Dear Friends and colleagues
As 2021 draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to look back at the year, to celebrate with you our successes, reflect on the hurdles we triumphed over, and update you on new frontiers we have crossed.
I am excited to share that in 2021, we completed the second stage of our minimum dosage research. The research confirmed that the longer an Ikamvanite is part of our programme (ideally seven terms) the better their performance in matric. Our matric results were a true testament of the effectiveness of our model. We started 2021 with a big celebration. Despite the school closures and disruption, our 2020 Matric cohort achieved an 88% pass rate. These are learners that had been in our programme for the recommended minimum time, meeting attendance rates.
While 2020 was a year that demanded us to rethink our work and find resources to support our pivot strategy, all our work in 2020 has supported us into 2021. We have continued to support young learners in under-resourced high schools with in-person and online academic support, as well as career guidance programmes. Our work is now more important than ever as we are already beginning to witness and project the long-term effects of schooling disruptions on our learners. According to the NIDS-CRAM research released this year, the learning losses caused by these disruptions will take decades to recover from.
Organisational sustainability was a critical part of our forward looking plans. The fundraising landscape has become difficult in recent years, particularly exacerbated by the pandemic. This has invited us to think urgently on our own fundraising and income generating activities. We are excited to share that in 2021, we put together an advisory committee, to assist with our sustainability efforts. With the input from the advisory committee, we are looking to grow our self-generated income portfolio, leveraging on our existing model and resources to ensure we increase our reach and impact for the foreseeable future.
2022 brings to a close our three-year strategy and we are looking forward to bringing the team together, to carve our new three-year strategy taking us to 2025. We are excited about this chapter, and to witness the impact of these new plans on the learners in our programme.
As we reflect on the past year, and look to the future, I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to:
- Our volunteer tutors; who are at the front-line of our renowned model, and paying it forward to the young learners in the programme.
- IkamvaYouth staff, Board and Advisory committee; a hard-working team that is reliable and focused on fulfilling our mission. The team’s combined strength continues to make a formidable community of change-makers.
- Our donors; our work would not be possible without their support.
- Our stakeholders; the Department of Basic Education, the schools and community halls that house our branches, all implementing partners in the after-school space, and the parents, for your ongoing support and contribution to our work.
May you all look back at the year with pride as you have all contributed to the wonderful story that is IkamvaYouth.
Just one more thing, as you go on your holidays, if you are not already, please consider joining our community of donors. Now more than ever, we need your support. Next year, we will open our doors in January to 2,600 learners across the country who in 2022 need our support now more than ever. Please sign up as a monthly donor via our Given Gain page or donate via the SnapScan code on our website.
I wish you all a restful holiday ahead and may 2022 bring new exciting opportunities for you.