Alan W. Watts once said, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” This proved to be true when the staff, volunteers and learners of IkamvaYouth Makhaza came together to bring the 5 IkamvaYouth values into life, strategizing and planning for the year 2015/2016.

The weekend of 28th and 29th March was set aside for vital decision making, planning, dissecting of challenges, effective solution bringing and evaluation of the branch successes. About 30 individuals consisting of learners, tutors and staff filled the board room of Desmond Tutu hall, looking all expectant for serious conversations.

The facilitator for the weekend was, Busiswa Dayimani, Makhaza Branch Coordinator. Introductions began with the group using adjectives starting with the first letter of their names to introduce themselves, a few laughs were shared as some of the names proved to be special in their own right. Zondikazi Mtonjeni, a grade 9 learner found it most challenging saying she would have to get back to the group later.

Each person was given a task to write down 4 wishes and 4 worries that would be read throughout the weekend. This activity proved to be special as it made people feel closer to each other. We are not all that different, the wishes and worries are a testimony to that. “I worry about being uneducated and living in poverty”- anonymous from the group.

To get everyone in the same climate of thinking the missions statement and values of the organisation were reintroduced.  The group was given a chance to share what the values mean to them and ways to instill the IY culture in each and every person in the programme.

Energy and passion seemed to be trend of the weekend, as the 30 tirelessly engaged in discussion, filled out flipcharts with wisdom and carried out presentation after presentation. The one discussion that stood out was the speaking of English in all IY sessions. The learners were in full support and coming up with ways in which it can be fun for everyone. It has been recognised as a necessity in their advancement in the language and studies. Indeed, collaboration and peer-to-peer support, integrity and openness were demonstrated in these discussions.

 

Our special guest on Saturday, was Dr. Chloe Buire, a researcher from the University of Durham. She shared her thoughts on the need for social change and commended IkamvaYouth’s successful contribution to the cause.  She is currently working on her research titled “You Citizen,” that aims to show a reflection of what citizenships means to the youth of South Africa.

As the weekend approached its end, targets for the year were set, a branch committee was elected and a constitution was drafted and accepted by the group.

As the group shared their reflections of the weekend, it was unanimously agreed upon that the weekend was informative, eye opening, thought provoking and quite a few perspectives were altered for the better. “I never thought engaging with adults would be this much fun” said a beaming Yamkela, grade 8, who is our youngest branch com member.

“I don’t wish for us to separate. I want us to remain like the family were are, supporting each other and being crazy for change” – One wish from the group.