A mission to change perceptions

2017-03-30 06:02
Ikamva labantwana founder Siviwe Dlukwana, fourt from left in a black sweater, with other volunteers in front of their new premises. PHOTO: Mandla MAhashe

Ikamva labantwana founder Siviwe Dlukwana, fourt from left in a black sweater, with other volunteers in front of their new premises. PHOTO: Mandla MAhashe

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If you ask anyone about the Old Crossroads area in Nyanga and the first thing they will probably mention is crime.

This has become the norm in areas under Nyanga Township but one man is working hard to change this perception.

Siviwe Dlukwana is the founder of Ikamva Labantwana, an NPO, that tutors primary school children and assist varsity students to access internships.

The organisation recently moved to new premises where they will be able to do more of the community development.

Ikamva Labantwana will now operate from the old Crossroads Library in Ntsikizi Street after moving from Dr. Nelson Mandela High School since 2012.

“We are really happy about the new premises because we can now accommodate 120 children. In the past we could only tutor about 75 children a year.

Now we can be able to reach more children and help more of them with their studies,” said Dlukwana.

Ikamva ropes in varsity students and other volunteers to tutor young learners from grade 4 to 7 after school.

“We also have holiday programs where we continue with teaching them and we also work very close with the education department to organise internships for varsity students who volunteer for us. In the afternoons they come here to assist with kids,” he said.

Dlukwana said that he started the organisation after realising that many young children in his neighbourhood didn’t have an opportunity to good education.

“I was very lucky in that I received a scholarship to go study at the Leap school for Science after which I went on to study at varsity level.

I was very fortunate, especially considering that from my grade 7 class at Qingqa Mntwana Primary School, only two of us managed to reach university,” he said.

“In 2012 I dropped out to start this organisation so that I can help young children to have the same opportunities that I had.

We have a good relationship with some of the schools such as Cosat, Leap school for Science, Cape Academy and Claremont High. As a result, we have 20 children that are currently studying at these schools and we have 12 former learners at universities now,” said Dlukwana.

“Despite funding challenges, we are determined to change the perception of Crossroads.

“We hope to change the way this area is seen and the way people see themselves, starting with the young. We want to see a more active community and residents being proactive in resolving societal issues,” he said. He also asked the community to help by donating items they no longer needed.

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