Lovelife is at it again with Nyanganites

Lovelife is at it again with Nyanganites

Lovelife is South Africa’s largest HIV-prevention initiative and works tirelessly to promote the health and social well-being of youths all over the country. In addition to HIV awareness and prevention programs, Lovelife works to develop the potential in young people through youth leadership and self motivation.

On the 24th of April 2012, Lovelife honoured Nyanganites with another exciting, interactive discussion session on common issues facing township youths. The discussion focused primarily on gangsterism and teenage pregnancy. The Lovelife team, headed by Andisiwe Wenanikicked off the session with a high energy ice-breaker, which set the tone for the animated discussion that was to follow.

Gangsterism is a major issue Ikamvanites face in their schools and communities and the learners were very candid in their contributions to the discussion.

Phelokazi Mpapama said:

‘’Gangs have members inside the school and if you talk about it inside the classroom, you become a target.’’

Whilst acknowledging that such challenges are real, the Lovelife team however led the learners into discovering and agreeing that they can fight back and take back some of the power that gangs have usurped in their community. The team pointed out that learners should work together to fight gangsters, since doing nothing is a way of enabling the situation

Nyanganites also had their own ideas on how the situation can be helped. Mzukisi Gwegwe had this to say

‘’The school governing body should work with the community to stand up against gangsterism.’’

This shows that our Nyanganites are thinking and willing to engage in such issues, and this is a huge part of what IY seeks to achieve with all its learners.

On teenage pregnancy, some learners pointed out that it would be helpful for youth they had frank and honest discussions about sex at home.

Zolela Jamba said the following:

‘’Teenage pregnancy happens because children do not get enough information about sex, from their homes’’

Nyanganites were challenged to take responsibility for their sexuality by educating themselves and engaging in safe sexual practices.

Once again, a great big thank you to Lovelife for engaging and empowering ourNyanganites with such valuable information.

 

 

 

We’re coming to the Eastern Cape!

We’re coming to the Eastern Cape!

Since the earliest days of IY’s existence, ikamvanites have dreamed of extending our reach to the province from where many of us originate and – given the abysmal academic performance and other challenges – we’re clearly needed. We’re now thrilled to announce that, thanks to key IY supporters including Capitec and the Learning Trust, IkamvaYouth is looking to establish the first of hopefully many branches in the province. 

Co-founder of IkamvaYouth, Makhosi Gogwana, is based in the province and is the backbone of the Chief Directorate for Local Economic Development support to municipalities. He’s very keen to support the organisation’s expansion to many areas, and says “I am always thinking about the work of IkamvaYouth with huge satisfaction… I salute all of you.” 

I was fortunate to meet with many other individuals and organisations doing very interesting and inspirational work in Grahamstown in February, and due to the enthusiastic and supportive response from each of them, we have decided to establish the first EC branch in Grahamstown ūüôā

Rhodes University’s Centre for Community Engagement is a central collaborative hub for community-based organisations, integrating student volunteerism and service learning opportunities. Di Hornby and Margie Keeton expressed their support for the IY model, and affirmed the need for our programme (and, we’re all hoping, replicated results!) in Grahamstown. The Centre’s report on Community Engagement provides a useful and inspiring overview of the centre and its partners’ work. 

I also met with Shireen Badat from Upstart, and was very excited to learn about her talented and hardworking grade 10s who need ongoing academic support in order to improve their academic results and especially their performance in matric. Have a look at the learners’ latest edition of the awesome Upstart paper: Youth Speaking to Power.

Jan Blom came all the way from Nemato (The Nelson Mandela Township, between East London and PE) to meet with me, and his incredible story affirmed the commitment and passion that exists in the area. His organisation, Nemato Change a Life, is doing incredible work in providing ongoing and long-term support to the youth of the area, enabling them to access opportunities and improve their lives. They also place great emphasis on commitment, and we spoke about ways to integrate Nemato Change a Life’s sports programmes, and integrating IY’s academic and career guidance programmes for the Nemato youth.

Finally, I met with Anna and Rob from the Village Scribe Association, where they introduced me to Awarenet. Most fortuitous, as we’ve been trying to figure out a way for ikamvanites to leverage social networking on the ikamvanitezone in a way that’s distinct and separated from the general noise on Facebook. Our developers have since been working away to connect Awarenet with the Zone, and it’ll very soon be available to every ikamvanite to connect, share and learn with each other between branches and indeed with other learners across the country. 

It is clear that each of the organisations I met share our values and we are very much looking forward to linking and collaborating with them. Next steps for us are hiring a regional coordinator, finding a venue and securing additional funding. 

With Rhodes as a welcoming partner and the many organisations keen to collaborate, we’re feeling very positive about taking the first steps in establishing our first IYEC branch. Clearly, the real challenge that we will address in the coming years is extending the IY model into rural areas, and our plan is for the Grahamstown branch to become a central hub from which far further-reaching activities will emanate. 

Nemato, Axium and the Village Scribe Association are all doing really interesting work in challenging rural environments, and IY is looking forward to learning from, partnering with and eventually extending the model so that it’s no longer limited by the need for proximity to university campuses for volunteers. We’re looking forward to leveraging technology and the experiences of those who’re currently engaged in improving education in rural areas, so watch this space! 

 

 

Lloyd Lungu

031 909 3590
lloyd@ikamvayouth.org
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.