Day 2 has been a day of learning, fun and bonding here at Heath and Soul in Cape Town for the IkamvaYouth Team. It is true that when people put their minds together great things are sure to happen. The day started with a great ice breaker, where IkamvaYouth staff were taught how to breathe in and out whilst becoming one with nature and our surroundings. The NSPW facilitator, Ilana Wetzler, began to challenge the IkamvaYouth staff on how to understand themselves through self-awareness and highlighted the fact that we all should strive to develop our self-awareness so as to become better leaders.
Ilana- Facilitator(Left) and Joy -Co-Founder of IkamvaYouth (Right)
This year’s NSPW is full of experiential learning and we covered areas such as tools of dialogue, intentional misdirection and different types of energy. The IkamvaYouth team has been separated into three groups to complete team tasks. The names of the groups include the Rockets, the Sweet Chilli’s and the Bees.
Interestingly enough, Lungelo Masiza, the Chef preparing all the amazing food during our stay here is a former Ikamvanite. He has successfully started his own catering company called La-Thiswa catering and is a living testimony of how IkamvaYouth is changing and empowering lives.
Watch out for the IkamvaYouth team of avengers, going through an amazing transformation from no fear to complete love!
The fifteen people who’re ensuring that hundreds of South African youth pull themselves and others out of poverty through education finally got to work together in person. For an entire week!
Being an IY natcom member isn’t easy. It’s a huge amount of responsibility, with high expectations and the pressure to make every cent stretch further than most people would think possible. One of the ways in which we run a low-cost, high-impact model with national reach is by leveraging technology, and our national team works from townships and cities across the country, connecting via Skype, email, gchat, google docs and the ikamvanitezone. Connectivity challenges at many branches make our online meetings difficult, and we often find ourselves trying to have big conversations and make important decisions with distracting background noise, calls dropping, and participants either unable to hear or be heard.
So the 18th September marked the day that many natcom members got to meet their colleagues in person for the first time. And eish but did we maximise that face-to-face time all week!
Mignon Lotz-Keyser from Peer Power generously volunteered her time, skills and expertise to facilitate our conversations, from vision & values right through to the action-item-to-do list for ensuring that this vision is realised. Key strategic partners Capitec, the Learning Trust and iKapaData joined us at points during the week, and our chairperson Leigh Meinert took leave from her day job as MD of TSiBA to provide valuable input over two days. Dennis Clark, our accountant, joined for the Thursday evening braai and Friday Finance Day, where we spoke about improving our financial tracking and reporting processes and presented the first round of proposed branch budgets for 2012.
We’d parked many big decisions for the week which meant long conversation, dialogue and debate which often stretched late into the evening. The chunky issues we grappled with were themes within this overarching one: “How do we grow, expand our reach, improve our professionalism and operate sustainably without negatively impacting our organisational culture and losing our soul?” We realised that our organisation is at another growth phase, whereby the need for more structures and procedures has presented itself to a group of social entrepreneurs who value democratic decision making, independence and autonomy, and hold views as strong as their performance is high.
Thankfully this small group of people who’re changing the world are smart, committed, and work wonderfully well together. The culmination of beautifully diverse yet unifying views and ideas, expressed in the inspirational setting of Goedgedacht farm, resulted in a strong, thoughtful plan for our next steps and leaps forward.
Read the full report, or simply get an overview of what it’s all building towards from our co-created vision for the next five years:
Our culture of responsibility is creating a ripple effect of thriving individuals and communities. Our intergenerational ikamvanites provide access to quality education in inspirational spaces everywhere. We are an integrated network driving change by paying it forward.
From Left to Right, Back row: Dennis Clark (Accountant), Nombuyiselo Dziba (Nyanga coordinator), Modjadji Selowe (Ivory Park assistant), Liesel Bakker (Makhaza coordinator), Zoe Mann (Natcom project manager & Masi assistant), Phillip Mcelu (Makhaza Supplementary Tutoring Head, MathsYesWeCan project manager and fieldworker for IkamvaYouth Evaluation), Mignon Lotz-Keyser (Facilitator), Joy Olivier (Director)
From Left to Right, Front row: Andrew Barrett’s shadow (Gauteng coordinator), Sbonelo Cele (Cato Manor assistant), Nico Commeignes (Masi coordinator), Asanda Nanise (Nyanga assistant), Joe Manciya (Ivory Park coordinator), Thobile Mthembu (Cato Manor coordinator), Zukile Keswa (Makhaza coordinator) and Zamo Shongwe (National coordinator)
Ikamvanites don’t let a little thing like a petrol bomb derail us from our big vision. In fact, like Zukile and Mphumzi say in the short film about the Freedom Day attack, more power to us!
On 1 May, we spent the day at TSiBA brainstorming the first big challenge for sustainably scaling the IkamvaYouth model across the country: Where’s the $$ going to come from so that there can be an IkamvaYouth branch at every library, community centre and university campus that wants one?
Freda Grey generously volunteered her time, wisdom and expertise to facilitate (and challenge!) the stretching of imaginations as far as our risk-averse temperaments would allow. Natcom members (Andrew, Khona, Zoe, Nombu, Nico and I), board members (Leigh and Colin) and branchcom members (Phillip and Naledi), as well as one of our advisors (Eugene Daniels, the District Director of Metropole South) brainstormed numerous income opportunities and identified the ones we’d like to develop further as potential business cases.
We’ve set up a study group on the Peer-to-Peer University website for keeping the conversation going, and invite everyone with insight, opinions or ideas to get involved and contribute to the development of our strategy for sustainable scale.
The day ended on a sombre note with Eugene describing the challenges that the Education crisis presents. He noted IkamvaYouth’s innovative approach, track record and potential for scale and emphasised the urgency for reaching significantly larger numbers of learners. Watch this space or get involved in this one!
As the regular followers of our blog will know, IkamvaYouth’s national committee met for a full week at the Grail Centre to reflect on the last 12 months, plan for the next, and share our skills, knowledge, and experience.
Thanks to Marie Sutherland-Lawless and Catherine Scott, the notes that were made throughout the week have been transformed into a beautiful report, available to download here. The appendices include our financial controls, performance reviews policy, and IY-in-a-box presentation.
The report provides a comprehensive overview of all we covered, and outlines our plans for 2011 and beyond.
Watch out education crisis…here come the Ikamvanites!