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!
Following the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the beginning of June, IkamvaYouth is excited to share that six new board members have been elected to join IkamvaYouth’s non-executive board committee. These new members have extensive experience in a range of important areas, such as finance, law, education, and accounting to name a few! IkamvaYouth’s board members are committed to providing an oversight role to ensure that IkamvaYouth remains accountable in the execution of its mission.
Welcoming new board members was our acting Executive Director, Alex Smith, who thanked each of them for choosing to be a part of an organisation that strives to break the cycle of poverty in many of our communities. “All of our board members are volunteers and commit a huge amount of time to ensure the continued success of IkamvaYouth. Congratulations on being elected to serve at IkamvaYouth, your undying passion for youth development is a crucial and mutual attribute shared across each and every person working for the organisation. IkamvaYouth is looking forward to harnessing your energy as we create innovative solutions that allow us to meet our goals,” she added.
For more information about IkamvaYouth’s board members, see their bios here.
Since March this year, our Facebook page has been abuzz as we shared exciting photos of IkamvaYouth alumni, tutors, as well as the staff who have graduated from various universities around the country. As we wrap up the graduation season, we thought it would be great to get to know some of our graduating alumni and tutors a little better. Click here to find out what our graduating Ikamvanites had to share!
Noluthando (Western Cape) joined IkamvaYouth in 2014. She graduated with a BA in Psychology and Sociology, from the University of the Western Cape. She has been a committed IkamvaYouth tutor and is currently an intern at the Year Beyond programme. “I’m glad that I have grabbed all the opportunities IkamvaYouth exposed me to with both hands.”
Mthobisi (Kwa-Zulu Natal) Joined IkamvaYouth in 2015. He graduated with a Diploma in Human Resource Management, from the Mangosuthu University of Technology. Mthobisi is also a committed tutor at IkamvaYouth and is currently looking for employment. “I am glad that I graduated while my mother is still alive. In that way, I see myself having accomplished her goal to wear that black graduation gown and now I am looking forward to accomplishing my goal of which is to wear the RED graduation gown.”
Tumelo (Gauteng) joined IkamvaYouth in 2015. She graduated with a Diploma in Labour Law, from the Vaal University of Technology. Her future plans include pursuing post-grad studies and is currently looking for employment. “I wouldn’t be where I am without IkamvaYouth. With the tutors’ help, the motivational talks and peer to peer homework sessions also played a part in ensuring I do well in my matric, which enabled me to get to varsity.”
IkamvaYouth would like to once again congratulate ALL the Ikamvanites who graduated this year, your hard work and dedication paid off! We are so excited to witness you achieving even greater successes in the future. Go Ikamvanites!
IkamvaYouth has partnered with organisations providing after-school tutoring in various communities within the Western Cape and Gauteng. Through the Community Collaboration Programme (CCP) we provide programmatic support and training to organisations with the aim of building a sector of effective after-school programmes.
In January we announced that CCP class of 2018 achieved a whopping 90.4% matric pass rate with 81% eligible for tertiary. We are now even more excited to announce that we have achieved a placement rate of 79%:
- 64% of the class of 2018 has been placed into post-school opportunities
- 55% are studying at a university or college
- 6% are in employment
- 3% are in learnerships and short term training
- 15% are improving their matric results through supplementary/ upgrading programmes
- 21% are currently considered not in education, employment, or training (NEETs)
Out of 210 learners supported by the twelve organisations through CCP, 114 accessed tertiary institutions across South Africa. Furthermore, our matric learner numbers increased by a hundred learners in CCP, resulting in a 4% increase in placements since 2017. This highlights the growth and impact of IkamvaYouth’s Community Collaboration Programme in continuously creating a collaborative learning space to implement structured and effective programmes which benefit our learners in accessing various post-school opportunities.
In addition to the academic support provided to learners, our partners also assist with preparing our future leaders for life after matric by sharing available opportunities and platforms such as job portals. This is to ensure that Ikamvanites are aware of all possibilities, that they are equipped with adequate information to assist them in making informed decisions about their future.
One learner from Phakamani Young Minds Academy (PYMA) in Gauteng, Soweto had the following to share:
“I joined PYMA in 2017 because I was struggling with my grades. I would attend every afternoon class so that I could be helped with subjects like Mathematics, Physical Science and Geography because I was struggling in them. The academy was so helpful because it made my grades improve and I was supported to apply at various institutions. This year I will be attending at South West TVET College to study an Electrical engineering course. When I got my confirmation letter from the institution early February I was thrilled and will be starting in the second trimester.
My favourite quote is I Will Persist Until I Succeed because it motivates me to never give up, no matter what obstacles I may come across in my life. What lead me to succeed in my matric year is that I always had support from my family and most of all PYMA because it would enforce pressure on me that I must study very hard if I want to achieve my goals and it also implemented extra lessons for myself and others learners so that we can have enough time to study and understand what we were being taught. For that, I would love to give a warm thanks to PYMA for always being my pillar of strength in the two years I spent being their learner.”
We look forward to more excellence in 2019.