The IkamvaYouth Mahikeng branch was officially launched on the 6th of February 2016 at our host school, Danville Secondary. More than 300 people attended the event which was made up of learners from our main feeder schools Danville Secondary, Boitshoko Secondary and Setumo High school among others. Prominent Stakeholders from the Department of Education in the Ngaka Modiri Molema district, Lifeline, Famsa Mahikeng, University Of North West (Mahikeng), Taletso FET College, parents and the community were also amongst the attendees.
The Danville Secondary school hall was filled to capacity as people were eager to learn more about the programme IkamvaYouth had to offer to the learners. Our main funder Amalgamated Beverages Industries (ABI) spoke about their partnerships with different community projects under their Corporate Social Investment department(CSI) and also about continuing to invest in the IkamvaYouth programme. With Mahikeng being the 5th branch funded by ABI, “we are hoping to grow and fund more IkamvaYouth branches” said Nthonyana Kitsa their CSI specialist, “We really saw a gap and a need to grow and reach more learners in the North West” She added. Nthonyana went on to elaborate that “it is not just about the money that we donate but we want to see our country become a better place and groom leaders in partnership with programmes such as IkamvaYouth”
The Mahikeng branch started with tutoring sessions last August at Danville Secondary School whilst renovations for our office and tutoring hall were taking place. The branch started with only one grade (grade 10) of 82 learners. Unfortunately, some learners were removed from the programme due to failure to meet the 75% attendance requirement which left the branch with 59 learners at the end of term 4. With the growth of the branch we will now have grade 10s and 11s for 2016 with a plan to add the grade 9 class as we expand in the upcoming years, our grade 12 cohort will come from the previous years grade 11 class as we do not recruit any new grade 12s. About 200 learners expressed an interest of joining the Mahikeng branch, but the sad reality is that we only have the capacity to admit 80 learners for now. This really shows the level of demand for the programme in the area.
Of course, if government and corporates have keen ears and are interested in making an impact where it matters the most, this is an opportunity to invest financially in IkamvaYouth and increase its capacity to take in more learners; to be a part of a life-changing initiative. IkamvaYouth literally changes the lives and future prospects of learners, they benefit from the knowledge of successful ikamvanites who return to pay-it-forward by becoming tutors.