Day 1 of operations at the Mahikeng branch brought with it a sunny and exciting day for all of us as it was the first day meeting one another, from staff to volunteers and learners. After three weeks of intensive recruiting learners and tutors, tutoring session kicked off on Saturday the 15th of August 2015 at the Danville Secondary School main hall where the branch is officially based.All 52 Learners with 12 volunteers gathered at the new Ikamvayouth branch in Mahikeng at exactly 08h30amto experience the first ever tutoring session ontheir home soil.Seated in a circle they were waiting for the Programme Coordinator to explain to them what the day would entail. Before that, learners and tutors introduced themselves as it was the first time meeting and interacting with each other. The most number of learners who attended the program came from Setumo High School and Danville Secondary School.As this is a program – a first for IkamvaYouth -and not a fully fleshed branch with grades 9 – 12, IY’s Mahikeng branch only caters for grade 10 learners from nearby schools and commitment is highly expected. This enables us to create an impact that allows them to improve on their academics and lives for the better.Like our IY model indicates, learners are to be seated in groups of 5 with 1 tutor in a table assisting them with the challenges they are facing in their school subjects.

Lots of discussions were made and lots of laughter was shared on the day.We are really grateful to our host school for allowing us to use their space. The Principal and staff of Danville Secondary School have been more than welcoming. We are humbled by the warmth and cooperation received from the various community based stakeholders and parents who came in accompanying their children. Although the branch has not as yet been launched, the ball is officially rolling.

Comments from the tutors and learners

 Tebogo (Tutor)

It was very challenging for me especially because I am not used to standing and speaking in front of a huge crowd. I did not know how to first approach them because naturally I am a shy person, but as the day progressed, I was fine and had lots of fun.

 Selorm (Tutor)

It was quite interesting and fun. I cannot wait for more sessions to come.

 Desmond (Tutor)

The day was good but a little bit challenging especially because I had to remember what I had done years back in my school subjects. However, I really appreciate the fact that these learners take initiative and take the time to explain to us what they are finding challenging.

 Kefilwe Moshe, 16(Learner)

I appreciate what Ikamvayouth is doing for us. The program keeps us away from the streets and helps us to focus more on our academics. I really learnt a lot on my first day. The tutors were also friendly, and it made me interact with them better and understand better.

 Palesa Sebothenyane, 17 (Learner)

I had lots of fun learning and meeting up with my fellow ikamvanites.

 Watch the space for more exciting developments!