learners in grades seven to nine.

Thabisile Mfeka speaks about her IkamvaYouth experience and her plans for the future

These great achievements are the result of years of hard work and strong collaborative partnerships. IkamvaYouth enrolls learners in grades 8 to 11, and works closely with the feeder schools, many other NGOs and CBOs, tertiary institutions, municipalities, Government departments, corporates and foundations.

“We are so proud of our learners and tutors, as well as the team behind them, and thank our donors for their ongoing support that enables results like these, year after year,” says Leigh Meinert, chairperson at IkamvaYouth. The organisation’s work is made possible thanks to generous support from many donors; most of which provide multi-year funding. Supporters of the Class of 2016 include Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA), the Omidyar Network,The ELMA Foundation, the Montpelier FoundationCapitec FoundationCargill International,EMpower and The Learning Trust amongst many others.

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



CCBSA investment in education pays off

CCBSA investment in education pays off

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has invested generously in the futures of youth in Gauteng (in Ebony Park and Mamelodi), North West (in Ikageng and Mahikeng), and Kwa-Zulu Natal (in Umlazi). Through enabling the non-profit organisation IkamvaYouth to establish and grow branches in these communities, CCBSA has ensured that learners are receiving supplementary academic tutoring, career guidance, mentoring and computer literacy training so that they can achieve academic excellence and go on to access tertiary education, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.

IkamvaYouth and CCBSA are proud to announce that the class of 2016 has achieved an 86% pass rate, with 70% achieving bachelor or diploma passes, ensuring eligibility for tertiary study.

“As CCBSA we have always believed in the youth of SA. This country has amazing potential to do great things, what we need is for all South Africans to believe this truth. We are delighted to be in a fortunate position to contribute to the greatness of South African young people through our partnership with Ikamva Youth and our other flagship projects in Youth Enterprise Development and Environmental Management. To the class of 2016, well done. You are the reason why we will keep investing in young South Africans.” says Tshidi Ramogase, Public Affairs & Communications Director at CCBSA.

Motlapso Maredi, top learner at Ebony Park, says that “Hard work is the most important thing, as even with support from all angles if you aren’t motivated it doesn’t make a difference. I have received offers from all the universities that I have applied to. I would love to thank IkamvaYouth, the mentors and the sponsors. Every learner has a way of learning. Believe in yourself and your potential”. Motlapso has been accepted at UCT for BCom Law.

The investment in these learners will have positive ripple effects far into the future. Thabisile Mfeka, from the Umlazi branch, achieved a Bachelor pass and plans to pass on her love of education and learning, as she will be studying a B(Ed), towards teaching Maths, Science and English to learners in grades seven to nine.

“We are so proud of our learners and tutors, as well as the team behind them, and thank CCBSA for the ongoing support that is needed to produce results like these, year after year,” says Leigh Meinert, chairperson at IkamvaYouth.