Protecting young girls and keeping them at school, by: Future Booi

Protecting young girls and keeping them at school, by: Future Booi

We are sharing this blog with you, written by Future Booi, one of our many Ikamvanites who wants to change the world. Help make her dreams possible by supporting her and other young people in our programme.

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My name is Future Booi and I am nineteen years old. I live with my single mother and sister, who is 21 years old.

My goal and vision are to make a change in the world. There was a young girl whom I have chosen to name Lizzy, to protect her identity.  She lived with her mother and grandmother. Lizzy had physical special needs and she was partially blind. Her mother abused her physically and I think this was due to her mother’s alcohol abuse. Lizzy cried every day and was sad most of the time. There were times they didn’t have food; my mother would give what she could as she knew Lizzy’s mother was unemployed and the odd jobs she was getting every now and then were not enough as she used some of it for drinking. The only person who tried by means to care for Lizzy was her grandmother who eventually died. The situation escalated when Lizzy’s mother passed on too, after some years. I still recall how difficult life was for her at that age.

My mother was supportive, ensured she was safe and made sure her basic needs were met. My mother also took it upon herself to find Lizzy’s other relatives as she had been left all alone upon losing her mom and grandmother. Eventually, my mother was successful in tracking down her aunty. The day her aunt came to take her to live with her, was the last day I saw her. I vowed to myself that, I want to make a difference, to change the lives of other young girls, girls in my community, having witnessed Lizzy’s difficult childhood, I vowed to make a difference in young girls’ lives. To care for young girls who have been abused and abandoned by their parents.

I would like to build a home for kids who have been abused, abandoned and/or orphaned. I want to make a change in their lives and give them hope. I would like for them to have a chance at rebuilding themselves, a chance to heal emotionally and this would require a specialized panel of counsellors and psychologists.  I also believe in educating the young, I would also like to have their education fully funded, a guaranteed success for a bright future. They deserve to know their worth and for their dreams to come true.

Today, these communities I live in are still facing the same problem of children being abused like Lizzy and they are too scared to speak about what they are going through. It might be because they don’t have a person they can trust and talk to about the situation and it could also be that they don’t know how to communicate their feelings. In our culture, it is so unfortunate that children are almost not allowed to voice their feelings and concerns and this is especially worse for girls because we are exposed to patriarchy. This makes it even harder when attending a government school that focuses only on academics and very minimal, if at all, on emotions and feelings.  Girls nowadays are targets and they are easily attacked. This is what makes this goal relevant today. Young girls need to be protected and cared for. This goes beyond academics and education in general. Lizzy was young and naïve but I’m sure what she went through then still affects her now. And I cannot help but wonder if she ever got the help she needed in order for her to heal emotionally and physically, she endured so much abuse from her own mother. Presently in our society, there are many girls like Lizzy who are going through the same or are in a similar situation. I just hope that my goal becomes a reality, if it does not put an end to this terrible ordeal, I hope it inspires other women to come to the realization that we need to protect female children.

Women abuse is a serious matter in South Africa and something must be done to stop this. Girls need to feel safe and they need to be loved not violated by men. We don’t deserve to be treated this way, we deserve better.

Girls that share the same story, like Lizzy, are out there and they exist, they just need a person that is willing to help them heal emotionally and mentally.

In order to make this work and make it possible, I think me studying psychology will help in making this dream possible and I believe that this scholarship will make my goal possible.

Here’s a little bit more about me……

I love being around people and I enjoy meeting new people. I was raised to respect both old and young. I am a God fearing young lady and very religious. I value education, I believe it is very important in one’s life. I respect and love myself and I appreciate the person I’ve become. I was born and raised in Uitenhage and I attended primary school there, I then moved to Cape Town in 2013 December to study at Ocean View Secondary. I am currently doing grade 12. My mother is a domestic worker.

I believe I am unique and versatile. I am a strong young woman and I can take on any challenges that come my way. Most of all, I have been blessed with the gift of giving and this gift has been the main reason I have these goals and dreams I need to fulfil. In my upbringing, I witnessed struggles besides my own and at the time I was only nine years old and I could not do anything about it. These same struggles gave birth to my dream and changed the way of thinking and challenged me to become a better person in the world.

Written by Future Booi

IkamvaYouth secures 81% placements for its class of 2017!

IkamvaYouth secures 81% placements for its class of 2017!

In January, IkamvaYouth was excited to announce a pass rate of 84.7%, surpassing the national pass rate of 75.1%! In the midst of this excitement however, there’s always the anxiety around securing post-matric placements that will set these young superheroes on the path to earning a dignified living and lifting themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty. IkamvaYouth is proud to announce a placement rate of 81% for the class of 2017:

  • 55%  have secured post-school placements (44% are studying in tertiary, 6% are in learnerships/employment, and 6% are enrolled in short courses, higher certificates and related short term trainings)
  • 31% are improving/upgrading their matric
  • 19% are considered not in education, employment, or training (NEETs)

We are extremely proud of the increase in the number of Ikamvanites who accessed tertiary this year (206 compared to 139 from the 2016 cohort). The Ikamvanites enrolled in tertiary are studying at universities and universities of technology across the country, the majority pursuing Business, Administration, & Management (15%); Humanities & Social Sciences(13%); and Engineering studies (13%). Our Atlantis branch had its first cohort of matriculants in 2017. One of them, Iviwe Meyi (currently studying Occupational Therapy at UWC), had this to say:

“IkamvaYouth really assisted me in a big way! Firstly, I didn’t even know what I wanted to study, but my mentor from Green Cape assisted me in finding a career aligned not only to potential but also my interests and abilities. I didn’t even know what Occupational Therapy was, up until she shared information on it. When we attended Open days, I had the opportunity to do more research on admission requirements, funding options, and university life and it was an enlightening experience. Not only did IkamvaYouth assist me with tertiary applications but they assisted me with NBT tests and funding options and I am currently a beneficiary of NSFAS. The after-school classes assisted me in obtaining the 2nd position in the class’ top 10 at the end of the year and I am thankful for all the opportunities IY brought my way!”

As access to tertiary is not the only challenge learners are faced with upon passing matric, IkamvaYouth strives to ensure that Ikamvanites secure funding to cover their tuition as well as other study related costs. IkamvaYouth was excited at announcement made by the former president last year, that free tertiary education would be phased in this year. Of the Ikamvanites who accessed tertiary, 50% have secured funding, mostly through NSFAS (39%).

Even though tertiary education has become free, securing bursaries is still important, as many of these bursaries, such as the Moshal Scholarship Programme open up even more opportunities for students as they form supportive communities that ensure success in university. We are therefore are particularly proud of the following Ikamvanites who managed to secure bursaries/scholarships:

  • Aviwe Zono from  the Makhaza branch who received an Asset Bursary to study Public Administration at CPUT.
  • Zandile Mkhize from the Chesterville branch who received a bursary from Boston College to study Media studies
  • Siyabonga Mthethwa from Ebony Park who received a bursary from Gauteng City Region Academy to study Actuarial Sciences at Wits
  • Florence Nyirenda from Masiphumelele who received a McKinnon bursary to study chemistry at UCT
  • Yolanda Dube from Ebony Park who received a bursary from the Thuthuka Bursary fund to study Accounting at the University of Pretoria
  • Likhanyo Rode from Makhaza who received a SASOL bursary to study Chemical Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch
  • Three learners received university entrance bursaries from North-West University:
    • Neelan Voorby from Mahikeng, who is studying Accounting
    • Kgotso Moroenyane and Karabo Masilo from Ikageng are both studying Actuarial Sciences
  • Seven learners managed to secure the prestigious Moshal Scholarship this year:

Thobani Khumalo from Chesterville, studying Accounting at UKZN

Ashleigh Mwendauya from Ebony Park, pursuing a general B.Sc degree at Stellenbosh

Boitumelo Lefophana, also from Ebony Park, studying Geological science at Wits

Siphelele Mzongwana from Kuyasa, studying medicine at Wits

Bongeka Sigoso from Makhaza, studying microbiology at the University of Free State

Andile Ndlovu from Umlazi studying Pharmacy at UKZN

Through their hard work and dedication, as well as the support of branch staff and volunteers, these learners are indeed taking the future into their own hands, and on their way to earning a dignified living. Thobani, one of the Moshal Scholarship recipients had this to say:

‘’I am currently studying B Com Accounting and would like to appreciate the founders of IkamvaYouth for changing the society for the better. I would also like to appreciate all IY KZN staff for motivating us and making it possible for us to maximize our academic potential. I would also like to thank Moshal Scholarship for partnering with IY, I do not think otherwise I would have gotten such an opportunity.’’

Congratulations to all the Ikamvanites on your journey so far, we can’t wait to witness all your awesome future achievements! A huge thank you to all the IkamvaYouth staff members and volunteers, who have invested significant time in ensuring the learners have mentors, attend career and university open days, and apply for placement opportunities. The unwavering support of our funders and all partners continues to make the journeys to dignified living for our learners is greatly appreciated. As more and more township learners access post-school opportunities, we are confident they are breaking the cycle of poverty in their families and communities one step at time

Ikageng 2018 Winter School and Matric Week in Full Swing

Ikageng 2018 Winter School and Matric Week in Full Swing

We have laid a solid foundation towards the greatness to come at end of 2018

The Ikageng branch hosted its two annual flagship events, the 2018 Winter School (WS) took place from 25th to 29th of June, followed by the Matric Week camp on from the 9th to 14th July. The tutoring for these events mainly focused on challenging subjects such as mathematics, physical sciences, accounting, etc. This was to present learners with vital opportunities to get a better understanding of what they did not understand at school during the first half of the year. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing volunteer tutors who demonstrated passion and dedication in helping our committed learners, diligently, throughout the process.

Below are some of the fantastic events hosted at the branch:

  • Pre-Winter School Tutor Training – making sure all our tutors were equipped with important tutoring skills before the commencement of these two big events.
  • The Current Grade 11’s Matric Induction – workshop for grade 11 learners on the prerequisites for tertiary enrolment and application procedures.
  • Matric Applications Day – our grade 12 learners were hosted by the team of their mentors from North-West University to proceed with their post-matric applications, bursary and learnership research.   
  • Talent Showa platform for the Ikamvanites to showcase their respective talents.
  • Learner of the month – The award winner is selected based on good attendance and courteousness.
  • Tutor Appreciation Barbecue
  • Joy Olivier our Executive Director (ED) visited our branch to bid farewell and getting to know in person our new ED Lungile Zakwe.

Below is what some learners and tutors had to say about their Winter School and Matric Week experience

“I enjoyed mostly being a tutor because last year I was a learner”

“I loved the tutoring sessions because they helped me a lot and want to do more in my studies”

“We had excellent tutors and mentors who made the matric week journey a wonderful one!!”

 

Thank you CCBSA for your continuous support in assisting us to provide quality programmes for our learners so that they may be able to have a bright future.

Diepsloot’s First Ever Winter School

Diepsloot’s First Ever Winter School

From 2-6 July 2018, the IkamvaYouth Diepsloot branch hosted its first winter school programme. The week was successfully led by branch coordinator Sakhile Dubazana along with a group of tutors and other branch staff members who all showed great enthusiasm throughout the entire week-long programme.

The winter school programme kicked off with tutor training on Saturday 30th June. This was an opportunity for the tutors to engage with each other through a series of activities that focused on how they can make this week the most effective for the learners.

From Monday 2nd of July, we welcomed learners from different High schools around Diepsloot, who despite the winter cold were very eager and excited to be part of the programme to learn and prosper.

Each day, the learners started their day with a social activity while having tea and that was followed by quick icebreakers that are very fundamental into building social connections. The icebreakers were also an opportunity for the learners to bonds with the tutors.

During the course of the winter school programme, the tutors were hands-on in all the subjects that they were assisting with. All the learners from grades 10-12 were engaged in the work that they were doing and their curiosity was really evidence of their willingness to learn and engage with the content. The mathematics learners also took part in a math Olympiad.

The winter school programme also included a career expo day. We invited different experts in different fields to come and address the learners in a session that was very informative and valuable to all learners, particularly the matriculants preparing for their post-matric life next year.  

On the last day, we had a thought-provoking debate session which was facilitated by the English tutors. Learners were really engaged in the various discussions that emerged as they debated about issues that affect the youth on a daily basis. Finally, we closed off the week with a talent show and the learners showcased the potential that they have outside the classroom environment.

The following week was focused on the matriculants, helping them complete their online University applications. As part of the process, the learners participated in the regional Gauteng Matric Applications day at the University of Johannesburg. This day involved a career guidance and mentoring session, led by one of the lectures on how can students effectively prepare themselves for University and what to expect when they have finally made it there. Thereafter, the learners were given access to a computer lab and were assisted with tertiary applications. The day ended with a campus tour.  

Massive gratitude to the Mamelodi team; Neo, Tokelo, and Obakeng (tutor); Lerato from Ivory Park and Masego (Ebony Park tutor), whom after their own week-long winter school came to support our branch. Siyabulela! We experienced real teamwork, collaboration, and peer-to-peer support.

TESTIMONIALS

  • Xolani Nkosi Diepsloot branch intern

 

“Winter school for me was a delightful and an insightful experience. I am saying that because I was very impressed with the commitment and dedication to hard work that the students portrayed throughout the entire week. It was evidence of their eagerness to achieve more and be better people in their communities. For my own self-enrichment I was thankful enough that I also learnt a lot from the students as well. More in particular, the debate session we hosted where the students were speakers made me realise a lot about certain topics that concern us as the youth of today. Overall, winter school was a great success and each and every day you could see growth within the environment both in numbers and the mindset of the students.”  

  1. 2. Karabelo Mosupeng (grade 10 Diepsloot Combined)

“Winter school was great for me because i spent my holidays studying and having fun with people who wanted to learn and do better with their lives. We had a lot of tutors coming in and helping us with our term1 and term2 work, we also touched on term 3 things. We also did things like group work outside, where I had to work with people I had not talked to before, we played 30 seconds against the tutors, I was also one of the speakers during a debate. We were told about different careers that we didn’t know like biochemistry and the importance of having entrepreneurial skills. What I loved the most was the talent show, it was my first time singing in front of people. I had a lot of fun during the winter school and learnt a lot. I cannot wait for our second winter school.”

Graduation Season 2016

Graduation Season 2016

For those of you who are on Facebook, you would have noticed what an  exciting past few months it’s been for IkamvaYouth, as we celebrated Ikamvanites who graduated from various institutions across the country. Among those who were graduating this year, was Sikelelwa Mashiyi, from the Masiphumelele branch (matric 2011). We caught up with her for a Q&A, to tell us about this fantastic achievement, what she’s up to now, as well as about her exciting trip to the United States of America! 

IY: In 5 words or less, tell us who is Sikelelwa?

SM: Happy, awesome. Enthusiastic, go-getter, loving

IY: Can you briefly tell us about your IkamvaYouth journey? 

SM: I was one of the few learners that were part of Ikamva youth in Masiphumelele when it started in 2009. I have to say that I am blessed to have been part of that program it helped me grow academically and personally. Academically; with all those afternoon classes we had, and also the winter school called Careers Indaba; where we got the opportunity to meet people in the business sector telling us how what we need to get obtain in order to get to University and the skills we need to learn in order to get to the work place. Personally, I was able to talk infront of people, so I got a lot of confidence from Ikamva. Also making long and lasting friends from the people that we interacted with within Ikamva in Masi and other branches. I also always enjoyed when we went to perform in Makhaza, I remember always dancing with a friend of mine called Zintle Mtakati and everyone used to cheer for us. We were called the twins….ahhhhh those days were greats

IY: What have you learnt from your university experience, that you’d like to share with other Ikamvanites?

SM: What I have learnt Is that you do not need to be rich to get to University, there are many ways in hich the school can support you financially and academically. Working hard pays off, we all know that school is not the best sometimes but we need to stay consistent and work hard the school will notice you. English does not determine your intelligence; you do not have to be the best English speaker for you to excel in University. Just do what you do best and God will do the rest. Ask, consult if you do not know, do not die in silence. 

IY: What advice would you like to share with other Ikamvanites who are still in matric/pursuing their tertiary studies?

SM: Never give up on your dreams, do not let anything stand in your way. I received at Diploma during my grade 12 in 2011. I had to take a gap year and work as a debt collector, but I told myself that my life belongs in the University so I rewrote some subject and got my B and today I am proud to say that I am one of the best honours Anthropologists in my class. I went to the states last year, and I was selected as a best fellow, competing with schools from the states, such as More House and Spelman College. I received a Humphrey Award for being the best consistent student in the Sociology/Anthropology department from first year till third year. I have been in the dean’s list and I was one of the few black students that got a Cum Laude for my degree.

IY: Now that you’ve graduated, is there anything that you’re glad you did, or wish you had done?

SM: I am glad I never gave up and just stayed at the debt collector because of money. I am glad I pushed myself to where I am today. I wished I would have still been dancing but because of circumstance I have not danced which is a passion of mine.

IY: You graduated caume laude! For those who may not know, what does this mean? And what advice do you have for other Ikamvanites hoping to achieve similar academic success?

SM: I graduated Cum Laude yes. Well this means that I got an A average overall for my final year. To get an A average you have to get 75% and above and if you want to be a Sum Cum laude which was a wish of mine but I always got an A average for my first semester and never second semester I could not achieve this; you have to get an A average from first year until your final year; meaning 75+ from first year until final year. So you need to an A average for the whole year and not just the semester.

IY: You’re now pursuing post-grad studies, and jetting off to the United States! tell us about this exciting development!

SM: 2014- I volunteered to work for the HIV/ AIDS unit and worked as a peer educator within my school and I also mentored 10 students at Steenberg High school. We were teaching the University student about safe sex and I was teaching my high school students about gender roles. I did this for the whole year and still excelled in my academics. Got invited to the Deans ceremony for the second time, second year first semester. Clearly first semester loved me because second semester I would always need a 1% to get to the deans. I was invited to my Steenberg’s Matric valedictory and I was asked to make a speech. I did not prepare anything because I was only told that night, but because of my experience I knew how to motivate them. 2015- I volunteered to be a Mentor for first year students so that I would be able to assist them to adapt to University life, socially and academically. This time I am doing my final year as an undergrad. Anyways to my surprise I did not know passing to much would get me to apply for a scholarship called Mellon Mays Undergraduate scholarship. There were 155 students all together to apply for this scholarship and they only choose 5 every year, I couldn’t believe that I got selected. At this point I was not sure what I would major in during my honours year. I was doing a triple major in Psychology, Anthropology and Sociology. For the purpose of the scholarship I chose to do Anthropology. Now I have this prestigious scholarship and the same year June It took us to the states to represent our school. The 5 of us went to Atlanta at Emory University. We stayed there for a month for a school boot camp. We had an opportunity to go to New York as well. We had to present our rsearch proposals at the last week of the month and after that myself and another student from the states got selected as Fellows for the year. I am still not sure what that means but I was happy.

Congrats Siki, we’re so proud of all you’ve achieved. All the best with the postgrad studies! 


Open Day/Prize Giving Makhaza 2016……A Day To Remember!

Open Day/Prize Giving Makhaza 2016……A Day To Remember!

One of the most exciting things about a new year, is the chance to make or introduce measurable changes into one’s life. One of the ways of doing that, is reflecting on the previous year’s achievements and be inspired to achieve at a higher level.

 

IkamvaYouth Makhaza held Open Day/Prize Giving on the morning of the 30th January 2016, from 09:30 at Impendulo Primary School. The Branch Coordinator, Busiswa Dayimani and a few volunteers welcomed 60 new learners together with their parentsy, ranging from grade 8 to grade 10. A sense of pride was beaming on all the parents’ faces because their children chose the path of education and are going beyond their school hours to show how committed they are. A few of the learners were anxious and not sure what to expect but…many were excited and ready to delve into the agenda for the day. Busiswa Dayimani explained in depth to the attendees, the 5 IkamvaYouth Values, branch protocols and closed off by saying, “We are one big happy family in Makhaza, not even once, should you be made to feel uncomfortable or unwelcomed in this space, this branch belongs to you and you should take ownership of it .”

 

Open Day was succeeded by Prize Giving, where the 2015 IkamvaYouth Learners, Volunteers, Partners and Stakeholders were awarded certificates together with prizes for Gold Attendance, Platinum Attendance, Outstanding Academic Achievement, Most Improved, Excellence In English, Participation and Appreciation. Anastasia Koch PhD, from EWHOZA, who hosts film & media workshops centered on TB awareness, handed out certificates to the 2015 participants of whom she mentioned, how pleased she was to have worked with. The Hall was filled with jubilant vibrations of laughter, applause, screams…..it was a celebration! One of the highlights of the day was the key note address given by one of IkamvaYouth’s Superheroes, Phuthang Makhupane, he joined IY in 2011 as a tutor, he is currently a software developer at an international company and he is set on affording disadvantaged learners the opportunities he never had as he highlighted that, there is nothing better than being guided by someone who knows exactly what you’re going through. The event came to an end with Thembakazi Phuza, a matric learner, leading the attendees in song!

 

What a way to introduce the new learners into the branch and inspire the existing learners to strive for excellence!