World Read Aloud Day
The 4th of March 2015 was World read aloud day. IkamvaYouth Umlazi held a small ceremony to celebrate this day (on Saturday the 14th of March as a late commemoration) with the learners as reading is a fundamental habit to the growth of a learner’s abilities to learn.
From early in the first term learners where encouraged to submit book reviews of books they have read in their spare time. This was a way that the organisation was ensuring that learners engage in reading activities outside of the school curriculum. These book reviews were to be submitted to the branch staff by the 14th of March
The best book review was announced on the day. The prize went to Sibongile Mazeka, a grade 11 learner at the branch.
Sibongile Mazeka accepting her prize from N’thabiseng Zwane (Umlazi Branch Assistant)
The next part of the small ceremony was to have random learners stand up and read aloud, as it was read aloud day. We had 3 brave young girls stand up and read in front of the whole branch.
The 3 young girls (Sinobuhle Gasa Grade 11, Thobeka Holngwa Grade9 and Snenhlanhla Nzaca Grade 11) will be awarded with merit points for their efforts. Each of them was asked to read one page from teenage novels which were donated to the branch by Fundza. One of the things that stood out was a learner name Snenhlanhla. She was fluent and seemed to enjoy reading the short story novel to the point where we had to stop her due to time constraints.
A special thanks to Fundza for donating the books to IkamvaYouth and also thank you to the learners for participating in the activities for the day.
N’thabiseng Zwane addressing learners
Towards the end of last year, IkamvaYouth embarked on an exciting and learning filled pilot programme with the Western Cape Government to implement the IY model in 2 high schools in the province with 8 volunteers. It is through the experiences and learnings in this pilot that the reach has expanded to 8 high schools, just under 800 learners and implemented with 35 volunteers to deliver high-impact after-school tutoring programmes in secondary schools in the Western Cape while developing the skills and proficiencies of young leaders.
The Year Beyond programme is adding value to the school’s MOD Centres by increasing the range of after-school activities to include an academic arm. The programme, working with grades 8-10 in each school includes IkamvaYouth model tutoring and tech-assisted English and Maths tuition through FunDza and Olico respectively.
The project will attract just under 800 learners who are all eager to take their futures into their own hands. They are supported in this after-school space by a fantastic bunch of change makers who come from all walks of life but share a passion for youth and development. These young graduates are paying-it-forward by volunteering their time to serve as role models for these aspiring learners.
These volunteers have just completed 2 weeks of intensive IkamvaYouth training where they received in depth tutor and tech assisted programme training, visited branches, participated in conflict resolution workshops, spent time in their schools and met MOD centre coaches, all while developing their teams; identifying and honing the leadership skills needed to work in their school and with their learners. They are now recruiting learners and building strong relationships in their schools to ensure the success of the programme through school and parent buy-in.
The involvement of numerous organisations, departments and people has produced an exciting collaborative approach to youth development. IkamvaYouth is a value based organisation and one of the core principles is peer-to-peer support and collaboration. To see this happening on a large scale with governmental involvement is a huge step for IkamvaYouth in reaching its 2030 vision. It is hoped that this form of government – non-government partnership can become a model for operation in order to reach more learners with high-quality after-school programmes across the country.
Vision 2030 was conceived by IkamvaYouth in 2012, which is the vision to see every grade 1 learner who starts school in 2018 to matriculate or the equivalent by 2030, and to access a post-school opportunity of their choice that sets them on the path to earn a dignified living. This is an audacious goal and one that requires many hands and minds.
The Year Beyond programme offers an opportunity to engage in true collaboration towards a common goal. It is hoped that this is the first of many partnerships that will open the doors of after-school programmes to young people all across the country.
For more information about Year Beyond, IkamvaYouth and how we can work together to enable more learners to achieve their dreams please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
We have learnt a lot this year.
We have learnt that collaboration is not merely partnering for mutual benefit – an “I get something, you get something” scenario. We have come to view collaboration as assisting one another to achieve something more together than we could alone.
Last year saw IkamvaYouth work with several other organisations who were delivering after-school tutoring in the Western Cape. From January to November a group of between 4 and 12 organsiations would meet monthly to share what they had learnt over the last month and together we discussed and created solutions to our collective challenges.
Collaborative Community Workshop
In addition, when possible IkamvaYouth were able to visit organisations, provide advice and guidance on their specific problems and learn from them about the realities of their context and what could be done to lessen the obstacles that are inherent to these contexts.
The organisations who participated in 2014 were: EwB, Grassroots Boxing, Sozo Foundation, Ikamva Labantwana Bethu, SALT, Amandla Edufootball, Nebula Skateboarding, Masakhaneni Community Development, Emagqabini, and SAEP.
The majority of these organisations improved the quality, sustainability and even size of their programmes over the year. I can’t possibly list all the achievements as they are numerous but some particular examples of success are worth mentioning.
Nebula Skateboarding is an organisation that combines skateboarding and tutoring. They offer primary aged learners the opportunity to get help with their homework, learn to skate, and access a specialised curriculum that draws connections between skateboarding and life! This curriculum explores the concepts of self-awareness, discipline and self-expression and looks to develop various aspects of the learner – both socially and academically – to prepare them to rise above the challenges and obstacles that they are likely to face.
Siya shares his dream to be a skateboarder and mechanical engineer!
Rayne Moses, the founder of the organisation has worked tirelessly this year to: secure a grant from The Learning Trust, secure a venue, establish a consistent programme, entice more learners into the programme and even explore an additional site. Check-out this amazing video that was made for Nebula, which shows just how far they have come!
Sozo Foundation went from strength to strength last year, through the incredible and inspiring commitment of the Sozo team. Consistent improvements in learner’s attendance, receipt of grant funding and rewards, and building a whole new building were just some of their achievements. The hard work that was put in last year by the staff, tutors and learners was acknowledged at the end of year prize-giving, which I had the honour of attending.
Prize-giving in the new Sozo Educentre!
SALT’s admirable determination to learn from others and to improve their programme proved to do wonders for their Saturday morning tutoring sessions. A sight to be seen! Eager learners, committed enthusiastic tutors and welcoming staff was truly inspiring! The quality of their programme was reflected in their amazing results. Out of 11 grade 12s, 7 were placed in tertiary education institutions in the fields of mechanical engineering, physiotherapy, psychology, maths & science, and computer technology! The other 4 are being supported by SALT and are rewriting supplementary exams in March.
While all the organisations involved would have likely implemented tutoring programmes and may well have achieved these feats without IkamvaYouth’s support, being part of a connected community who could be called upon in times of need or doubt, and a community that could provide connections and resources has proven to be a hugely valuable initiative.
“It has been such a privilege and honour to be part of the Collaborative Community, partnering with IkamvaYouth and other likeminded organisations!…We have learnt so much from the monthly meetings and one-to-one mentoring sessions particularly with the foundational structures of our programme.” Arlene Block, Sozo Foundation.
The collaborative community will continue in 2015, with the support of The Learning Trust and hopefully grow and strengthen to form a country-wide support network for after-school organisations that allows us to achieve more by working together than any of us could alone.
If you are an after-school education organisation and would like to discuss how IkamvaYouth and other organisations are (or could be) working together and sharing resources to increase the impact of all our programmes please get in contact.
Visit www.ikamvayouth.org/vision2030 or contact email@example.com for information on training and support services.
The 2013 IkamvaYouth Annual Report highlights the remarkable achievements that we have made in 2013 by enabling disadvantaged youth to pull themselves and each other out of poverty with education.You can view the full annual report here but here are some of the highlights from 2013:
- 92% of our learners passed their matric (including supplementary exams); 62% achieved a bachelor pass (compared to 30.6% nationally) and 90% of our learners accessed a post school opportunity (tertiary, learnership or employment);
- The first survey of IkamvaYouth’s alumni was conducted. The findings were more encouraging than we could have hoped: IkamvaYouth learners are almost half as likely to drop out of tertiary studies, four times more likely to graduate and are three times less likely to not be in education or employment than the average South African young person.
- IkamvaYouth WON the Stars Award which exists to reward outstanding local organisations improving the lives of children in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. IkamvaYouth WON in the category of Education in Africa and the Middle East.
Thank you for taking the future into your hands, and to holding ours. Let’s keep reaching for the stars together.
©Neo Ntsoma/Majority World
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Ikageng branch formed their first Branch Com during this year’s SPW in April. One of the mandates for this year’s Branch Com was to ensure that the branch implements all the programmes forming part of the IY Model. To ensure this, Branch Com members heading these programmes were to ensure that they plan and execute different activities for their portfolios during the course of the year. Following this, a Media Committee was formed during Winter School, under the Media, Image and Expression Portfolio. The Media Committee was formed by learners who were interested to take care of the media coverage of the Winter School. The Committee produced photos, video recordings and written reports of all activities and events during the Winter School.
From this initiative, the branch saw a need to develop the skills and further empower and guide them to broader career and recreational opportunities. The branch approached one of the producer at the local radio station- Ms Kgalalelo Sennano, to guide and provide support to these talented Ikamavanites. After just one meeting with her, Ms Kgalalelo enthusiastically agreed to facilitate a series of workshops for our Media Committee. These workshops aims to:
- Provide knowledge and information
- Encourage them to explore career opportunities in media
- Use media to address the social issues faced both by the community and youth in general
- Use media as an educational resource as well as a tool for expression.
Our Media Workshops run over 11 Saturdays, starting from the 13th of September 2014 to the 6th of December 2014. With these workshops, we hope to build more fruitful relationships with the radio station and other local media houses to empower our youth and give back to our community.hipp
Following the success of the matric camp in 2013, the WC team ran the second annual matric camp following directly on after the two weeks of winter school in July. This year saw 85 matrics from the Western Cape branches as well as from the Eastern Cape get together for a week getaway at the Rotary Glencairn camp site, for 5 days of intensive tutoring, academic workshops and exam practice.
The first day saw all the learners arriving at the site and participating energetic team-building exercises to help break the ice as learners started interacting more freely across the branches, working collectively to earn points for their various teams. True to ikamvanite culture, tutoring started in earnest from day one and the learners spent the rest of the afternoon working through past exam papers and Answer Series guides.
Throughout the camp learners have all managed to take part in a variety of activities aimed at preparing them for their final exams and tertiary studies. From intensive tutoring and exam practice to workshops around how to study effectively and evening self study times.
While the camp is a serious study boot camp, with tutoring happening from early in the morning until late into the night, the learners found the time to energise themselves through the terrible weather with an impromptu talent show where learners mixed things up between branches for an evening of singing, dancing, stand up comedy and drama. I’m convinced the next MC Solaar is in this group!
Sixolisiwe sibebosi , a volunteer said the following: ‘The matric camp was very productive to me. Firstly everything was well prepared, the kids were hungry to learn something and that gave me a lot of courage and it motivated me to make sure that I give all and make a change. IkamvaYouth changed my life and I also passed my matric because of IkamvaYouth and matric camp so it was a minor thing for me tor do, I wish I could do more.’
Bonke Sibunzana, a learner from Masi said the following, ‘what I liked about matric camp was how committed the tutors were. They encouraged us to use the tutoring time wisely. I also like how united we were as ikamvanites. We showed love and support for each other ‘, while Nobulali Swaartbooi from Nyanga said ‘Matric camp was a great experience. It was great learning with people from different schools and coming together with all our different ideas.’
This strongly echoes IY’s value of peer-to-peer sharing and IY is excited to witness the fruit of the Matric camp as the learners write their mock exams in September and final exams in November.
A very special thank you to Pick’n Pay Fish Hoek, for generously supplying camp catering, and ensuring that all our learners, volunteers and staff are well fed every day of the camp; Rotary for their beautiful camp sites and ERM for the donation of solar lamps for all our matric learners. This gives out learners going into their final exams the opportunity to study at home in the evenings, thanks ERM!
Good luck for the final exams IY 2014 Matric Class!