On the 26th of September, we held our Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Chris Hani High School in Makhaza. The event was well attended, with an audience of more than 300 people; among whom were IY staff, learners, volunteers, parents, alumni, board members and representatives of funders and sponsors.
The programme for the AGM consisted of the presentation and approval of the 2014 Audited Financial Statements; approving the appointment of Grant Thornton as our 2015 auditors; the appointment and ratification of 3 new board members, and the presentation of our 2014 Annual report.
“If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s not big enough”, was the message from one of the outstanding alumni, Sinethemba Kameni, who provided a heart-warming account of his journey with IkamvaYouth. We were encouraged by his and other alumni’s stories; the progress they have made in their lives, and their willingness to come back and inspire the learners who are making their own journey with IkamvaYouth. Zukile Keswa shared his philosophy that says, ‘In life you need to start somewhere’, emphasising that his life’s work is about the impact he is making in his community. This resonated with our findings that 65% of our learners want to come back and become tutors, as our director, Joy Oliver pointed out in her report.
The crowd was entertained by IkamvaYouth learners and tutors who performed moving songs, enthralling dance and inspiring poetry at various intervals during the AGM.
For detailed information on the event, please refer to the minutes accessible the following link: AGM minutes
Please see the attendance register on the following link: AGM attendance register
In January, along with hi-fives and star jumps, the ikamvanites were proud to announce an 82% pass for the class of 2014. Now, after finally gathering in the results for those writing supplementary exams, we’re thrilled to announce an overall 84% pass, with 85% eligible for tertiary institutions (50% bachelor and 34% diploma).
However, while a matric pass is difficult to obtain (especially for those attending schools where more than half of learners drop out before reaching matric), it is just the first of many hurdles that need to be cleared in the race towards a career that can catapult a family out of poverty.
Research has shown (Van der Berg & Broekhuizen, 2013) that unemployment for those with less than 12 years of schooling is 42%, while for matriculants it’s 29%. Those with non-degree tertiary education have an unemployment level of about 16%, while for people with a degree, unemployment is under 5%. The numbers of youth not in education, employment or training (NEETs) have increased over the last few years and currently sit at almost 34% of 15 – 24-year-olds in South Africa.
IkamvaYouth is thrilled to report that 85% of the 2014 matrics ARE in education, employment, or training (and not NEETs). Of the 244 learners who wrote matric in 2014:
49% are in tertiary institutions (30% at university and 19% at colleges)
18% have learnerships or jobs
18% are working to upgrade their matric results
These results are remarkable, especially given the norms and expectations of township youth. Beauty Komone , who attended the Ivory Park branch, says “I grew up in a disadvantaged family of seven where none of my three siblings (who are out of high school) have managed to get into tertiary. Tutoring and other programmes that are run by IkamvaYouth have boosted my performance and the way I perceive life. I am now at University studying information technology (IT)!”
Ikamvanites have chosen to study towards careers that will advance the country’s development. Of those enrolled in tertiary institutions (112 learners), 12% are studying engineering, 14% are studying IT, 18% are studying health sciences, and 34% are studying finance, business or entrepreneurship. We’re encouraged to see that 6% are studying education; our hope is for many more ikamvanites to build their careers by transforming South Africa’s education system.
Katlego Octivious is studying architecture, and Boitumelo Mahladisa is training to become a policeman and keep his community safe. We are particularly proud of Tiyiselani Mpangane, who was really struggling with her academics when she joined the Ebony Park branch in grade 10. After joining IkamvaYouth, her results have shot up remarkably; she achieved 6 distinctions for matric, and is studying actuarial science at UCT.
Most heartwarming and encouraging of all, 65% of the class of 2014 has indicated that they’ll be returning to volunteer as tutors at IkamvaYouth. They will ensure that the next cohorts of learners reach similar heights; and propel the virtuous cycle of ikamvanites paying-it-forward, pulling themselves and each other out of poverty.
We need your help to make the circle bigger: Get involved as a volunteer, or donate!
Hear from the Ikamvanites themselves:
Beauty Komone: “I grew up in an Ivory Park Township in a disadvantaged family of seven where no one including my three siblings (who are out of high school) have gotten into tertiary. Tutoring and other programmes that are run by IkamvaYouth have boosted my performance and the way I perceive life. I am now going to University to study IT.”
Benny Matlou: “IkamvaYouth is not just an educational organisation, it is also an organization of personal growth and empowerment, which takes youth through a journey of self-discovery where one gets to build their personal values and learn the importance of respect, loyalty, dedication and self-discipline. IkamvaYouth has truly lifted me off the ground to new and better heights.”
Jabulile Khoza: “IkamvaYouth went the extra mile by organising winter school, educational trips, career guidance events at the convenience of our branch. Another amazing thing that IkamvaYouth did for me, my life and my career was to link me with an amazing mentor who now is still awesome. It is a blessing and a huge privilege to be an Ikamvanite.”
Nokukhanya Mdlalose: “I would like to thank IkamvaYouth for helping me. Because of them I have achieved a bachelor pass and now have a chance to go to university.”
Mapule Molebatsi: “I joined IkamvaYouth in grade 10 and since then my marks have improved. I now have a bachelor pass and I know that if it was not for the help and encouragement of IkamvaYouth, I would have never gotten this far.”
Nereth Vuma: “IkamvaYouth gave me help that I couldn’t get anywhere else; they did it with willingness and encouragement. I am grateful for the help I have received from IkamvaYouth.”
Mrs Mpangane (Mother of Tiyiselani who achieved 7 distinctions): “Thank you IkamvaYouth, I hope you continue to do the same for other children this year, next year and many other years to come.”
Shelton Chadya (tutor): “I feel very, very happy because seeing these learners do better than we did, we can’t celebrate enough. Most of the learners are people that I tutored. Well done guys!”
Cheryl Nzama (IkamvaYouth Staff Member): “We are very excited about the results coming out of IkamvaYouth. The standards have been set and we hope that IkamvaYouth Mamelodi will achieve the same standards to give learners the best possible opportunities and education.”
Felicia Mpande (Grade 12 learner 2014): “IkamvaYouth assisted me greatly by exposing me to career workshops, computer literacy and creative expressions and has been a second home to me. Thank you for all the help you gave me.”
Township learners help each other achieve 82% pass rate, with 87% of those who passed eligible for tertiary study (51% bachelor and 36% diploma)
IkamvaYouth learners are celebrating great matric results; once again these township youth have achieved results that far surpass the national averages, showing that the odds can indeed be overcome. Matrics from nine branches across five provinces achieved an overall 82% pass rate, with 87% of those eligible for tertiary study (51% bachelor and 36% diploma).
The organisation is proud to achieve these results while scaling its reach; the class of 2014 (244 learners) saw a 63% growth in matric numbers from the previous year (153 learners). Two branches are celebrating excellent results for their inaugural matric cohorts: Joza in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, achieved an 85% pass with 89% of those eligible for tertiary, and Ikageng in the North West achieved an 84% pass with 95% of those eligible for tertiary studies. IkamvaYouth’s director Joy Olivier said: “I’d like to congratulate the ikamvanites on your incredible achievements. I would also like to thank all our staff, tutors, supporters and donors for the energy, commitment, love and support that makes this work possible.”
The class of 2014 are going on to study a range of important fields that will equip them with the skills they need to build South Africa, including medicine, speech and audiology, social work, biomedical science, town management, civil engineering, mechanical engineering and information technology to name just a few!
IkamvaYouth’s work with the class of 2014 is far from over. While many of those who passed have already been accepted by the country’s top universities, there is still work to be done to ensure that none of the class of 2014 become NEETs (not in education, employment or training). Most of the learners who did not pass are eligible for supplementary exams, and IkamvaYouth will be supporting these learners to ensure that they are well-prepared to clear this hurdle on the way to securing post-school opportunities.
IkamvaYouth has maintained a matric pass rate of between 82 and 100% each year since 2005, and true credit for these results must go to the learners, volunteers, the staff, partner organisations and donors. “IkamvaYouth would like to shout out particular thanks to IkamvaYouth’s five largest donors in 2014: Amalgamated Beverage Industries, Omidyar Network, Capitec Bank, the Stars Foundation and the TK Foundation. Without these and all of the other wonderful donors, these results would not be possible. We hugely appreciate your support and are looking forward to continuing to working with you in the years to come,” said chairperson Leigh Meinert.
For more information about IkamvaYouth, please refer to our 2013 Annual Report.
IkamvaYouth’s first rural branch celebrates an incredible 86% pass for its inaugural matriculating class, with 50% achieving the bachelor passes they need to access university. These results are particularly impressive compared with the provincial pass rate of 65.4%, and 31% bachelor passes. With the Eastern Cape the country’s worst-performing province, and Joza schools notoriously low-performing within Grahamstown’s highly unequal education system, these results mean more than just brighter futures for the 18 matriculating Ikamvanites and their families.
That after-school peer-to-peer learning and tutoring can yield results in this challenging context means hope to many schools and communities plagued by an education system in crisis. It also means that redressing the inequalities that plague Grahamstown is possible, and achievable. These results have been achieved through peer-to-peer learning and tutoring, where volunteering university students facilitate small group learning, where learners drive the agenda themselves. There is no teaching — only learning — and the results are remarkable!
Although Rhodes University is just down the hill from Joza, tiny numbers of learners enter the doors of this top institution on their doorstep. IkamvaYouth is thrilled to announce that this year, seven Ikamvanites have been accepted to study at Rhodes.
95% of IkamvaYouth’s Joza branch’s learners attend Nombulelo High school, where the branch is based. This is the biggest school in Grahamstown, and had 215 matric learners writing in 2013; just under 40% of these passed. As Dr Ashley Westaway from Gadra pointed out in his analysis of Grahamstown’s matric results last year, more than double the number of candidates that wrote at any other school in the City wrote at Nombulelo, and “as can be expected, the Nombulelo predicament had a massive bearing on the overall performance in Grahamstown. If one entirely removes Nombulelo from the City statistics, its pass rate increases by over 10%, up to 71,6%.”
This year, 75 matric learners at Nombulelo passed, with 32% attaining bachelor passes. Ikamvanites contributed 38% of these bachelor passes; a testament to what can be achieved through partnerships between schools and community-based after-school programmes. Nombulelo principal, Mr Mthuthuzeli Koliti, noted that “those learners who do not connect with the teachers are inspired by the younger tutors who inspire them to work hard. Some of these slept at the school as they could not study at home and their commitment has paid off.” Nomfusi Phamela Mgqobele, a parent of a very proud grade 12 learner, thanked IkamvaYouth and said that the organisation has “not only helped with his performance at school but shaped him to become a responsible young man”.
Establishing the Joza branch has not been easy, and it is a testament to the hard work and support from a range of individuals and partner organisations. IkamvaYouth greatly appreciates the efforts of all involved, including the tutors, parents, the schools, Rhodes’ Centre for Community Engagement, the Claude Leon Foundation, the Joza Youth Hub, the Learning Trust and the Eastern Cape Department of Education. “These results are amazing”, said branch coordinator Bulelwa Mangali. “It’s also not the end as the three learners who failed are eligible for supplementary exams and so we are shooting for 100% pass by March”.
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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.