By: Micheal Thema
When the school holidays approach, most high school learners are excited to go home to the homelands to visit grandparents and relatives. School holidays help students take some much needed time off to relax and relieve the stress of schooling. This is not the case with IkamvaYouth learners. IkamvaYouth learners are required to attend an annual winter school during the school winter holidays, to brush up on basics they may have missed during normal school days and offer additional support for the subjects they are struggling.
The IkamvaYouth winter school covers concepts that might have been unclear to learners, tutors assist with simplifying complex concepts and topics, and consolidate basics. Furthermore, the programme is not all academically focused, this year we had more fun than ever. The Agora Talent show, Love Life games and many more activities were implemented in this year’s winter school.
Our 2018 winter school theme, created by the learner representative was ‘Be Bold’. The ‘Be Bold’ campaign revolves around people being able to speak for themselves; showing a willingness to take risks; being confident and courageous; it’s believing in your ability and knowing who you are and what you stand for. Furthermore, learners were encouraged to think out of their comfort space and being able to take steps academically to achieve better marks.
The branch welcomed students from the University of Johannesburg, University of the Witwatersrand, Pearson institute, University of Pretoria and UNISA who came in their droves to tutor. The first week of winter school mainly focused on mathematics, two more core subject from each stream and English basics. The branch conducted more one-on-one sessions to better assist learners and also helped them create goals for the particular subject. Grade 9 & 10s had an online career assessment to determine the career prospects of each learner. The career assessment was to look into each learners qualities and recommend career options to suit the learner’s gifts and talents. After the assessment, the learners where give a report on the possible career options they can pursue.
“I always knew I wanted to become an engineer, and now I know what kind of engineering I will do“, said Koketso Manyama after receiving her assessment report.
The branch also had a visit from Love Life who facilitated dialogues on teenage pregnancy and safe sex practices. The organization also had a number of outdoor activities which promote teamwork and leadership amongst the IkamvaYouth learners. This act helped learners socialize, connect and have fun together. The branch finished the week with the Agora Talent Show organized by the learner representatives of the branch. The first week of winter school concluded with an entertaining treasure hunt. The young talent of Ebony Park showcased their magic to the crowds and tutors treated the audience with a play by the “Mraka Acting Gang” and a performance by Musa the poet.
The second week of winter school was a buildup from the first week, the branch dedicated the second week to tests and assessments of the content covered in week one. The branch covered tests from all subjects with the aim of generating a report to learners. The branch organized a debate and public speaking contest where learners were given topics to challenge their thinking and help them engage with high-level thinking. The branch had a reading club which was aimed at improving learners reading abilities as literacy and reading was a major concern during the first week of winter school. The branch focused on the novel, 1984 by George Orwell and the Sherlock Holmes stories, this was an initiative from tutors to aid reading skills and literacy among the learners. The key objective was to promote reading for meaning which is a major academic problem identified at the branch. There was a resolution to carry on with the reading club and continue advancing reading skills throughout the year.
The week was brought to a close with outdoor games, such as the egg on a spoon race, 30 Seconds, Monopoly and many more.
With the support of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa; who have been supporting the branch for many years, the Ebony Park branch will continue to address some of the identified challenges our education system is currently facing through volunteerism, hard work, and perseverance to ensure that our future leaders achieved their goals.
Mahikeng Winter School 2017
This year, IkamvaYouth Mahikeng once again hosted a Winter School holiday tutoring program for 60 learners and 18 tutors which was all funded by our partner Coca Cola Beverages South Africa and made successful through the vigorous efforts of a highly motivated group of tutors and the IkamvaYouth learners who earnestly wanted to improve their academics and also enthusiastically engage with their fellow Ikamvanites thorough support programs offered.
The successful Winter School program complimented the core IkamvaYouth programmes that run throughout the year by providing a 2-week opportunity of intensive concentration of academic and non-academic interventions from the 3rd of July to the 14th of July. The highlights of this year’s programme included: focused tutoring sessions in all school subjects for a maximum of 44 hours in the 2 weeks; career guidance and mentoring; life-skills workshops, HIV testing (with the consent of the parents); aerobics (facilitated in house) and the Talent Show to end of the holiday program. The learners are looking forward to attending a CCBSA plant tour and Career Day on the 24th of July 2017 (when the schools re-open).
Every morning before tutoring sessions began; we held an assembly and conducted various energizers and icebreakers. The essential component of IkamvaYouth’s Winter School is the academic component. Tutors offered the learners assistance in their school work, past exam papers and homework to enable the learners to focus on areas and subjects they struggle with. Tutoring sessions also help learners improve their confidence in speaking English while improving their grades. Learners also received an hour of one-on-one tutoring sessions. Each subject had an assigned tutor who was assisting the learners, and the tutor sat with the group for the entire Winter School duration to ensure maximum impact as they get to finish the conversations they started with the same tutor the next day. This does not normally happen at the branch on normal tutoring days, as the learners sit with different tutors on different days for the same subject.
A few workshops focused mainly around themes relating to life skills, HIV/Aids awareness and voluntary testing, career guidance, and physical activities were held throughout the two week period. Different stakeholders (such as Lifeline Mafikeng, Families South Africa (FAMSA), (South African National Tuberculosis Association (SANTA) and South African Police Services- Mahikeng (SAPS), came to present to the learners and tutors on various aspects they specialize in.
- Lifeline Mahikeng
The Lifeline facilitators came to the branch to discuss the importance of family and how to respect one another. They emphasized that the one cannot live without a family and that the learners should abstain to avoid unwanted pregnancies. The learners enjoyed the session and related to it by speaking about how they see some of their families living in difficult situations and they do not want to put themselves in such a tight corner.
- Lifeline Mahikeng (Voluntary HIV Testing and Counseling)
The organisation came in to the branch to conduct voluntary HIV testing. Before the testing began, learners were taken into the hall for encouragement to participate and pre-counseling. They facilitated a highly interactive and engaging session on managing one’s personal health, particularly with regards to HIV/Aids. About 55 of the learners including tutors took the opportunity for voluntary counseling and testing. This was done so that learners and tutors know their HIV status and encouraged to live healthy lives.
SANTA explained to the learners how HIV and Aids inter-link with each other. They also highlighted that for one person to get TB, it does not mean that you contract it from a person with it, and mentioned that anyone can get TB from anywhere.
FAMSA brought professional social workers to facilitate a session on the issues of peer-pressure. They explained to the learners that anyone, at any age can feel the pressure.
On the 14th of July, the last day of the Winter School programme learners came to showcase their talents. With the theme being “The future is in your hands” the learners entertained their fellow Ikamvanites and parents/guardians with different performances. What a day! This was a fantastic opportunity for the learners to unwind for a day and enjoy some great performances as well as see another side of the tutors and IY staff who were also participating in the talent show.
The Mahikeng tutor who won “best tutor” of the 2017 Winter School with the most learner votes was Thapelo Mulutsi, a 3rd year Wits student studying Electrical Engineering who is originally from Mafikeng. Thapelo was the guest tutor for Winter School period and has assured the branch staff that he will dedicate more of his time at the Gauteng branches as he is residing there now while at tertiary.
I’m so proud to be a part of the Umlazi branch. We have tutors who arevolunteering their time to help our dedicated learners who have decided that they want better futures and are willing to start now to work towards it. The committed staff always go above and beyond their payroll. I would like to send a vote of thanks to everyone.
We are a family at Umlazi branch, from our sponser CCBSA (through representative Sam Nkosi) to the parents who helped us and donated netball and soccer kits for our Winter school sports day. Winter school was a success learners attended in their numbers, so much so that we didn’t have any kick-outs.
“Sport’s day was fantastic and let’s not forget our matric camp which was fabulous. We were so excited about everything and are now waiting to write our final exams so that we can also give back and be tutors.” Asanda Gumede
We had a matric camp this year, with World changers Academy. There we were able to learn and interact a whole lot more with our matric learners and the tutors. Our matrics did a leadership course that covered vision, leadership, team building, goal setting, relationships and healing of the past.
“IY and world changers has helped us so much in developing the skills we need to become the progressive leaders we want to be” Zekhethelo Ngcobo
The Mamelodi Ikamvanites braved the early morning iciness of winter to come to Winter School during the June holidays. After heating up their bodies through ice-breakers and tea, they got to work. Past papers, exercises, quizzes, discussions and games, you name it, we did it in an effort to prepare for the new academic term by revising all of the work the Ikamvanites had done earlier in the year and struggled with. Various organisations and individuals also came in daily to discuss issues outside of the classroom. We had motivational speakers, an image consultant even a yoga specialist to name a few. The proverbial cherry that came on top of the cake that was all the hard work and effort of the students, was the Talent show at the end of the second week of winter school in which the learners got the chance to show off their more creative talents outside of the classroom. All in all, Winter School was a resounding success that we can all be very proud of. Well done Ikamva!
After Winter School, the Matric pupils joined us for a week of preparations aimed solely at the matric learners. As the Matrics draw nearer and nearer to their final exams, they understand the need to place a greater emphasis on their studies. The class of 2016 came prepared with work and enthusiasm and a willingness to learn anything and everything they could, before the third term started. By the end of the week, the Matrics were exhausted from all the hard work but come Finals, they’ll be more than ready to tackle any academic challenges that they are faced with!
With the election right around the corner, many South Africans have been discussing choices. The idea that we are responsible for deciding the future of our great nation. The Ikamvanites made a choice when they came into the program at the start of the year. They chose to believe in success. They chose to believe in a future where education provides the tools with which one can ultimately achieve one’s dreams. They chose to believe in themselves. And as we head towards the second half of what has turned out to be an adventurous and exciting year, it is up to us, the people who make Ikamva a pillar of hope in a community plagued by issues like nyoape and blessers, to choose success yet again. As former President, Nelson Mandela, once said, “[e]ducation is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” By choosing to invest in their futures, Ikamvanites are arming themselves with the tools that they’ll need when they battle a world in which knowledge is power.
On the 29th of June 2015 IkamvaYouth held their Winter School Programs across all branches nationwide, and IkamvaYouth KZN was honored to have the co-founder and Director of IkamvaYouth, Joy Olivier, in their presence. The learners work hard from the beginning of the year and make sure that they attend sessions regularly in order to be legible to attend Winter School. Previously the two KZN branches held a combined Winter School but this year things changed. The UMlazi branch and the Chesterville branch had their Winter School separately, although they were in the same building, they were separated by sections. The Durban University of Technology, Steve Biko campus, was generous enough to allow us to use their space for the whole two weeks of Winter School.
The first day of Winter School had everyone in mixed emotions, not knowing what to expect and wondering if everything will go well, due to the changes that had been made. Although most were not so happy about the separation, by midday everyone had gotten used to the new arrangement, which led to the success of day one. The rest of the week was also a success despite transport issues due to a bus strike. It became difficult to transport learners to and from the venue, but because our branches were well equipped to hold Winter School, each branch remained at their respective venues for the duration of the bus strike, this also proved to work in their favor because the time that would’ve been spent traveling was used constructively.
On day four of Winter School workshop sessions commenced, speakers and visitors from different Organizations and walks of life were invited to share their knowledge and expertise with the learners. To name a few, the learners were spoilt with a life skills workshop by World Changers Academy, team building by Mr. Nkosikhona Mpungose from Youth Inter-Active, bursary workshop with Nedbank, An entrepreneurial skills workshop for the matrics with Sbo, KC from LoveLife (self-development workshop), a photography workshop by King Nzumbi photography as well as a Financial Literacy Training workshop run by Capitec bank.
Week two of Winter School was a lot more exciting because the bus strike was over and that meant we could go back to DUT. The learners always find it exciting and refreshing to attend Winter School in a different environment this was also good for their productivity. By Day six sessions were running smoothly, tutor and learner commitment was excellent and a lot of learning was happening. Lunch time was always exciting because everyone got a chance to enjoy the delicious meals prepared by our caterer Shino Mashinini from Shino’s Kitchen, while mingling and getting to know the other learners better.
Whilst half of the day was dedicated to tutoring, the other half consisted of workshops and excursions. On day eight the KZN Winter School was visited by Varsity College for a career guidance workshop, a tertiary applications workshop for the Matrics with Philile Dlamini, and a business startup with SD Media. The following day started off with excursions all around. Our tutors got a chance to go on a trip alone without the learners to NPC. They got to learn about the ins and outs of what goes into making cement. The learners and staff members visited the sugar terminal, while others went to ABI and explored how beverages are made and how they end up in stores.
Finally the most anticipated yet saddest day of Winter School came, day ten. Although it was the last day, it was also the day everyone got to let down their hair and participate in sports and other activities under the health and life skills Portfolio. The learners separated into four teams which were going to compete against each other during the sports day. The event was sponsored by ABI who generously supplied us with a variety of drinks and delicious food made by their caterers as well an awesome entertainment truck and DJ. IkamvaYouth KZN also partnered with Thembalabantu Clinic who provided us with free HIV testing and counseling as well as an educational talk about HIV/Aids awareness.
The different teams competed in their sporting activities very well but there could only be one overall winner. Team Danger, otherwise known as the red team took first place. The day could not end without a bit of entertainment from Sambrosa Salsa everyone was taught how to dance the Salsa, and a few songs from one of the UMlazi branch Tutors Brandon Leo.
We thank All IkamvaYouth Sponsors, learners, staff, dedicated tutors and workshop hosts/partners for making the 2015 Winter School a success.
On the 29th of June 2015 Ikamvayouth held their winter school programs across all branches nationwide and Ikamvayouth KZN was honoured to have the co-founder snd director of Ikamvayouth Joy Olivier in their presence. The learners work hard from the beginning of the year to make sure they attend sessions regularly in order to be legible to attend winter school. Previously the two KZN branches held a combined winter school but this year things have changed. The Umlazi branch and the Chesterville branch had their winter school separately, although they were in the same building, they were separated by sections. The Durban University of Technology, Steve Biko campus was generous enough to allow us to use their space for the whole two weeks of winter school.
The first day of winter school had everyone in mixed emotions, not knowing what to expect and wondering if everything will go well due to the changes that had been made. Although most were not so happy about the separation, by midday everyone had gotten used to the new arrangement which led to the success of day 1 of winter school. The rest of the week was also a success despite the transport issues due to a bus strike. It became difficult to transport learners to and from the venue, but because our branches were well equipped to hold winter school, each branch remained at their respective venues for the duration of bus strike which also proved to work in their favor because the time that would’ve been spent traveling was used constructively.
On day 4 of winter school workshop sessions commenced, speakers and visitors from different organizations and walks of life were invited to share their knowledge and expertise with the learners. To name a few, the learners were spoilt with a life skills workshop by World changers academy, team building by Mr Nkosikhona Mpungose from Youth Inter-Active, bursary workshop with Nedbank, An entrepreneurial skills workshop for the matrics with Sbo, KC from lovelife (self development workshop), a photography workshop by King Nzumbi photography as well as a Financial Literacy Training workshop Capitec bank.
Week 2 of winter school was much more exciting because the bus strike was over and that meant we could go back to DUT. The learners found it exciting and refreshing attending winter school in a different environment which was also good for their productivity. By Day 6 sessions were running smoothly, tutor and learner attendance was excellent and a lot of learning was happening. Lunch time was always exciting because everyone got a chance to enjoy the delicious meals prepared by our caterer Shino Mashinini from Shino’s Kitchen, while mingling and making and getting to know the other learners better
Whilst half of the day was dedicated to tutoring, the other half consisted of workshops and excursions. On day 8 the KZN winter school was visited by Varsity college for a career guidance workshop, a tertiary applications workshop for the matrics with Philile Dlamini, and a business start up with SD Media. The following day started off with excursions all around. Our tutors got a chance to go on a trip alone without the learners to NPC the cement company, they got to learn about the in’s and out’s of what goes into making cement. The learners and staff members visited the sugar terminal near the Durban Harbor, while others went to ABI and explored how beverages are made and end up in stores.
Finally the most anticipated yet saddest day of winter school came, day 10. Although it was the last day, it was also the day everyone got to let down their hair, participate in sports and other activities under health and life skills. The learners separated into four teams which were going to compete against each other during the sports day. The event was sponsored by ABI who generously supplied us with a variety of drinks and delicious food made by their caterers as well an awesome entertainment truck and DJ. Ikamvayouth KZN also partnered with Thembalabantu Clinic who provided us with free HIV testing and counseling as well as an educational talk about HIV/Aids awareness
The different teams competed in their sporting activities very well but there could only be one overall winner. Team Danger, otherwise known as the red team took first place. The day could not end without a but of entertainment from Sambrosa Salsa who taught everyone how to dance the Salsa, as well as a few songs from one of the Umlazi branch Tutors Brandon Leo
We thank All Ikamvayouth Sponsors, learners, staff, dedicated tutors and workshop hosts/partners for making the 2015 winter school a success