By: Maxine Schmid, IkamvaYouth Intern and UCT Masters Student
With my exciting new (albeit temporary) place within the IkamvaYouth team, I have been given the privilege of working on a psychosocial programme for the learners of IkamvaYouth within the province of the Western Cape. You might be wondering, why mental health? Isn’t IkamvaYouth an organisation focused on education and employment? Well, yes! But, have you ever thought about what happens after the learners leave the safe walls of the organisation? Mental health is often an avoided topic in many communities, as there is a stigma attached to the word, when there is a lack of knowledge around the concept. There seems to be a great need for an increased knowledge around what mental health is and how it affects our everyday processes.
I went around to 6 branches, and held a workshop on a Saturday morning with all the learners in attendance; approximately 600+ learners were a part of these workshops. We spoke about anxiety, depression, exam stress, peer pressure, substance abuse, safe sex and most importantly, coping skills. It was essential that the learners walked away knowing what would help them the next time they felt as though they were struggling.
These workshops were a success! The learners had lots of fun and loved participating within the bigger conversation. They were also able to form relationships with the other learners and the tutor who made up their small group. The learners were taught about how to talk about mental health and were then able to put their knowledge to the test by sharing the information with the group, practising confidence and public speaking skills in the process!
Due to the short period of time of my internship at the agency, there was an identified need for the tutors to continue the conversation around mental health with the learners; as they would be a continuous relationship and a sort of ‘first-aid response’ in times of need. Therefore, the tutors also attended a workshop around what mental health looks like in learners, how to talk about mental health and how to best respond to learners who come to them seeking help. This was an incredibly beneficial activity, as the tutors were instrumental in the success of the programme. The tutors played a massive part of these workshops and I could not be more proud of the work they put in.
I would like to thank all of the branches for their participation in these programmes, especially the branch Co-ordinators and the tutors who were instrumental in ensuring that these sessions were the most beneficial for their learners.
If you feel as though you are struggling with your mental health, please contact one of the emergency numbers below.
Suicide: 0800 567 567
Depression: SADAG SMS 31393 or 32312 and a counsellor will call you back – available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
Police:Emergency services: call 10111
Mental Health: Cipla Whatsapp Chat Line (9am-4pm, 7 days a week) 076 882 2775
Cipla 24hr Mental Health Helpline 0800 456 789
Joy filled celebrations at the Kuyasa Branch
It has been a difficult few years for Nelisiwe who joined IkamvaYouth at the Umlazi Branch, in Grade 10 back in 2020. She was already struggling with her studies when she joined and no one could have prepared her for the two years of disrupted schooling that followed the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though she wasn’t able to attend school all the time, we provided study materials to her home and provided online tutoring. Nelisiwe graduated with a Bachelor pass with two distinctions. When asked about her plans for the future she had this to say: “I am so happy I finally completed my Matric. I have received an offer to study for a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Criminology at The University of Kwazulu Natal. I have always been interested in investigating a crime scene. Finally, my dream will come to life.” When more than 50% of the learners who started with her in Grade 1 did not make it to Grade 12; it takes grit and perseverance to survive the skewed schooling system in South Africa.
Nelisiwe proudly showing off her Matric certificate
84% of the matric learners at our branches passed Grade 12. We take our hats off to them. They were most certainly the hardest hit as they had to catch up on so much of the curriculum because schools were closed during 2020. Grade 10 is a very important year as learners cover new content for the subjects they have chosen.
The IkamvaYouth matric cohort consisted of 487 learners attending after school tutoring in one of our branches in Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, North West and Kwa-Zulu Natal. This group achieved an incredible 160 distinctions. 75% of our learners are eligible for tertiary opportunities, with 52% achieving a bachelors pass which enables them to apply to university.
Nationally for South African schools the pass rate for 2022 is at 80.1%, 3.7% higher than 2021. Amongst the schools in which we work the pass rate is 78%, with 63% of learners then being eligible for tertiary education. As we work in under-resourced schools we recognise the challenges they face and the disadvantages they faced when compared to other schools in the country. We will continue to strive to bridge this gap.
Two of our branches achieved an astounding 100% pass rate. A massive congratulations to the Mamelodi Branch and the Chesterville Branch for this achievement. 74% of the learners at the Mamelodi Branch are eligible for tertiary education, whereas at the Chesterville Branch a phenomenal 97% of the passes would allow learners the opportunity to go on to study further at a tertiary institution.
Matric Day at the Mamelodi Branch as they celebrate their outstanding 100% pass rate.
Matric Day at the Chesterville Branch as they celebrate their 100% pass rate.
We would like to shine the spotlight on Zinhle Ndlovu, who is our top learner for 2022. They were a learner at the Diepsloot branch and they achieved a phenomenal 85% subject average resulting in six distinctions. They have applied to study for a Bachelor of Accounting degree. In reflection of how much the IkamvaYouth branch support assisted Zinhle in matric she will be returning to the branch as a tutor to pay-it-forward to the next class of matric learners in 2023. What a tremendous achievement, well done to Zinhle Ndlovu.
In the Eastern Cape, IkamvaYouth has a Branch in Joza, Makana. The 2022 matric class at this branch achieved a noteworthy 93% pass rate with 89% of these allowing learners eligibility for tertiary education. Mnyiwana Siyamthanda, a learner from the Joza branch had this to say when reflecting on their time at the Joza Branch “I did very well. My plan is to go to university and study further. IkamvaYouth contributed to my results because I got study guides from the branch and had access to past question papers.” When asked if they would be coming back to tutor at the branch in 2023 they said “yes, I want to assist others to do well too”.
Learners celebrate at the Joza branch on Matric Day
Zooming in on our four branches in Gauteng the average pass rate was 85%, with 76% being eligible for tertiary education. Two of our best performing branches are in this region. The Mamelodi branch achieved an incredible 100% pass rate and the Diepsloot Branch achieved an impressive 97% pass rate.
Jane Vurande, A learner at the Ivory Park Branch was elated with their matric results, saying that “I achieved a bachelor’s pass, with a distinction in Life Orientation. I want to go on to study Audiology. This is what I have wanted to do since a very young age. I think that’s my passion. IkamvaYouth had contributed a lot to my results. My tutors were always there to assist me. My school does not have a lab but Ikamva had it all. When I got an assignment that I couldn’t understand, they always helped me.”
Learners at the Ivory Park branch celebrating their matric marks
In Kwa-Zulu Natal the pass rate was an outstanding 91% with 79% of learners being eligible for tertiary education. The Umlazi Branch achieved a fantastic 81% pass rate and 58% of their learners are eligible for tertiary education. The Chesterville branch achieved a stellar 100% pass rate, with 69% of these learners obtaining Bachelor passes and 97% being eligible for tertiary.
Learners celebrating at the Umlazi Branch
The North West branches also achieved fantastic results with a 89% pass rate with the Ikageng branch and Mafikeng branches at 90% and 86% respectively. Eligibility for tertiary education at the branches in this province was at 84%. Lerato Moloko, A learner from the branch felt they had done very well in matric and was thrilled that their goal to study computer science could become a reality. They said “I love mathematics and I want to study at North West university”, adding that “I wouldn’t be where I am today without IkamvaYouth”.
Matric day at the Mahikeng Branch
Finally in the Western Cape the average pass rate across our five branches was at 79% with 68% being eligible for tertiary education. In 2022 our branches in this area saw an increase in enrollment rate that was over 30%. The top achieving branch in this area was the Kuyasa branch with an impressive 95% matric pass rate. The Atlantis branch saw 87% of their matric learners passing. When Yakha Bulani, a learner at the Makhaza branch was asked about his experience with IkamvaYouth they said “They are our heroes. I cannot thank them enough. I was struggling with math when I joined the programme and the tutors assisted me a lot. I can confidently say that now I’m good at math. I am waiting on responses so that I can go to University to fulfill my dream of being a civil engineer.”
Learners from the Kuyasa, full of smiles as they get their matric marks.
Our acting CEO, Ntuthu Mazwana, in reflection of our results in 2022 said “ It’s fair to say that the 2022 cohort were hardest hit by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and yet they made a consistent effort to reach their goals. As per our track record, it is evident that consistent participation in our programme can help close achievement gaps. I am very proud of this cohort and I want to congratulate them for a job done extraordinarily well.”
The IkamvaYouth Tutors
Tutors and learners from the Ivory Park branch on Matric Day
A core value of the IkamvaYouth programme is paying it forward and we would like to thank the 820 IkamvaYouth volunteer tutors, who come through to our branches in the afternoons to make sure the learners have the support they need. The time spent with learners and the constant support and belief in their ability to shine is what makes these kind of results possible. Research shows that near to peer learning support yields results and we are fortunate to see this happen at our branches.
The impact of IkamvaYouth is perfectly narrated by Inganathi Mantyi one of our long-standing tutors at the Nyanga branch, “I have been part of the IkamvaYouth programme for nine years, I joined when I was in Grade 10 as a learner and I came back to tutor. I was motivated and inspired by my former tutors to come and give back to the programme because it helped me a lot in discovering my true potential. I am currently enrolled at UWC doing my final year in B.Ed majoring in Maths and Science in the senior phase. I love being a tutor because I get to motivate and help learners to also discover their true potential and improve their marks. This helps to inspire underprivileged young people to become better and achieve their wildest dreams. I understand the struggles of growing up in the township with no motivation around you as a resident of the Nyanga community, hence I made a decision at a young age to associate myself with spaces where I will continue to grow and be inspired. As tutors we have been practicing different strategies to improve the tutoring quality, one of them is grouping learners into the subjects that they need help so that it can be clear for tutors to work efficiently. Emphasis on peer-to-peer support for the learners is essential in building collaboration and allows learners to know their strengths and weaknesses. After sessions, we have debriefings as tutors to discuss ways to improve and continue delivering quality tutoring that is aligned with the objectives and growth.”
We are proud of the class of 2022 and we know you have it in you to achieve your dreams. We look forward to not only cheering you on as you succeed but also coming back to pay it forward and ensure that you show your peers how it’s done.
By: Delphino Machikicho, District Manager, Western Cape
Beyond the statistics and the analysis of the academic performance of the Class of 2022, there are young people who preserved through a global pandemic, socioeconomic challenges and a skewed education system. When we celebrate the success of the Class of 2022, we should also applaud their resilience. The IkamvaYouth Western Cape region achieved an average pass rate of 79% which was a 9% decline from the previous year. We are still immensely proud of the 201 matriculants that wrote their final examination after navigating through a treacherous three years of their academic careers.
Taking a broader view, IkamvaYouth plays a significant role in bridging the inequality gap in the South African education system. It is against this background that we work in under-resourced communities to help the youth to access sustainable livelihoods through quality education. This is directly in line with the National Development Plan objective that states;
“By 2030, South Africans should have access to education and training of the highest quality, leading to significantly improved learners’ outcomes. The performance of South African learners in international standardised tests, should be comparable to the performance of learners from countries at a similar level of development, and with similar levels of access.”
Given this context, we have to acknowledge the work done by our volunteer tutors that sacrifice their time and skills to academically support our learners. Our tutors remain our unsung heroes as they always go beyond the call of duty to also inspire and motivate our learners to achieve against all odds. In addition, our branch leadership teams have developed an excellent operational strategy that has seen improved academic outcomes in recent years. As a region, we achieved 86% and 88% matric pass rates in the 2020 and 2021 cohorts, respectively. With the effectiveness of our programme, we saw an increase of over 30% in our enrollment rate in 2022.
Our Kuyasa branch remains one of the most consistent branches in all the 17 IkamvaYouth branches achieving a stellar 95% pass rate after achieving 100% pass rates in the last two years. 75% of the learners had bachelor passes and all learners that passed are eligible for tertiary acceptance.
The continued growth of the Atlantis branch is also worth mentioning, as they achieved an 87% pass rate with only three learners falling short in the branch. Similarly, 83% of the learners were eligible for tertiary acceptance. This is exciting because the establishment of the branch was difficult because of the geographical location of Atlantis. The success of the Atlantis branch is a testament to the effectiveness of the IkamvaYouth model.
We are proud of our regional top learner, Ngcukaitobi Kwanda who achieved an aggregate of 84.4% with five distinctions in English, Geography, Life Science, Life Orientation and Xhosa. He has been accepted to study Civil Engineering at the University of Cape Town.
The impact of IkamvaYouth is perfectly narrated by Inganathi Mantyi one of our long-standing tutors at the Nyanga branch, “I have been part of the IkamvaYouth programme for nine years, I joined when I was in Grade 10 as a learner and I came back to tutor. I was motivated and inspired by my former tutors to come and give back to the program because it helped me a lot in discovering my true potential. I am currently enrolled at UWC doing my final year in B.Ed majoring in Maths and Science in the senior phase. I love being a tutor because I get to motivate and help learners to also discover their true potential and improve their marks. This helps to inspire underprivileged young people to become better and achieve their wildest dreams.
I understand the struggles of growing up in the township with no motivation around you as a resident of the Nyanga community, hence I made a decision at a young age to associate myself with spaces where I will continue to grow and be inspired. As tutors we have been practicing different strategies to improve the tutoring quality, one of them is grouping learners into the subjects that they need help so that it can be clear for tutors to work efficiently. Emphasis on peer-to-peer support for the learners is essential in building collaboration and allows learners to know their strengths and weaknesses. After sessions, we have debriefings as tutors to discuss ways to improve and continue delivering quality tutoring that is aligned with the objectives and growth.”
In conclusion, we congratulate all the 201 matriculants that wrote their National Senior Certificate in 2022. We will continue to walk this journey together with you, once an Ikamvanite always an Ikamvanite. We remain committed to working together with the Western Cape Education Department in providing quality education for all learners regardless of their area code. The IkamvaYouth model has stood the test of time and continues to yield quality results.
By: Thandazo Jafta, District Manager, Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal
The year 2022 was one marked by transition and reinforcement of traditional methods of learning. This meant that learners had to buckle up as they were required to attend full sessions again. The KZN/EC matric class of 2022 has proven once again that despite the ever-shifting pieces, stability and success are still possible. The staff, volunteers, and learners worked exceptionally hard in the year 2022 and the results are but the fruit of the labor and investment made in the year. The KZN team achieved an overall 91% pass rate, while EC was able to finish the race at 93%, this is 8% and 16%, respectively, above the provincial pass rates.
The Chesterville branch achieved a stellar 100% pass rate, with 69% of these learners obtaining Bachelor passes and 97% being eligible for tertiary. The tutors worked tirelessly and availed themselves selflessly, even after hours on the WhatsApp groups and on Saturday afternoons, providing academic support to the learners who, in turn, would sacrifice resting time to get assistance. This is what the Branch Coordinator had to say about these results:
“We are proud to have attained these passes; the branch has had some challenges with placing alumni in the past two years and this gives us hope that it will be less complicated to place the learners that graduated from the programme in the year 2022.”
The Umlazi branch obtained an 81% pass rate, with 58% of the learners gaining eligibility for tertiary studies. One of the Umlazi branch Top achievers, Nelisiwe, obtained a Bachelor Pass with two distinctions in Life Orientation and IsiZulu. Neliwsiwe joined the IY programme when she was a grade 10 learner, traveling a long distance from school just to get assistance from IkamvaYouth. She has consistently shown tremendous commitment to her studies through the years. This is what she had to say:
“I am so happy I finally completed my Matric. I have received an offer to study for a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Criminology at The University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. I have always been interested in investigating a crime scene, finally, my dream will come to life.”
Year after year, the Joza branch continues to show resilience and commitment to success in the presence of many challenges. The branch has over the years, struggled with basic resources such as constant water shortages, etc, yet, In the midst of this, the branch continues to thrive. The branch achieved an outstanding 93% pass rate, with 57% Bachelor passes and 89% of the learners meeting requirements to enter into tertiary education. This proves a successful model and promises the fulfilment of our mission of young people drawing each other out of poverty through education. This is what Mnyiwana, one of our 2022 matrics had to say to the upcoming matric learners:
“IkamvaYouth contributed, offering study guides and access to past year papers. To the class of 2023; Focus more on your studies to achieve greater results and lastly look after your mental health.
By: Ntombi Mahlangu, District Manager, North West and Gauteng
IkamvaYouth North West and Gauteng branches matric results, 2022
We are excited to announce the IkamvaYouth North West and Gauteng branches’ matric class of 2022 respectively, unlocking access to various post-matric opportunities. Our North West branches, Mahikeng and Ikageng, achieved 89% pass rate with 51% tertiary eligibility. Gauteng branches: second time in 5 years Mamelodi took the lead with a stellar 100% pass rate and 61% eligibility for tertiary. Diepsloot branch achieved 97% pass rate and came through with a total of 40 distinctions, with 5 learners achieving distinctions in Mathematics; 61% of its class taking Pure Mathematics as a core subject of those who took it all 61% passed. While Ivory Park achieved 70% pass rate; Ebony Park achieved 80%, over a 10 year period this branch has maintained an average of between 80%-100% pass rate. The Matric class of 2022 have shown incredible tenacity and have worked exceptionally hard to overcome the challenges brought by COVID-19, sporadic riots in their locale as well as the national power outages.
Our Gauteng and North West District Manager, Ntombi Mahlangu says that “It is through the work of our committed volunteer tutors that learners were supported in improving their grades. They implemented innovative methodologies to deliver tutoring lessons to bring in solutions for learners to deal with learning gaps and assisted them in applying for various bursaries and tertiary applications. We continue to be grateful for various institutions such as FAMSA, South African College of Applied Psychology, National Youth Development Outreach to name a few – as they provided psychosocial support, career guidance and life skills activities aimed at developing our learners’ cognitive capacities to problem solve and achieve goals.
A special mention must be made of Zinhle for achieving 6 distinctions in Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, Life Orientation, Mathematics, IsiZulu Home Language – she will be studying Bachelor of Accounting. Following the IkamvaYouth value, Zihle will return to the Diepsloot branch as a tutor to Paying-It-Forward.
We are delighted with the excellent performance of our learners, they have made us immensely proud!
After serving IkamvaYouth for the past three years, it is with a heavy heart that I write this message to you, my last Annual CEO Letter for IkamvaYouth.
I have symbolically titled this year’s letter, Onwards and Upwards, because, for the past three years, I have experienced IkamvaYouth as an organisation that continuously moves, innovates, and grows. Onwards and Upwards. As we come to the end of another year, and the end of my time at IkamvaYouth, I have great confidence in the organisation that allowed me to lead it over the past three years.
We started 2022 in high spirits as our Matric Class of 2021 achieved a 90% matric pass rate, and 79% achieved tertiary eligibility. Our Bachelor’s passes, which have been on an upward trend over the past years, maintained the growth, with 54% of the learners attaining university eligibility. This set the stage for the placement of learners into opportunities. We are proud to have placed 89% of the learners into universities, TVET colleges, learnerships, jobs and various other opportunities. As I exit, I anticipate bigger celebrations as the Class of 2022 collects their results and starts the next chapter of their lives.
When I joined IkamvaYouth in 2019, we were concluding our 2020-2022 strategy. I am proud of the work that we all achieved to ensure the quality delivery of our programmes for the benefit of young learners. We achieved some of our highest matric pass rates and placement rates in a decade. We improved our learner reach and managed to turn out financial surpluses in spite of Covid. It is fortuitous that as I exit IkamvaYouth, we are concluding the development of the 2023-2025 strategy that will guide the organisation for the next three years. The strategy design process was robust, reflecting on success, and innovating towards growth and high impact for the future.
One of the biggest achievements of the team as we start our 2023-2025 strategy was the development of our NEETs Intervention for young people who are Not In Education, Employment or Training. We have brought on new funding partners who are supporting the programme to provide ready-for-work courses for the NEETS and support them with placement into jobs and further training. I am excited about this programme and foresee its impact on our alumni who are NEETS and the broader communities we work with.
Another achievement has been the full adoption of Special Projects. Over the years, we have been contracted to implement short-term youth development interventions that have increased our reach and impact, and simultaneously raised funds for the organisation. I am excited for the future of the organisation as it continues to diversify its revenue through similar interventions, ultimately aiming for long-term sustainability.
I have enjoyed serving an organisation with such a young spirit. I always felt energised as I visited our branches. Branch Coordinators, Branch Assistants, and our volunteer tutors create such a vibrant, fun learning space for the young learners in our programme. Every opportunity to play a game, or sing together, we always took it. The environment you create produces great results year on year. Thank you for all your work and may you continue to push and support the many learners that join our programme for better outcomes at Matric.
One of the special gifts IkamvaYouth has is a community of committed supportive donors, who are as invested as we are in the impact of our interventions for young people. My interactions with donors always felt like a thinking space, where we all grappled with ideas on how to elevate our programming. Beyond that, we also reflected on many societal and topical issues facing the country. These interactions left me hopeful. Thank you IkamvaYouth donors and supporters. Your investment and commitment to the organisation are immense and impactful.
To the IkamvaYouth Board, thank you for believing in me in 2019 and for giving me the opportunity and responsibility to take the organisation forward. I often thought during many of our meetings and interactions, “what a privilege it is that I get to work with an active and engaged board”. Thank you for being the accountability lens. Thank you for your commitment.
Most importantly, I would like to say thank you to all the staff at IkamvaYouth. You made all of this possible. Thank you for welcoming me. Thank you for embodying the onward and upwards attitude towards your work. Thank you for your commitment to our mission: , “ to enable disadvantaged youth to pull themselves and each other out of poverty and into tertiary education or employment.”
I am grateful for my time with you all. You are well-positioned to thrive. So, onwards and upwards team.
IkamvaYouth will always have an avid supporter in me.
Goodbye for now.