The Empty Office

The Empty Office

Over the last few weeks the MasiphumeleleLibrary has been honored with title of Community Library, which promotes it from its position as satellite library of Fish Hoek to a library in its own right. This is a mark of the hardwork and perserverence that has developed the library from a room full of books to a vibrant, dynamic community centre. As a result of this hard work Susan Alexander has been given the position of Head Librarian (a role she was born to fill). We are so excited to have Sue here full-time and to build on the fantastic partnership between IkamvaYouth and the library.

This transition does come at a cost… 

Sue arrives boxes and all, in the next couple of weeks and will throw us from our office – oh the cheek! Lonely, we will wander the courtyard crying out for a space to work!

Okay, the situation isn’t THAT bad, and Sue is in fact giving us a new office space. However, we are left furniture-less. If you or anyone you know is sitting with a desk,  a cupboard, shelf unit, or office chairs (or all of the above if they are some bizarre hoarder of office related items) then please please get in touch with me and contribute to IkamvaYouth’s operations at the Masi Library. 

We are looking for donations to furnish the office to make it a functional space for staff, volunteers and learners. 


Specifically we require; 1 or 2 desks, a lock cupboard, and 2 chairs

Contact me on 0798838854 or email me 

Thank you! Enkosi! Dankie! 


The beautiful new IkamvaYouth office space. Please help to furnish it.

Grade 8s and EwB at Makhaza

Grade 8s and EwB at Makhaza


Makhaza branch had an opportunity to pilot a project with Education with Borders (EwB) who aims to provide improved educational opportunities and facilities in disadvantaged regions of the world. EwB focussed on our Grade 8s as the program helps lower grade learners understand basic maths principles.

The Education without Boarders (EwB) program highlights the simplicity of mathematics and emphasises the critical importance of foundational skills while acknowledging the complicated challenges and circumstances of life, which many of IkamvaYouth learners are coping with. This is has been fantastic program that promises to make a profound difference not only in learners’ maths results but also in other areas such as boosting their confidence in their existing abilities. This allows learners to approach new learning experiences with a much more confident focus on learning. And that makes them much easier to tutor.

The two dedicated tutors who gave all their tutoring time to the EwB programme, Nicholas Mei and Braam Daniels say from their experience that while they are essentially tutoring maths they noticed a huge improvement in the confidence and attitude of the learners toward their school work. The environment and culture of IkamvaYouth and the EWB programme creates a holistic approach which rather than just “teaching” learners it enables them to become aware of their inner ability to teach and learn for themselves. So while the focus has been on maths, the deeper things the learners have learned have manifested in all academic areas as it provides these learners with everything they need.

To determine the impact of the program, the class average of maths results achieved by the learners during the year was compared to the average maths result achieved by the entire grade of the two dominant local schools (i.e. Chris Hani High and Harry Gwala High). The comparison is shown below in Figure 1.

Figure 1

Figure 1: Comparison of the average EWB Grade 8 learner result to the local schools’ average grade result.

Figure 1 shows that not only did the EwB program learners consistently outperform their local schools but they also showed a greater overall improvement in their maths mark when comparing the 1st and 3rd term results. The EWB class’s school maths average improved by 19.6% while the local school only showed a 4.75% improvement.

The EwB programme has played a huge role in helping learners improve academically, not only in mathematics, but it has also trained the learners to be able to approach any kind of question without them struggling. It has helped them gain confidence in approaching maths questions and most of all it has taught them on how to work as a group.

So while sharpening basic math foundation skills with the EwB content and challenging the learners as cooperative groups with basic algebra problems, in a consequence-free learning. The program has already begun to be implemented with the next group of grade 8s in 2012, as well as implementing an English language component and looking to expand to other branched.

Well done to our learners for these amazing results and to EwB



Makhaza tutor puts his talent to good use

Makhaza tutor puts his talent to good use

One of Makhaza’s tutors was lucky enough to be involved with Dance4Life and RedZebra Foundation which uses creative facilitation techniques, dialogue tools, bottom up processes as well as music and rhythm to deliver powerful experiences for the young people. The approach is youth friendly and centered around the notion that

Dance for life is a dynamic international initiative that involves young people; it encourages them to use their voices in stopping the further spread of HIV/AIDS and breaking down the stigma and taboos that surround the pandemic. Its approach covers all aspects of popular youth culture: media, language, icons music and especially dance. Dance is a universal language and through Dance4life young people dance with a cause. During the Schools4Life project (visiting schools and run workshops), which is the heart of the concept, they acquire the knowledge and life skills they need to protect themselves, while motivated to inform their peers and take action to improve young people reproduction health and rights.

By involving youth, it’s possible to change not only their behavior but also to mobilize them to create social change in their communities so that others change their behavior and perceptions as well. Dance4Life strives to empower young people to unleash their leadership potential, including young people living with HIV.


Ayanda Sawulisi, a past IkamvaYouth learner at the Makhaza branch, now a committed tutor participated for the week’s training and has this to say, ‘Well I got involve in the Dance4life project via Ikamva Youth. I got interested in the program because I love to work with young people and being the person that I am who is involved in the entertainment industry, I believe that I can use my skills and elevate dance4life project to new heights.

I also joined because Dance4life’s tool of getting the message across is very unique and inclusive ways though dance, music, spoken word etc which are my areas of interest. The training was great; it was very informative in terms of leadership skills and how to run workshops. It was full of energy, skills exchanging and creativity. Most of all I enjoyed to learn the dance which was the core element of the program and I was blessed to be amongst individuals who are very talented and who are in the virtue of becoming young leaders. The dance will help me in a way that I will be able to teach others but most of all to teach them the message behind the dance and it also help in terms of fitness/health because you sweat very much!’

Big up to Peter Schaupp and RedZebra Foundation for the opportunity!


EIFL takes IkamvaYouth to Slovenia

EIFL takes IkamvaYouth to Slovenia

In November 2011 Masiphumelele Library in partnership with Edunova and IkamvaYouth became the recipients of an EIFL-PLIP grant.  

EIFL (Electronic Information For Libraries) is an international organisation that is making a marked impact on the library world. With their slogan ‘Knowledge without Boundaries’ they are committed to developing a global network of libraries and their partners. The PLIP (Public Library Innovation Programme) grant supports innovative solutions to address socio-economic problems in developing countries.

Thanks to the grant, the Masiphumelele Library’s existing substandard computer facility will go through a dramatic transformation and will be updated with computers, projectors, printers and scanners. This new computer centre will be one of a kind in Masiphumelele and will offer an exciting space for youth to engage with technology and develop their computer skills.

The grant is not only concerned with hardware and the facility itself. EIFL is part of a global library initiative that aims to upscale the role that libraries can play in community development. To make a lasting impact in a sustainable way, EIFL promotes that libraries and their partners must advocate for themselves, to gain recognition as key players in the field of international development.

The new library at Kranj is offering innovative solutions using technology, to address societal problems

It is this that led Susan Alexander (Masiphumelele Librarian) and myself to Slovenia for a conference on Advocacy and Impact Assessment. Over the course of 4 days we under went training through the practical application of advocacy and communication strategy.

Colleagues from Estonia, Croatia, Macedonia, Kazakhstan in a discussion session

The people we met were inspiring and the skills we developed have empowered Masiphumelele Library and IkamvaYouth to embark on increased advocacy activities for the causes for which we work.

The first step is to get the centre up and running. The computers and desks are being fitted in the next 2 weeks and our facilitator, Nyasha Sithole, is undergoing intensive training, supported by Edunova. Once established, the centre opens up a range of exciting opportunities and possibilities for Ikamvanites and the wider library community.

First and foremost the centre will give all Ikamvanites direct access to a computer literacy programme. In addition the centre will engage young people in career guidance activities and assist and empower learners and the unemployed to access the workplace.  

This is an exciting development for the Masiphumelele Library and IkamvaYouth is proud to be a key partner in establishing the library as a centre for community empowerment.

Keep and eye on news about the centre and the projects that will take place. 

Lloyd Lungu

031 909 3590
2525 Ngcede Grove, Umlazi AA Library, 4031

Lloyd is a self-disciplined and highly goal-driven Industrial Psychology Honours graduate. He is currently a Master's candidate completing his second year of M.Com in Industrial Psychology at the University of the Free State. Lloyd joined IkamvaYouth as a learner in 2012, after matriculating he came back and volunteered as a tutor for the duration of his undergraduate studies at UKZN. He later worked as an Intern in the Chesterville branch. His passion for youth empowerment and inclusion has grown enormously through his time and experience gained within IkamvaYouth and has inspired him to provide career guidance to young township people. He is currently working at the Umlazi Branch as a Branch Assistant.