It was a winter day, we were blessed with beautiful, warm and clear weather; when the IkamvaYouth career expo took center stage during the IkamvaYouth Winter School program in Gauteng at our Ebony Park branch. IkamvaYouth during this expo hosted over four hundred students who are learners registered with the organization; as well as the community of Ebony Park and Ivory Park.
Upon arrival around 08:45, exhibition stands from different institutions had already been put up. I even asked myself if these different institutions slept over at our center or what; as they had arrived so early in the morning. The great news was that they were all ready to give information and education needed most by our youth. The Career Expo and the entire IkamvaYouth Winter School program could have not been such a success, if it was not for an equally dedicated team of IkamvaYouth staff and volunteer/tutors.
I entered through the gates of IkamvaYouth centre in the Ebony Park branch, for a moment I forgot that I was in a township. I mean, we had exhibitors from many organizations and institutions that I am sure will share valuable information and knowledge with our leaners and the Ebony Park community at large. Learners looking lovely in their school uniforms from surrounding schools such as Tsosoloso High School; Midrand High school; Oracle High School; Eqinisweni High School; Umqhele High School; Ivory Park High School; and Kaalfontein High School. Charming friendly and energetic IkamvaYouth staff and volunteer/tutors were ready to facilitate and co-ordinate the Career Expo.
I would not name drop, but because of the special and welcoming speech Modjadji (Branch Assistant from the Ivory Park branch) made; I just had to name drop. She said something that really appealed to me, in her words “Knowledge is for us to share”. So I bit my fingers and ensured that leaners got the information if not from me, then from the many exhibitors we had at this Career Expo.
It is sad to hear that Zandile, Branch Coordinator from Ivory Park branch, is leaving us soon, for Japan. Wishing her success in her future, it is inspiring to see youth making moves and going international. Though she is needed at IkamvaYouth, it is only right for us to allow her to spread her wings and follow her dreams. An emotional farewell speech she made- truly she will be missed. After the official opening of the Expo round ten o’clock learners got the opportunity to visit exhibition stands.
Leaners were ushered in different teams headed by one volunteer, to the many different exhibition stands. Every thirty minutes throughout the day, leaners would be lead back inside the hall, to listen to informational presentations from tertiary institutions and private organizations. Absa, one of our sponsors, gave a presentation about their services and career opportunities learners can take advantage of.
University of Witwatersrand also made a presentation about careers available at the university and how to apply at the university. Dr Kubeka from the University of Johannesburg gave an educational session about choosing subjects in High School, and career decisions.
Going through the exhibition stands with a team of learners I was responsible for was fun. Wits University was exhibiting; PC Training and Damelin College as well. A stand from College Campus and Boston Media House was also in the area. Mindset Learning channel 319 on DSTV was present and even recorded some of the learners who sent shout-outs to their families and friends. Central Johannesburg College were exhibiting as well as MSC College. Open Window had me wishing for a career in visual media and TPG College also came. National Heritage Council also came, as always we have been blessed with the presence of the Tzu Chi Foundation.
Before I could even admit I was hungry, it was lunch time. Amazing how time flies when you having fun. We are very grateful to ABI for providing refreshments. After eating, I really felt like I could lie down and enjoy some rest; but oh no, learning still continued. After lunch then walking with my learners we visited some more exhibition stands before I led them back inside the hall for more presentations. We then listened to a presentation from Consulting Engineers South Africa; they really made a career in engineering interesting. Harambee an employment agency made their presentations; myself and other community members had the chance to register our names on their employment seekers database. I am glad I came.
Open Window College and College Campus closed off the presentations after three o’clock. It has been a lovely and informational day for me, learners and the community of Ebony Park. The Career Expo has been a success and I am certain the same could be said about the entire IkamvaYouth Winter School program. What more can I say Ikamvanites, we did it again, and will continue doing it. IkamvaYouth the future truly is in our hands!!
Week One of Winter School Masiphumelele is coming to an end, and what a week it’s been! Each day, 82 students from Grades 9 to 12 and 16 tutors from around the globe gather at False Bay College in Fish Hoek for days filled with fun and lots of learning!
Over the course of the week, learners and tutors have engaged in numerous different tutoring sessions, which take place in the morning before lunch. All four Grades have participated in Operation Fikelela Computer Literacy Courses with great success so far: Grade 10 learners mastered formatting in Microsoft Word; Grade 9 learners created Gmail accounts and learned how to manage and send emails; Grade 11 learners created and typed CVs; and Grade 12 learners were introduced to Excel and practiced speed-typing.
Grade 9 Girls celebrating their new Gmail Accounts!
Tutoring sessions also included great courses in Maths, English, Science, Business and Economics, Accounting, Geography. In the Mathematics class, learners are far more active than we expected. Maths is often considered a difficult subject by teenagers. But in Winter School, our learners have demonstrated great passion and talent in this subject, especially when they make every effort to solve a difficult question by themselves before turning to the tutor. Some girls in Grade 12 would not even go to lunch before they completely understood a question! Tutoring sessions have been busy and complex, but quite useful. This year, we are fortunate to have tutors coming from 5 different countries around the world, all of whom bring their unique skills, passions, and past experiences to Winter School.
During teatime, learners grab biscuits and a cup of coffee, and can get some rest between two intensive tutoring sessions. Learners and tutors will often kick the soccer ball around the assembly hall, or play outside during lunch on the warmer days. We’ve also had lots of fun with our icebreakers and team-building activities!
The Workshop portion of each day has seen several dynamic and exciting sessions. One major highlight is the Physics and Chemistry Workshops with Kevin, where learners have had a blast doing fun experiments and learning about new scientific concepts. Grade 11 learners Sibongiseni and Ncebakazi mentioned that Winter School has been “fantastic” so far, because they’ve “met new people” and been exposed to “things we had never seen before, like the science experiments” in Kevin’s workshops. Lauren’s Media and Journalism learners have been working on interesting articles, and Film Studies learners have just completed “Freedom Writers.” In Entrepreneurship with Janna, learners engaged in a mindset-activating session, followed by a Scavenger Hunt of different businesses in Fish Hoek. The Innovative Solution competition winners during Entrepreneurship were a plan for a new restaurant in Masiphumelele, and an idea for a translator device that would help all South Africans communicate and understand each other’s languages.
We have also been lucky enough to have several guests volunteer their time with learners this week, including the wonderful folks at Reel Lives, the impressive Simphiwe Ndzube, an art student at UCT who grew up in Masi, and the talented Cape Music Institute. Today, the Masiphumelele Clinic is joining us to run HIV testing with the learners.
Stay tuned for the announcement of Learner prizes, which will be awarded to students who demonstrate enthusiasm and positive attitudes, and for our update on the second week of Winter School. We can’t wait to see what else is in store! Check out this link for even more pictures of what we have got up to so far.
If you are interested in dropping by please contact:
Johnlyn Tromp – 079 885 4318
On Tuesday afternoon, in the plush settings of the Emoyeni Conference Centre in Parktown, Johannesburg, the Mail and Guardian launched their annual 200 Young South Africans special edition – and for the third year in a row, an Ikamvanite was on the list!
The event was filled with some of SA’s best and brightest young people, dressed up to the nines. Champage flowed, MC Loyiso Gola cracked jokes, and much networking was had by all. But the real highlight was seeing our amazing Gauteng District Coordinator Patrick Mashanda get some of the recognition he so richly deserves. Patrick has been changing the lives of young men and women in South Africa since long before he joined IkamvaYouth, and his impact is only going to grow from here.
Patrick can be found on page 43 of the Mail and Guardian supplement, in the education section. Grab yourself a copy, and be inspired!
On the 25th of May, Nyanga’s branch committee got a much-needed session on budget training by IY Financial Assistant, Asanda Nanise. IY has a democratic system of governance starting at branch level, where key decisions are made by learners, volunteers and staff members together. Asanda took the group through the branch’s budget, explaining how the budgets are drawn up each year, and then moving on to the different portfolios and the amounts available to them for the year and how much they have used so far.
Branch com members had many questions, ranging from how figures were arrived at for each item, and whether there was space to start new projects at the branch, in light of fixed amounts for the different expenses. Asanda was up to the task and responded to each question, with the help of branch staff, Shuvai and Siphelele.
At the end of the session, Asanda encouraged the branch committee to find cost-effective ways of running programs, for example fund raising for projects and opting for free options for service provision, where available. This year, Nyanga branch is looking forward to a more collaborative branch com effort in structuring next year’s budget and deciding on the branch’s financial future.
A very special thank you to Asanda Nanise for preparing a very sound and yet easy-to-understand workshop on Nyanga finances.
This last weekend Nyanganites got together for a highly successful Strategic Planning Weekend, SPW. Learners, volunteers and staff put their heads together and mapped out the year plan for 2013.
Nyanga learners showed that they are youngsters with a vision for their branch and are more than capable of taking their future into their own hands. Together, they outlined the challenges they currently face at the branch, and then came up with solutions to those challenges. The volunteers also brought their best to the session, guiding the learners and assisting them in expressing themselves and working on the different issues that came up during the weekend.
On the last day of the SPW, Nyanganites elected their 2013 branch committee, with some Nyanganites self-nominating and motivating why they wanted to be part of certain portfolios. It was highly gratifying to see the learners and volunteers confidently speaking out and outlining their own strong points.
Find the full report on the following link: spw_report_2013.pdf
On Saturday 9 March, IkamvaYouth in partnership with Capitec presented a fire safety awareness workshop hosted by Mrs Nombeko Kopele (Public Education Officer) from the fire and rescue services in Ottery, Cape Town. In December 2012, close to a 1000 shacks burnt down in Khayelitsha with countless people being displaced and with winter approaching, a time when the risks of fires increase, it was an opportune time to educate our learners about the dangers that fires pose, but also give them tips on how to avoid these fires.
The presentation were in two parts, first with the grade 10, 11 and 12s and then with the grade 8 and 9s. The reason for this split was because different aspects were discussed with the different age groups. Although the main focus of the workshop was fire safety awareness, it also allowed the presenter to speak to the older kids about the different careers within fire and rescue. This was very exciting for the ikamvanites because they found out that the training to become a fire fighter or paramedic is only 6 months and that it was really physical. They had a lot of questions to ask and the presenter was very knowledgeable and answered all their questions. Lwazi Fanana, a grade 11 learner, said afterwards that he might consider a career in the fire and rescue field. Another learner Sipho Nqgayimbana, grade 12, asked about the different careers within the fire and rescue fields and the presenter said that careers vary from administration, management, medical to paramedical and firefighting, etc., and that there are lots of skills shortages in this career field and with that a lot of opportunities for young people to join.
For the younger grades, the focus were more on fire prevention tips, what to do in case of a fire or burn injuries and who to contact when you see a fire. The session with them were more interactive and the ikamvanites were able to simulate scenarios, like rolling on the ground when you catch fire, and were shown charts of what to do. All the ikamvanites were told where their closest fire station is and were told to call 107 or 0215901900 in case of a fire or any other emergency. Everyone had a lot of questions for Mrs Kopele and as with the other group; she was able to answer every question.
We would like to thank the City of Cape Town and in particular Mrs Nombeko Kopele and Mr Abdusalaam Allie, Capitec and everyone that assisted with this workshop.