On Saturday the 6th of February 2016, IkamvaYouth hosted its first alumni meetup for the year in Cape Town. The aim was to get the alumni to meet one another especially since they attended different IkamvaYouth branches in high school, across different years, but may currently study at the same tertiary institutions and live in the same areas. Another goal was to get them thinking and talking about the various post-school opportunities available to them and plan for the year ahead. Thabisile Seme, the Alumni Coordinator, facilitated the session and ensured that it was informative and fun!
The alumni shared what they are currently doing (be it work or study) and what their plans are for the year. Leànne from Mintor joined the meetup and gave the alumni an in-depth explanation of how the platform works. Mintor is a platform that allows students to build skills and credibility ,broaden their work experience and earn some money in the process. By completing a profile on their site, students avail themselves to businesses looking for skilled candidates . Leànne founded the platform when she realised that one of the pressing issues in the country is the difficulty that exists around finding employment after studying, partly due to lack of experience. Mintor seeks to connect students to what she calls “Micro-internships” which is part-time work a student can do from the day they start studying. Such opportunities may also help students come to realisations about their field of study earlier giving them the chance to gain certain skills or change their career path. Mintor also caters for graduate job-seekers and students looking to complete learnerships and in-service training. Leanne emphasised that the best way to improve your credibility is by “demonstrating your interests alongside what you study” instead of waiting for an opportunity. You can learn more about mintor here.
For the first activity, everyone was given a sheet of paper with different statements like “Matriculated before 2010”, the goal was to match a statement to an individual and get them to sign for it. Individuals weren’t allowed to sign for more than 2 statements per sheet. It was a really fun way for everyone to learn some quick facts about one another.
For the second activity, alumni were asked to form a straight line in order of when they joined IkamvaYouth, the twist was that no speaking or writing was allowed! As they moved around mutely,occasionally giggling, everybody quickly found a way to communicate their position in the line.
At the heart of the day’s activities was having everyone paired up and sharing their “IkamvaYouth story”. We heard from Thobela Bixa who was part of the first cohort of matrics to go through IkamvaYouth; he went on to pursue studies in chemistry and earned a Masters in Chemistry. He currently works as an analyst in the Finance sector and is pursuing his new passion: Business. As everybody shared each other’s stories, it became clear that there are different ways that they can help each other in their studies and careers from sharing books to guiding someone in their job-seeking or letting them know of new opportunities in the workplace.
The last activity reinforced the concept of how everyone is connected; it involved everyone throwing around a reel of string (without impaling anyone) and saying what they are looking forward to this year. The common thread was that everyone wanted to learn more this year and equip themselves to create even better lives. In the end, the string had formed a web which connected everyone and Thabisile demonstrated that a tug at one end of the web could be felt by everyone. She encouraged the alumni to support one another through the programme, reminding us all that: “whatever you do in your life, you have an impact on other people and if we consciously want to make an impact, that impact becomes a lot bigger…”
We’re looking forward to seeing the alumni again on the 5th of March at the Get that job! workshop. You can see the event details here.
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.
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.
The Year Beyond programme has just had its very first successful winter school for 300 learners run by a group of 36 highly motivated volunteers. Winter school is a way of introducing our young learners to a wider world of opportunity through targeted career advice and mentoring activities, supplementary tutoring, excursions and workshops, and through career speakers offering advice and support to enable the learners to access tertiary education and employment.
Our winter schools were held at Phoenix, Manyano, ID Mkhize, and Oval North High Schools. We were hosted with warmth and the learners thoroughly enjoyed the experience. With the learners having never been to an established winter school programme, the experience unlocked their eyes and minds to a new sphere of possibilities.
Winter Schools are not like the daily routine of a normal school day, instead it’s about intensive tutoring and different workshops focussed on equipping the students with a sense of independence as well as ensuring that they leave with the confidence and understanding in mind, knowing that it starts with self. The activities and workshops were aligned with the intention of developing our learner’s leadership skills, level of awareness, valuing self and importantly raising awareness of the social issues affecting youth and the preventative actions that are available to them.
The core component of Year Beyond winter school is the academic content. Learners received 2 hour intensive tutoring sessions with a variety of tutoring resources including; past papers, mock exams and Answer Series study guides, English (Fundza) and Math (Olico) Fundamentals.
In addition to the academic emphasis, the winter school provided an opportunity for a number of workshops around themes relating to general life-skills, HIV/Aids awareness, filmmaking and personal presentation skills. Learners were also exposed to information helpful to choosing subjects when they start grade 10.
The varied workshops included; Peers in Sexual Health running workshops about teenage pregnancy / STIs/ HIV information and training through experiential games and role plays; UCT Health Faculty who ran TB awareness and movie screening for health awareness; a workshop from Live Magazine on how to build a newsletter and magazine, while Rae Human and partners gave a presentation from the Film and Publication Board covering topics like cyber safety, the film industry and the Board as national regulator that were geared towards enlightening learners to the dangers of the media landscape. Students filmed their own short documentary through crash courses in sound, lighting and directing. UCT Humanities Faculty ran subject choice workshops and requirements to access post school institutions, and many learners went on an excursion to the Jewish Museum which aimed to create an understanding, gain knowledge and an appreciation of religious and cultural diversity within our society, and to respect the dignity, rights and values of people from different religions and cultures.
Combination of Schools
As the old adage goes; two hands are better than one and combining two schools per cluster was the winning idea. Manyano high school combined with Intlanganiso high school at Manyano and Tafelsig combined with Oval North at Oval North High. Additionally, Phoenix combined with Heideveld at Phoenix and ID Mkhize combined with Leiden high at ID Mkhize high school. At this point it’s where we could see the excitement on learners’ face when they were introduced to their peers from different schools. Peer to peer support was the tool that was used by tutors to ensure learners supported one another, but also in building a culture of hard work and being responsible to and for each other.
A huge thanks to all the workshop facilitators, tutors and learners – Your passion, commitment, excitement and leadership shown over this time has started to set a precedent in the schools, instilling a culture of hard work and belief in the possibility of a bright and beautiful future!
In January, along with hi-fives and star jumps, the ikamvanites were proud to announce an 82% pass for the class of 2014. Now, after finally gathering in the results for those writing supplementary exams, we’re thrilled to announce an overall 84% pass, with 85% eligible for tertiary institutions (50% bachelor and 34% diploma).
However, while a matric pass is difficult to obtain (especially for those attending schools where more than half of learners drop out before reaching matric), it is just the first of many hurdles that need to be cleared in the race towards a career that can catapult a family out of poverty.
Research has shown (Van der Berg & Broekhuizen, 2013) that unemployment for those with less than 12 years of schooling is 42%, while for matriculants it’s 29%. Those with non-degree tertiary education have an unemployment level of about 16%, while for people with a degree, unemployment is under 5%. The numbers of youth not in education, employment or training (NEETs) have increased over the last few years and currently sit at almost 34% of 15 – 24-year-olds in South Africa.
IkamvaYouth is thrilled to report that 85% of the 2014 matrics ARE in education, employment, or training (and not NEETs). Of the 244 learners who wrote matric in 2014:
49% are in tertiary institutions (30% at university and 19% at colleges)
18% have learnerships or jobs
18% are working to upgrade their matric results
These results are remarkable, especially given the norms and expectations of township youth. Beauty Komone , who attended the Ivory Park branch, says “I grew up in a disadvantaged family of seven where none of my three siblings (who are out of high school) have managed to get into tertiary. Tutoring and other programmes that are run by IkamvaYouth have boosted my performance and the way I perceive life. I am now at University studying information technology (IT)!”
Ikamvanites have chosen to study towards careers that will advance the country’s development. Of those enrolled in tertiary institutions (112 learners), 12% are studying engineering, 14% are studying IT, 18% are studying health sciences, and 34% are studying finance, business or entrepreneurship. We’re encouraged to see that 6% are studying education; our hope is for many more ikamvanites to build their careers by transforming South Africa’s education system.
Katlego Octivious is studying architecture, and Boitumelo Mahladisa is training to become a policeman and keep his community safe. We are particularly proud of Tiyiselani Mpangane, who was really struggling with her academics when she joined the Ebony Park branch in grade 10. After joining IkamvaYouth, her results have shot up remarkably; she achieved 6 distinctions for matric, and is studying actuarial science at UCT.
Most heartwarming and encouraging of all, 65% of the class of 2014 has indicated that they’ll be returning to volunteer as tutors at IkamvaYouth. They will ensure that the next cohorts of learners reach similar heights; and propel the virtuous cycle of ikamvanites paying-it-forward, pulling themselves and each other out of poverty.
We need your help to make the circle bigger: Get involved as a volunteer, or donate!
Our 2015 dates:
17th-18th April – The Clock Tower Conference Centre, V&A Waterfront – Cape Town
23rd-25th April – Fourways Mall – JHB
7-9th of May – Kolonnade Mall – Pretoria
23-25th of Jul – Greenstone Mall – JHB
For further information, click on the Career Expo link here.