IkamvaYouth provides support to other NGOs who provide after-school support to high school learners. This Community Collaboration Programme (CCP) is currently supporting 17 organisations.
It is always an exciting time when we reflect on the work that organisations in the CCP have achieved. Earlier in the year, we celebrated our partners collectively achieving an impressive 89% pass for the 2019 class of matrics. Now they have taken it a step further supporting the 293 learners to secure post-school opportunities. We are happy to report on an amazing achievement of 70% placements, with learners enrolled in tertiary, learnerships, and employment.
The matric learners’ university eligibility and placement on various post-school opportunities are one of our key indicators in measuring the success of the programmes organisations offer.
Placements are an integral component as they create a clear pathway for learners to earn a dignified living within five years of completing matric. The overarching aim of this programme is to support learners to be self-sustaining individuals positively impacting their lives and those of their families, ultimately eliminating poverty.
Alumni from one of our partner organisations, Phakamani Young Minds Academy(PYMA), Zulfa Hansuana shared her experience with PYMA. “I am currently studying at Nelson Mandela University, enrolled in Public Relations. PYMA has helped me to be aware of application processes and procedures. Given the circumstances and environment we are exposed to, students like me don’t have enough information and are not knowledgeable about tertiary applications. Through PYMA I was able to apply at a tertiary institution and for Nsfas, this was a dream come true for me and my family since they are my supportive structure. I will forever be thankful to PYMA for all their tireless support and motivation, I don’t think I could’ve done it all by myself.”
One of the significant aspects of this collaboration is the creation of a platform for partners to share best practices in implementing the IkamvaYouth model to its fullest potential and continuous learning as we grow the after-school sector.
We are proud of all the organisations in CCP and look forward to supporting you all in the years ahead as we learn and grow from each other.
Debbie Weir said, “There is no ‘I’ in team’’; but we sure are glad there is ‘u’ in volunteers! Maintaining close relationships with volunteers is critical to any volunteer-driven organisation’s success. The IkamvaYouth Gauteng and North West branches understand the importance of volunteerism and embarked on a journey to appreciate the outstanding work of our volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the national lockdown started, our team has been working tirelessly with our volunteers to ensure our learners keep busy and are supported with their academics.
In true IkamvaYouth culture, volunteers’ work and commitment are celebrated yearly in different forms, as we witnessed in the 2019 Gauteng Gala and North West Masquerade ceremonies. This year things took on a different turn, due to uncertainty regarding when lockdown restrictions will end Online tutoring became our new normal. This sparked an idea from our District Manager to celebrate the work of our regional volunteers by arranging volunteer online appreciation week themed “suffocate them with love”. We dedicated an entire week acknowledging the region’s volunteers through sharing pictures, quotations, and spotlight articles that gave us a glimpse into the lives of our superheroes and “sheroes”.
All weekend long, followers of IkamvaYouth social media platforms were kept in suspense, wondering what the big hype was about as we began the countdown to the launch. The day finally arrived; Monday 29 June and we got the ball rolling from the first hour of the day. The ‘Gauteng and North West Tutor Appreciation Week’ announcement was made in style, on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It included a sweet introductory message of the week’s event from the region’s District Manager, Maria, and a picture collage with all our tutors’ faces on it.
Ever wondered why people volunteer? What it is like to tutor high school learners? Well, wonder no more! Our spotlight interviews gave you access to six awesome volunteers, namely Keletso (Mamelodi branch), Mzwanele (Ebony Park branch), Rebaone (Ikageng branch), Gopolang (Mahikeng Branch), Sarah (Ivory Park Branch) and Thabo (Diepsloot branch). The articles were structured in a “getting to know me” feel where we got to venture into their daily lives, aspirations, interests, and volunteering experiences at our branches. A fun fact from Mzwa’s interview, when asked if he were to be president for a day what would he do differently and his response was “Being president for a day can never be enough for me to change the country or implement anything, but I would enjoy my day in office with a cup of coffee, calling everyone I know, letting them know I’m head of state!”
Some of our tutors had this to say about the week:
“Being appreciated is always a very good feeling for one’s self-confidence. Seeing that you are noticed and recognised for the good things that you do for others is very pleasing. I think choosing social media to display gratitude is exactly how I wanted to be appreciated for a long time. So I feel very much honoured to be appreciated for a long time and on social media in fact.”
Odirile, Mahikeng tutor
“Honestly speaking, I am very happy, it is really a great feeling being appreciated where everyone can see. It actually gave me a sense of satisfaction, and I was able to realise that my time and efforts I spend with the learners mean a lot and that motivated me to work harder in assisting the learners. This is one of the best experiences I ever had.”
Gopolang, Mahikeng tutor
“Volunteer appreciation week made me feel very proud to be an IkamvaYouth volunteer – it was lovely to read some stories of fellow volunteers and tutors that I haven’t interacted with, as well as some words of thanks from learners. It made me feel very appreciated, to confirm the large difference that the WhatsApp tutoring is making for the learners during lockdown; which I am so glad to be a part of.”
Laura, Ivory Park tutor
“It’s been an exciting week for me, both North West and Gauteng branches came up with a brilliant idea that was able to reach us as volunteers. I feel motivated that our work as tutors is valued, even during these difficult times our branches have been able to show how much they value our work. Thank you for taking a week to appreciate us.”
Strongman, Ebony Park tutor
As we wrapped up volunteer appreciation week, we would like to say thank you for sacrificing your time, to assist the youth in our communities. Our Programmes Manager, Patrick had this to say;
“In every crisis or disaster situation, it calls for real nation builders to come forward and put their lives in the line to avert the impact of the crisis on humanity!! You are such nation builders! You have, like Tata Mandela forsaken your own comfort and have poured yourselves for the sake of the many Ikamvanites whose situation has been made more bearable because of your tutoring support. To us, you are nation builders, making history through your sacrifices! We thank you!!”
IkamvaYouth’s mission goes beyond just ensuring that learners pass matric, we also seek to ensure that learners access post-school opportunities that will set them on a path to a dignified living. Earlier this year, IkamvaYouth was proud to announce an 86% pass rate for our matric class of 2019. Not only did 86% of learners pass, 47% of the 2019 matric cohort achieved bachelor’s passes, unlocking access to study at university. We are excited to announce a total placement rate of 75% for the class of 2019. We are particularly proud of the 45% of Ikamvanites that have accessed tertiary education.
It is encouraging to note that a total of 211 of IkamvaYouth’s 2019 matric learners have secured tertiary placements, the highest number of tertiary placements achieved over the past five years. Furthermore, the percentage of tertiary placements achieved increased from 39.50% for the 2018 cohort, to 45% for the 2019 cohort.
Ikamvanites are enrolled in a wide range of courses this year, the most being enrolled in Business Administration & Management related courses, as well as Humanities/Social Science studies.
The diversity of career streams taken by the learners is encouraging, and it makes us proud to be supporting the learners to access these respective career choices. Without the support of the branch staff and mentors, some of these learners would not have had the chance to know the courses they are pursuing even existed. The following are just a few quotes from Ikamvanites, expressing their gratitude for the support in accessing their respective post-school opportunities.
IkamvaYouth would like to acknowledge the significant efforts of all branch staff and volunteers whose hard work and dedication has enabled placement of 75% of Ikamvanites. The continued support of our funders and partners is also greatly appreciated, as these partnerships enable IkamvaYouth to support learners on their path to earning a dignified living upon completing matric.
The COVID-19 virus is likely to hit those living in under-resourced areas the hardest. It is critical that we continue to ensure that our Ikamvanites can realise their potential by succeeding in school and accessing post-school education/work. Therefore, our work couldn’t be more important – even though schools are shut and we can’t run tutoring sessions. Tutoring will continue for learners with the use of online platforms, study material and support from parents to ensure that our mission becomes a reality. Our team is working tirelessly, from home to ensure that the organization keeps running smoothly.
Online tutoring strategy
We have adapted our service in line with current developments. Through the use of WhatsApp, we created groups for learners, grouped by grade and by subject streams, to enable academic support to continue. Learners are able to post questions and we facilitate learning using the virtual space. Schedules for learners have been put in place, indicating times from Monday to Friday where different core subjects will be covered, where each subject will run for a maximum of two hours, with learners posting questions, and tutors responding in real-time. Before the lockdown, we distributed study guides to students, so they may have study resources they can use offline, while they are home. Our branch staff are managing the virtual tutoring space, ensuring effective learner and tutor participation as they do at branches. We have leveraged our relationship with parents, requesting them to avail their phones to their children during this period.
IkamvaYouth internal response
The welfare of our staff is equally important to us. All staff members were briefed on the following; Maintaining high levels of hygiene, practicing social distancing, self-isolation in the event that they feel they might have been at risk, seeking immediate medical attention if any of the symptoms are showing. The staff has been working from home since the lockdown commenced and we have provided all employees with the resources they need to be able to work from home. Our goal at this time is to ensure all our staff, beneficiaries and tutors are safe and are contributing to curbing the virus through the various methods shared. Our mission, even in this time, is to continue to provide the support our learners need to keep their minds stimulated and prepare them for when schools open.
We encourage everyone to stay at home and practice good hygiene.
As we begin 2020, a year that promises to produce great stories of success, growth, and resilience, we reflect on 2019.
We started the year by celebrating with the class of 2018 on their matric passes. Close to 500 learners were enrolled, and the cohort achieved an 81% matric pass rate, with a 68% tertiary eligibility. A highlight was our Diepsloot branch, which achieved a stellar 100% pass rate and an impressive 94% tertiary eligibility!
During the year, our after school programme impacted over 3000, grade 8 – 12 learners in KZN, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, North West, and Western Cape. Throughout the 5 provinces we operate, staff, volunteers, mentors, and parents worked collaboratively to ensure the improvement of the academic performance of our learners.
Winter school was held across our branches all over South Africa, where extensive tutoring sessions and workshops were conducted. Additionally, the students went on educational excursions, supported by our donors and partners.
In 2019, we welcomed six new board members to IkamvaYouth’s non-executive board, who brought with them the expertise needed to carry the strategic goals of the organisation forward.
Without the work of our volunteer tutors, our work would have been impossible. At the end of the year, we held tutor Appreciation celebrations in two of our regions. Over 200 volunteers gathered to celebrate the invaluable work they do for young people, and for IkamvaYouth to say Thank You!
We kept in touch with our alumni, who throughout the year shared their graduation celebrations. Alumni graduations are a reminder for us how the work we do now has long term positive impact, as the young graduates are able to contribute to the economy and also support their families as they get into the job market.
A young change agent, Nwabisa Ngumbela cycled 633km through South Korea, raising funds for the organisation. She reached her fundraising goal and exceeded her target. Thank you Nwabisa for your selfless sacrifice and may you continue to pay it forward.
Without supporters like Nwabisa, and many of the individuals, corporates, trusts, foundations and NGO partners, our programmes would not be as impactful. We thank you, and may you continue to be part of the solution to South Africa’s education system.
In two days, the wait will be over for the class of 2019 as their matric results will be published. They are already champions and we wish them the best for their future endeavours as they pursue the different post-school opportunities, and of course, returning as volunteer tutors.
We are excited about the year ahead, a year of continued sustainable growth, higher impact and success for our learners and alumni, and we continue to lay the foundations for future growth.
A happy 2020 and beyond to you all!
South Africa may have been in the middle of a chilly winter, but back at IkamvaYouth, over 1,600 high school learners were braving the cold with their minds set on securing their futures.
Every year, IkamvaYouth anticipates its annual Winter School programme, an exciting period in our events calendar. We reserve two weeks during the June – July holidays, to provide academic and non-academic support to our learners. This year, Winter School kicked off on the 17th of June and all 17 branches across the country were fully armed to tackle education, youth-led style.
This year, 320 volunteers showed up nation-wide, all working hard and ultimately contributing over 300 tutoring hours across all branches. Part of the iconic two-week programme is to actively engage our learners in their studies by reflecting on some of the work they covered in their syllabus. This is done through peer learning, spearheaded by our learners as they highlight their learning gaps and we help mend a bridge of support. This pedagogical approach is held together by dedicated volunteer tutors (many of whom were previous learners, who have transformed from beneficiaries into benefactors).
In our Kwa Zulu-Natal branches, both the Umlazi, together with the Chesterville branch held a combined Winter School programme at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) with a total of 139 learners, each receiving an average of 18 hours of tutoring. In addition, the programme afforded our Grade 11 learners, a tour around the massive Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) plant, this visit was part of their career guidance workshop which comprised of talks by the CCBSA Coastal Regional Manager, as well various CCBSA departments.
The Western Cape Programme was a resounding success, with over 850 learners attending from Grades 8, right through to Grade 11. The region achieved an aggregate of 136 hours of tutoring for the seven winter school centres, namely; ID Mkhize, Gugulethu Comprehensive Secondary School, Kuyasa, Makhaza, Atlantis, Nyanga and Masiphumelele. The Western Cape impressively tallied 25 workshops across the region to supplement our holistic approach to peer-learning.
Gauteng and North West
The Gauteng and North-West region had an impressive learner reach of 579 learners during this years’ Winter School across Grades 9 to 11. The Gauteng branched facilitated a total of 31 workshops and this included a mini Career Indaba, a Career Expo, and a Career Day panel discussion. The branches were able to achieve collective success, through collaborations and partnerships with key stakeholders, including; The National Treasury, Anglo American, University of the Witwatersrand, Women in Engineering, Pretoria Archeology Club, Thuto Bophelo Nursing Academy, ABSA Bank, Mustard Seed Foundation and Ntsakiso Youth Solutions.
A highlight in the North-West was the Mahikeng branch receiving an award of ‘Excellence in Recognition of Stakeholders’ from the Department of Education’s Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign (QLTC). This award was to recognise the contribution made by the organisation in the after-school space.
During the hustle and bustle of Winter School, we caught up with one of our exceptional tutors Zodumo who had the following to say “Being part of Winter School was a wonderful experience, especially playing a part in moulding the learners futures and helping these young people to overcome different challenges they have with their subjects. Winter School is a great opportunity for learners to identify their problem areas in various subjects and a platform for them to engage with each other and share creative learning methods. Our learners appreciate how they are involved in deciding the direction and the pace of our tutoring. More importantly, they appreciate being asked where they require assistance. This is why I am honoured to be a part of this organisation!” – Zodumo, tutor.
Lastly, the Joza branch in the Eastern Cape had over 15 alumni returning to tutor, displaying the spirit of paying it forward. Tutors and stakeholders conducted different workshops. Learners gained practical experience on digital storytelling; actively narrating stories, creating and forming stories using digital media. The branch also hosted a study skills workshop, which focused on the power of association, emotional intelligence, intelligence quota and adaptability quota. The learners were addressed by various motivational speakers, ranging from staff members to alumni and distinguished guests from the community, every morning. These talks were aimed at inspiring learners, delving much on the different qualities that motivate a person to succeed. This encouraged and motivated learners to endure and strive for better.
As a direct result of generous support from our donors, IkamvaYouth has been able to continue implementing an impactful Winter School programme aimed towards changing the trajectory of the lives of many young people. In addition, we would like to commend our dedicated team of excellent staff for reminding us how Winter School earned its reputation as “a time when the organisation displays unity and team spirit across the country, which is encouraging and points to resilience amidst challenges” stated Lerato, our Acting Gauteng and North-West District Manager.
We would like to thank you all for the incredible commitment and support in making our programme possible!