In 2013, IkamvaYouth established the Community Collaboration department, in a bid to find ways of responding to the many requests by other organisations who wanted to replicate the IkamvaYouth tutoring model. With IkamvaYouth having established a track record of amazing matric (grade 12) results,using an easy to implement tutoring model, the community collaboration department has began working with other organisations to replicate the tutoring model, and thus ensuring more township learners improve their marks.
IkamvaYouth and its partner organisations have realised the need to collaborate in order to succeed and sustain. The realisation that together we are stronger, better, and will inevitably last longer has led to a growing number of trusting relationships developing between organisations. The community collaboration project brings together a group of like-minded forward thinking change-makers who are all working in the after-school education space to provide opportunities to youth living in township communities. The idea behind the community is to offer support to these organisations in order to maximise our collective impact.Over the past six months the community has met monthly to share, complain, advise, suggest and develop solutions to the challenges that our programmes inevitably face. These organisations hail from different communities and are at different levels of their own development yet they have much in common. Arlene Bock from Sozo Foundation has been a committed member of the group since January. She was inspired to participate by ‘the vision of a community of organisations all uniting and supporting one another to a make a significant dent in the challenges many South African youth are faced with.’
This need for support is echoed by all participants and as the community has taken shape it has begun to serve this need. Through the sharing of resources such as a donation of 60 Answer Series books from an organisation with surplus to one with a shortage, and of contacts and opportunities which has led to several students having been accepted on to Enke’s Trailblazer programme for 2014, the collaborative community is working together to reach a common goal. This goal is a strengthened after-school sector that develops South Africa’s youth academically and non-academically to ultimately reach Vision 2030.
The project has been on a steep learning curve since January and various challenges have presented themselves (about as fast as they have been solved!). Despite the difficulties of working as a group, holding people accountable, meeting real needs, individualising support, and monitoring impact, the community continues to benefit the participants and add real value to the programmes that they deliver. Sonwabile Mayekiso, from Education Without Boarders said that being part of the collaborative community has helped him to ‘see ways of overcoming challenges that [they] are grappling with, because other organizations have grappled with the same challenges and have overcome them."
It is clear that South Africa has an education crisis, it is evident that IkamvaYouth is having an impact in this area by improving the academic results of learners, and it is apparent that there are many other organisations and individuals striving to replicate this impact but require support and guidance to do so. To make headway towards Vision 2030 and ultimately to address the education crisis and build a better future for South Africa’s youth, collaboration is needed and the responsibility to provide a space for it is in IkamvaYouth’s hands. As the project progresses IkamvaYouth is exploring innovative ways of offering support and guidance in effective, efficient and sustainable ways.
The sky is not the limit for IkamvaYouth astrophysicists
The matric class of 2013 was IkamvaYouth’s 9th and by far our largest ever, with over 150 Ikamvanites. These dedicated young men and women come from 7 different townships in 3 provinces, and they have overcome extraordinary adversity to reach and pass matric. From extreme poverty to gang violence, disintegrating families to drug and alcohol abuse, townships like Nyanga and Umlazi, the places the Ikamvanites call home, struggle with terrible social problems.
Despite those problems, the Ikamvanites of 2013 not only achieved an 89% matric pass rate, but 73% of them have already gone on to access the post-school opportunities they need to set them on the path to earning a dignified living.
Even more impressively, 46% of the matriculants accessed either Universities or Universities of Technology – proving that where you come from is no barrier to where you can get to in life. Ikamvanites are entering fields of study from Chemical Engineering to Law, Accounting to Education, Information Technology to Nursing. A record 10 Ikamvanites began their first year at the prestigious University of Cape Town this year, including top Makhaza students Sipho Ngqayimbana and Abongile Jojozi, who are both studying Astrophysics. Perhaps the next Stephen Hawking will be from Khayelitsha!
Overall, 63% of the Ikamvanites who passed matric in 2013 accessed some form of tertiary studies, including at FETs and private colleges. A further 8% accessed learnerships, and 10% have returned to school to supplement or upgrade their matric marks. We will continue to work with those Ikamvanites who have not yet found a post-school opportunity, and help set them, too, on the path to a dignified living.
IkamvaYouth wishes to thank our committed partners and sponsors for all the support they’ve given us and the brilliant Ikamvanites of 2013.
We would also like to call on any other interested organisations or individuals who can partner with us to help place the class of 2014, and work towards our Vision 2030 for South Africa. We would especially like to hear from bursary providers and organisations able to provide learnerships, internships and apprenticeships!
SUPERHEROES LAUNCH VISION 2030
On October 3 Ikamvanites from all over South Africa and our extended IkamvaYouth family gathered in Cape Town to mark ten years of impact on education in South Africa.
There was plenty to celebrate. By the end of 2012 we’d supported 3 000 learners through high school and 94% of our 2012 matriculants passed – 90% qualifying to study for degrees or diplomas, and 96% accessing post-school placements. With new branches in the Eastern Cape and North West province we’re now working in five provinces.
Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel was guest speaker at the milestone event. A fitting choice as we also launched Vision 2030 which aligns IkamvaYouth firmly with the National Development Plan for 2030.
Minister Manuel described IkamvaYouth’s development as “a decade of fighting for change, of growing a movement”. “You are the change, the model that works … (and) must be taken forward,” he said.
VISION 2030 (IkamvaYouth)
ALL who begin Grade 1 in 2018 will pass matric or the equivalent.
ALL who matriculate in 2030 will access post school opportunities.
ALL young people, with IY support will earn a dignified living after accessing learning opportunities.
To achieve this, we plan to partner with those who share our vision.
IkamvaYouth learners in grades 8 and 9 are taking part in maths programmes (FunMaths). While the programme started at two of our branches in 2011, in July 2013 we were able to expand to 6 of our branches across the country. This programme enables learners to practice maths at their own pace and to build up foundational maths topics, thus taking away the fear of numbers and functions. IkamvaYouth has piloted these two programmes in the Makhaza and Nyanga branches over the last two years with phenomenal results; our grade 8 and 9 learners' Maths results have improved significantly, such that their current results are between 72 and 98%. These learners are all well positioned to take pure Maths (as opposed to Maths Literacy) for grade 10, and in the event that they continue to perform so well, they will be able to access highly prestigious scholarships and places on competitive programmes at the top tertiary institutions. At the Makhaza and Nyanga branches, the learners practice various maths concepts on an online platform called Khan Academy. At other branches the learners use work books produced by Education Without Boarders, as well as books from the Answer Series. The learners have mastered more maths concepts; they work hard, and always look forward to attending these sessions. The FunMaths programme is administered by one volunteer working with 20 learners. The learners attend for free, but to keep their place, they have to attend at least 75% of the term time, and they must complete the work books. The learners who took part in the FunMaths (Khan Academy) programmes at our Makhaza and Nyanga branches in the past years, 81% have moved on to take pure maths and 61% physical science when they get to grade 10, according to the Van der berg report. Thank you to all our supporters, for it is through your giving that township learners are able to take science and maths, and have access to the science careers, which traditionally are not accessible for township learners. While the township schools may not have the laboratories, IkamvaYouth is setting up computer labs at all its branches to ensure the learners practise using computers, as well as the online platforms such as Khan Academy.
IkamvaYouth is determined to reach all learners across the country, empowering them through education. The organisation exists to see the youths pulling themselves and each other out of poverty through education. With the help of donations through global giving and our other partners, we are able to reach more learners in new communities.
In March 2013, IkamvaYouth opened doors for more learners in Ikageng, Potchefstroom, in the North West Province of the country, being able to set up a new branch, the first in the province. Learners were recruited from 4 feeder schools to freely benefit from the IkamvaYouth programmes. In the space of three months, about 135 learners have benefited from the free homework assistance, as well as the Saturday tutoring sessions. Volunteers from the Potchefstroom University have committed to freely help the township learners, availing themselves every Saturday morning to help the learners improve their marks in various subjects.
A very successful Open Day was held at the end of April, and learners, parents, Education Officers, and other partners expressed great appreciation of the IkamvaYouth programme in their community. The learners testified of how the few weeks had changed their perspectives about school, with one learner noting that:
'I was not so serious with my school work. Since we are so many in our class, and the teacher cannot give us individual attention, I did not care much about how I performed. Thank you IkamvaYouth, you made me realise that 'The Future is In My Hands', and I thus have to give my best for a better future. Thank you for the individual attention from the tutors, my marks have already shot up, and I have a positive attitude. I thank you!!!'
It is such touching stories of change; stories of the realisation that the learner can take responsibility of their academic work, and they can achieve well; which make the IkamvaYouth team to keep going. Thank you our partners through GlobalGiving. We are ready to start more and more branches, in new communities, to emancipate the youth from poverty through education. Thank you for your support!!
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