On 21st and 22nd May learners, tutor, volunteers and staff joined us at the Masiphumelele Library to talk, to listen and to think, think, think about how to move the Masi IkamvaYouth branch forward. How to un-lock the potentials of even more young people and how to improve the lives of as many people as possible.

Everyone came with different expectations; wanting to know more about IkamvaYouth’s history; proposing new ways of partnering; presenting specific problems they wanted addressed; understanding how to be most useful as a volunteer; and how to move together in collective action. I hope no one was let down!

There was an atmosphere of sleepiness that filled the morning air. Even Nico’s funky chicken didn’t seem to work. As people understood that what they were saying was contributing to the wider IkamvaYouth’s aims; the realisation of the bigger picture; they became engaged and animated. Ideas were flowing all around.

The group was split into sub-groups to discuss core areas of tutoring, mentoring and community engagement. These categories were generated by an intense brainstorming of the burning issues. These task teams then identified the problems and started thinking about the solutions.

On Sunday morning, with fresh faces and minds we launched into a history of the branch to better understand the roots and values of the organisation and the library. This was hugely valuable for the ‘newbies’ who got a wonderful overview from Susan Alexander here.

It was in this frame of mind we generated an ambitious action plan for the next few months. Ideas and suggestions were put into action and given deadlines and specific tasks. The responsibility all lies on the BranchCom members to be proactive and make it happen. I have complete faith in the team. Everyone came and showed phenomenal commitment and, I for one was inspired by the energy in the room.

The 1st BranchCom will be held on the 2nd June to finalise these plans and make it happen! A special thanks to Pick n Pay for providing delicious sandwiches for the event to keep the energy up! Please see the spw_report.pdf for a detailed description of the discussions that took place.