“It takes a village to raise a child… IkamvaYouth has been a second parent to my child, guiding and mentoring him to become disciplined and improve his marks. ”, said Mrs Khumalo, a parent for Mbuso Khumalo, a grade 11 learner who won a school bag for Best attendance Male learner award on the Ivory Park Open day prize giving event.

Parents poured in on the 7th of March 2015 to find out the truth behind the IkamvaYouth programmes their children are committed to at the Ivory Park branch. The meeting which was dominated by presentations, questions, testimonies and discussions between parents and IkamvaYouth staff provided a vision and reason for parents to actively participate through support to their children to be disciplined and focus as well as improving attendance to keep their spot at IkamvaYouth as there is much benefit through it. 85 parents attended the meeting marking the highest parents meeting attendance since 2014 when the branch had many challenges. Most of the attendants were parents of the newly enrolled learners as they were eager to learn more about IkamvaYouth.

There was high participation and energy within the parents making the meeting effective with some strategic planning to improve branch operations. The parents agreed to support IkamvaYouth by keeping in touch with IkamvaYouth staff reporting and inquiring about every challenges and successes they notice with our learners. Agreement was reached as well that the parents would report anything with regards to learner attendance which will lessen learner administration workload on IkamvaYouth staff.

Issues of indemnity we also discussed and parents were informed about the importance of signing indemnity forms ahead of special events and travel for leaners initiated by IkamvaYouth. Great support was promised with parents agreeing to monitor and enforce the learners to attend winter school fully and also encouraging grade 12 learners to attend the best of the time they get outside the SSIP programme. Parents encouraged IkamvaYouth staff to compile a list of all learners who attend IkamvaYouth programmes and have the list kept at schools or pasted on school staffrooms for educators to release the learners for IkamvaYouth programmes where school afternoon classes bind learners’ attendance.

Dr Welcome Kubaka from University of Johannesburg blessed the meeting with some words of motivation to parents testifying that he grew up in Tembisa Township from a very poor background and still used every opportunity he got to rise up to prominence. The next parents meeting was scheduled for the sixth of June 2015 with follow up matters being discussed regarding set goals and targets. Great thanks to parents for their support over IkamvaYouth programmes and response to IkamvaYouth meetings which propels us to greater achievements through their input to successfully operate.

Simplice Kamen-Payong, one of our longest serving volunteer tutors shared a touching testimony to parents of how he changed his profession to teaching. Kamen Completed his Masters in Business and Financial Management with UJ and is curently doing a Diploma in Teaching. According to Kameni, he got touched by the poor educational conditions in Ivory Park Township and with the love he received from Ikamvanites, he felt he could do better teaching kids to enlighten their futures.