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Feb 12, 2018

2017 Matric Results: 84.7% of Ikamvanites defy the odds

Atlantis branch celebrate their 93% pass rate
Atlantis branch celebrate their 93% pass rate

As the year begun, once again, IkamvaYouth team anxiously awaited the release Grade 12 results - to find out whether all the many hours of tutoring, winter schools, mentoring and workshops were enough to enable the current Ikamvanites to jump over their first big academic hurdle: passing matric.

Last year, our matric cohort grew by 66% (to 472 learners); from 10 branches with matrics to 14. With this kind of scale and stretch, we are thrilled to be able to report that we have maintained our excellent results-an incredible 84.7% passed and 73% are eligible for tertiary studies (38% bachelor and 35% diploma)! This is compared to the national pass rate of 75.1% and 28.7% bachelor passes. The schools that our learners attend had an average pass rate of 72% and an average bachelor pass of 23%. The class of 2017 also obtained 147 distinctions; to get a distinction in a subject you have to get over 80%!

We are thrilled to have obtained such incredible results in the face of great adversity; all branches faced huge challenges during the course of 2017 from gangsterism in schools, to no water and electricity, to floods. In Umlazi, for example, there was a period last year when learners couldn’t attend the branch because of child abductions in the township and then there were the floods, where one of our learners lost her brother.

Our top performing branch this year was Ebony Park, which had 35 matriculants. 97% passed and 91% are eligible for tertiary! Michael, the Branch Coordinator, said: I think the branch history with regard to pass rate kept us on our toes. We knew that we had to do better than our previous years. Starting the year with a plan and sticking to it was our main goal to ensure we got great results. Learner commitment meant that we could create a management plan for each learner, which worked so well. Also, stability played a huge role as learners and staff have been together for a while which made things easy for everyone. 2015 was a challenging year for the branch as we dropped out of the 90% zone, however, we vowed never to repeat that again and ensured that we learned from it!

Our partner organisations, who implement the IkamvaYouth programme through our Community Collaboration Programme (CCP), equally did us proud! The overarching aim of CCP is to create an effective sector of after-school tutoring and mentoring programmes by supporting and training other community based organisations to deliver high quality programmes that are ensuring that disadvantaged youth matriculate successfully from high school and access a post-school opportunities that put them on the path to earning a dignified living. In 2017, nine partner organisations participating in the CCP supported 129 Grade 12 learners who collectively achieved an incredible 93% pass rate. 87 learners achieved either bachelor or diploma passes; evidence of the power of safe spaces where learners can access care and academic support after school.

We are very excited to report that six implementing partners have achieved 100% pass rates! One of the learners from Just Grace, Lisakhanya said “Matric 2017 was tough; it required a lot of sacrifice and a shift in focus. I spent most of my time at school, day and night, but in the end I made it with a bachelor pass and a distinction. This year I will be studying Mechanical engineering at CPUT”.

Just Grace Programme Coordinator, Yongama said that “it was challenging and fruitful at the same time. We managed to build good relationships with schools as recommended at CCP meetings. Being a CCP member helped me a lot in many areas including brainstorming resolution to common challenges.”

It is with great pride that we share our results; we are so proud of our learners, tutors and staff who work so hard to achieve them. All IkamvaYouth tutors are volunteers; they don’t get paid to tutor week after week, but they do it because they care about the future of their country. The majority are young black South Africans, who are attending college or university, so they also have a huge amount of work to do themselves, yet they find the time to put their young community members first. IkamvaYouth couldn’t do its great work without this incredible commitment and we would like to send a massive shout out to our phenomenal tutors: thank you for taking the future of our country into your hands!

Our results would also be impossible without your support. Thank you so much!

If you would like to support IkamvaYouth, visit our website via this link.

Celebrations at partner organisation,  Emagqabini
Celebrations at partner organisation, Emagqabini
Nov 15, 2017

Honouring our 2017 YeBo Learners

Learners with their certificates
Learners with their certificates

Honouring our learners is central to our work. It is important that we celebrate their efforts and achievements so that they know that they are seen and valued and therefore encouraged to continue working hard towards realising their dreams.

On Friday, 10th November 2017, one of our partners, Year Beyond, hosted their annual prizegiving at their Gugulethu Branch in Cape Town. Year Beyond, or YeBo, is a partnership between the Western Cape Government and numerous NGOs (including IkamvaYouth) aimed at improving educational outcomes and encouraging a culture of volunteerism. Using the IkamvaYouth model, YeBO is currently working with 184 grade 8 & 9 learners enrolled across three different branches in Cape Town.

The event programme started with a welcome by the Year Beyond School Coordinator, followed by entertainment from a talented group of learners who performed a dance piece. The learners then received awards in the following categories: Appreciation, Academic Achievement, and Achievement for their participation in Olico and Fudza study programmes.

In a thank you speech to the tutors, one of the grade 9 learners, shared a bit about her experience saying that, “The main thing I loved is that I got to be able to learn a lot of things and add to the knowledge I had.” She added, “May this programme expand to many schools. Our future is bright because of you.”

To say this was a fun and inspiring event would be an understatement. It was also illuminating in that it gave us a glance into the impact that our work has on the lives of the learners. The qualitative kind that can only be expressed through the visible courage and determination of our learners to succeed.

Thank you to each and every one of our donors who continue to support our work - your contribution to IkamvaYouth is unparalleled!

For further information please visit our website:

One of the learners giving her Thank you speech
One of the learners giving her Thank you speech
Thank you for making our futures brighter!
Thank you for making our futures brighter!
Aug 16, 2017

Tutor commitment stands out during Winter School

Last day of a successful Winter school
Last day of a successful Winter school

Every Winter School holiday IkamvaYouth hosts its annual Winter School- A two week intensive tutoring programme, coupled with; real life career guidance and exposure to various career paths, through targeted field trips, leadership and life skills workshops, which include voluntary HIV/AIDS testing.

This year was no different- with averages of over 80% attendance, learners enrolled in 16 of our IkamvaYouth branches came out in scores. Our 2017 Winter School program ran from July 3 - 14. Speaking to learners who attended this year’s Winter School, it appears that much of the success of the programme stems from the positive tutor experiences they encountered.

An essential component of IkamvaYouth’s Winter School is covering academic content. Tutors helped the learners in answering questions they found most difficult in their various subjects.

Boitumelo,  Grade 10 learner from the Mahikeng branch said she particularly enjoys the interaction with the tutors and knowledge sharing with her peers from other schools, during Winter school. “My teacher at school usually shouts and screams, but when I come here I know that the tutors will help me. Winter school has helped me with revision and especially things that I did not fully understand during the last term. It also helps a lot to have learners from other schools because we share the different topics covered at our [respective] schools.”

Thapelo, Grade 11 learner from Mahikeng  finds the Winter School programme to be very beneficial to his studies. “The tutoring has been really helpful especially in Maths and Physical Sciences. The tutors encourage us to ask questions.” He said he intended to pursue a career in either Analytical Chemistry or Chemical Engineering.

Samukelisiwe,  Grade 12  learner from the Umlazi IkamvaYouth branch has the following impression of the programme:  “Winter School had a huge impact on my academic life, through it I was able to tackle some of the questions that were challenging me the most. It gave me time to focus on all my subjects. With the help from tutors I was able to learn more and grow academically. I am grateful even for the career guidance which opened my eyes to all opportunities out there waiting for me as a matriculant. IkamvaYouth ROCKS!”

Albert, 27, one of Mahikeng branch’s committed tutors said that the programme was not only valuable for the learners but equally fulfilling for himself as a tutor. Albert, who has been tutoring at the Mahikeng branch since 2015, is an Information Technology (IT) graduate. Although he completed a degree in 2013, challenged with a physical disability he has not been able to find employment in the Mahikeng and surrounding areas, where he would love to be based. Despite his immediate challenges, which  could have easily led him astray, he has not been deterred but instead found purpose in paying it forward to the learners from his community.

“The tutoring has given me so much experience, I know a lot of things now. You see with IT you often deal with just computers. Now with these kids you realise you have to adjust, to say you are not just working with printers but you are dealing with people.”

By his own admission many of his peers who have pursued careers in scientific fields, like IT often lack in social and interpersonal skill- something he has had to hone while tutoring at the branch.

“There some people who sit behind computers,  from computer to computer from morning till you knock off. You find that sometimes you hardly socialise. The moment you are with people you struggle to integrate and feel like you often lack in this.”

He said that because learners often struggle grasping concepts he has had to improvise and pull in communication skills he did not even know he had.

Albert has since the 1st of August found employment and has relocated to Johannesburg. We hope he will continue paying it forward at one of our Johannesburg based branches!

We would like to thank all our donors, who opened up their hearts and donated to our worthy cause and thus enabled to us to make a difference in the lives of over 2000 South African Youth through the IkamvaYouth branches! Your contribution made our Winter School programme a massive success- Thank you!

For any further information please visit our website:

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