Who can become an IkamvaYouth mentor?
Anyone who has enrolled in tertiary education themselves, or supported someone else to do so (e.g. a parent who has helped their child navigate this transition) can be an IkamvaYouth mentor.
IkamvaYouth WC currently partners with TSiBA education, where second year students pay-forward their TsiBA scholarships by mentoring IkamvaYouth learners. Their role as mentors counts towards their course requirements.
How do I become an IkamvaYouth mentor?
If you're able to commit a minimum of two hours per month to meet with your mentee and can attend mentor training sessions and meetings (held for two hours every two to three months), please fill out this application form and contact the local branch coordinator.
Mentors need to commit for a full year, from February to February.
What training will I receive?
Mentor training sessions and meetings provide mentors with the opportunity to:
Understand the role, responsibilities and expectations of mentors
Learn about and share the challenges that mentoring presents, and gain the skills to address them
Develop basic counseling skills and coaching skills required for empathetic, effective dialogue
Learn how to do referrals when learners need support from a professional
What can I expect?
Most of IkamvaYouth's learners are living in challenging circumstances. Poverty, sub-standard education, crime and HIV are just some of the problems that affect their daily lives. However, despite these difficulties, many of our learners are very resilient and hopeful about their futures.
Some learners will need your help in being more realistic about their post-school plans (e.g. a learner who is getting Ds and Es in Maths and Physics in grade 12 is unlikely to get into medicine). Others will need your motivation and belief in their abilities to push themselves to realise their potential. Some learners are more committed than others. Some will reliably make meetings and appointments, while others will need you to remind them. The branch director and mentor programme head will be available to assist you, provide support and guidance.
Without doubt, the ultimate benefit of participating in the programme is the fulfilment and enjoyment one experiences through working with IkamvaYouth's learners. The learners who belong to IkamvaYouth are committed and determined individuals, who spend much of their spare time working towards improving themselves towards reaching their dreams. Helping learners to achieve their goals is an important opportunity for those who have overcome the same obstacles such as a lack of information and guidance to plough back into their communities, and for those who were more advantaged in terms of opportunities, support and resources, to give back and do something towards addressing the inequality in available opportunities and support for youth in South Africa.
What is expected of the mentors?
Mentors need to attend all training sessions and meetings, and meet with their mentees for at least two hours per month.
Mentors need to ensure that their learners apply for post-school opportunities timeously, and submit fully completed application forms and meet application deadlines.
In the event that learners need professional support, mentors should refer their mentees to a relevant social worker / psychologist / support group.
Mentors need to submit quarterly reports, which help IkamvaYouth to track the organisation's progress in achieving its mission.
All IkamvaYouth volunteers are held to the code of conduct.
How can I get more involved in the organisational management?
IkamvaYouth is a by-youth, for-youth organisation. Each branch aims to be run by its learners and volunteers. The best way to become involved in the organisational management of your branch is to join the branchcom email list and attend fortnightly branchcom meetings, which are usually held for an hour before or after tutoring.
Each branchcom has someone who heads up the Mentoring programme. The branch coordinator will connect you to this person when you first contact them.