The Ivory Park branch team is very excited and motivated after securing a new tutoring venue and office at Kaalfontein Secondary School. Venue instability has threatened the branch’s existence for very long, following a short notice eviction from the Ivory Park Youth Centre in December 2013.  This was due to political controversies raised by the Greater Midrand Youth Council (GMYC) management committee leading to imposition of threats that could compromise the safety and security of IkamvaYouth staff, volunteers and learners.

The branch was then temporarily housed at the Ivory Park Community Stadium where space issues were still not entirely solved as learners were studying crowded in a very small hall that was also shared with Churches. The Ivory Park branch staff was also temporarily accommodated at the Ebony Park branch  in a small and unsafe office. The staff would travel to the tutoring venue for every tutoring sessions. The conditions at the stadium did not allow learners to makeup days or come study at any times as tutoring was restricted to only 3 days a week as per the agreed MOU. The venue also made it difficult for staff to invite or meet with stakeholders as well as to track, meet and help the grade 12 learners with applications. Learners could not benefit from resources like photocopying, internet and full support from staff due to these conditions.

Moving to Kaalfontein Secondary and securing enough space for tutoring and office has opened up unlimited opportunities that include opening up of a computer lab that will benefit Ikamvanites and the school from 2015. Communicating and meeting stakeholders would be more convenient, all learners will benefit from the programme equally, being able to access the required support to ensure improved pass marks and success at matric level, and recruiting and retaining volunteers would be manageable with a stable venue.

I would like to acknowledge the interventions made by our stakeholders, to mention Kaalfontein School Principal and the SGB, TziChi as well as the IkamvaYouth team for playing a significant role in making this venue possible despite all challenges faced.