On the 17th of January 2015, IkamvaYouth Ebony Park opens its doors to new ikamvanites. New applicants form different schools across Tembisa came to see what IkamvaYouth is all about. A total number of 358 learners and parents were present for Ebony Park open day. On the day, IkamvaYouth Ebony Park branch coordinator gave a warm welcome to parent, sponsors and ex/future Ikamvanite for supporting the event.

The day started with an ice breaker from IkamvaYouth Ebony Park branch assistant to get everyone energized. MC for the day, Mr Clemence Msindo, explained what IkamvaYouth was all about and how IkamvaYouth would assist the learners within the community. Many of our sponsor’s includingABIand Tzu Ching Foundation were present cheering all the learners on to take responsibility for their future and improve their marks. The open day was graced by the presence of Mr. Solane Mlambo from the Department of Education who gave a motivational speech to Ikamvanites on taking opportunities that IkamvaYouth brings to the community; also a parent for one of the top IY performers gave a speech on how IkamvaYouth played a role in his daughter’s life. The parent mentioned that at first he didn’t approve his child attending sessions at IkamvaYouth but after a visit to the branch, he quickly changed his mind and allowed his daughter to attend, as he witnessed something good about the program.

One of IkamvaYouth sponsor, ABI, sponsored the event with drinks, food and some entertainment to Ikamvanites. An ABI representative also gave a speech on how supportive they have been to IkamvaYouth and applauded on coming second in the Gauteng Province Emerald Award which IkamvaYouth National Coordinator, Mr Patrick Mashanda, later presented the award to those in attendance.

A prize giving ceremony immediately followed and all learners with over 80% attendance and those who did Operation Fikelela through Siyakhula Computer School for 2014 were awarded certificates of achievement. Also, Grade 12’s with distinctions were recognized. Tiyiselani Mpangane, a Grade 12 with 7 distinctions who started IkamvaYouth in grade 10, said “I would like to thank IkamvaYouth for being there for learners in the community and also my school for allowing us to be part of IkamvaYouth”.  IkamvaYouth also encouraged learners to know that they too could excel at school. Amongst the top performers were learners who started Ikamvayouth in grade 10 and the commitment and dedication they have showed paid with distinctions. Quintres Sefala who got four distinctions, mentioned that tutors/volunteers and teachers who gave their time deserves credits for their achievements.

This is what another top performer had to say “I’m glad I have made a right choice to join IkamvaYouth and look at me now, I’m in the top three at my school. I showed commitment to my studies and with the help I received from Ikamva, my mentor, classmates and my principal, I got three distinctions” said Virginia Sibanda.