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.
Each year, IkamvaYouth supports learners to ensure they not only pass matric, but also access post-school opportunities that can lead to them earning a dignified living. These opportunities include tertiary and other training opportunities, learnerships, and employment. In January, we were excited to announce a pass rate of 82% for the class of 2018, with 69.3% eligible for tertiary.
With the dust of the matric pass celebrations having settled, IkamvaYouth is proud to announce a placement rate of 77.7%:
- 50% learners of the class of 2018 have been placed into post-school opportunities (39.5% are studying at university or college; 6.1% are in short courses, higher certificates and related short term training; 2.1% are enrolled in learnership programmes; 2.3% are employed)
- 27.7% are improving their matric results through supplementary exams/upgrading programmes or enrolled in NCV courses at FET colleges.
- 22.3% are currently not in education, employment, or training (NEETs).
A total of 188 (39.5%) of IkamvaYouth’s 2018 matric learners have secured tertiary placements at various institutions across the country. As has been the trend in recent years, CPUT has the highest number of Ikamvanites enrolled (17 learners). It is encouraging to note that the number of institutions that have enrolled 10 or more Ikamvanites have increased to seven this year (UCT, Rhodes, TUT, UJ, UWC, NWU, CPUT). Last year, only four institutions had 10 or more Ikamvanites enrolled.
It is also encouraging to note the increase in the number of learners getting into the following institutions, compared to last year:
Ikamvanites are enrolled in a wide range of courses this year, including Humanities & Social Sciences, Business, Administration & Management, Education, as well as Science & Engineering. 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. One of these learners, Rebaone Moeng, from our Ikageng branch had the following to say:
“I have had only positive things to say. IkamvaYouth helped us a lot last year while I was in matric. In simple words, I didn’t think I would be in university, I had limited knowledge of available courses and learned how to apply for enrolment, and course requirements. I would not have even made it through to matric without IkamvaYouth’s assistance. It is because of how much IkamvaYouth invested in me that I decided to become a tutor, for me it was only fair to give back as much as I have received. But also seeing how much IkamvaYouth changes lives from my own experience, being part of that is an honour. There’s a lot one can get from IkamvaYouth and the best part of it all is that you ought to utilise that opportunity because not many people are as fortunate. I honestly had and am still having an amazing experience at IY and I hope to keep being part of the IY family for as long as I can”.
Access to funding for tertiary has improved by close to 20% from last year; 73% of those who accessed tertiary have thus far secured funding through NSFAS as well as other bursaries/scholarships, compared to just 56% last year.
“I am very grateful to the staff for the support that they have given me. I don’t think that I would have made it without them based on the kind of person that I was before”.~Mihlali Breakfast, Joza branch
Mihlali Breakfast joined the Joza branch because he heard some of his friends discussing the level of assistance they were receiving from the IkamvaYouth programme. Mihlali passed his matric with a Bachelor pass, earning two distinctions in Maths Literacy and Isixhosa Home Language. Mihlali is enrolled at Rhodes University, pursuing a Social Sciences Degree. Mihlali has been very consistent in his academic performance throughout this year and attributes that to the support he has received from IkamvaYouth.
Thank you to our funders, tutors, staff and all partners continue to make the journeys to dignified living for our learners a sure possibility. As more and more learners access post-school opportunities, we are confident they are breaking the cycle of poverty in their families one step at a time!