NPO empowers youth through education

2016-06-14 06:00
IKamvaYouth assistant branch co-ordinator, Sakhile Dubazana (left) and branch co-ordinator Thandazo Mkhize. Photo: nosipho Mkhize

IKamvaYouth assistant branch co-ordinator, Sakhile Dubazana (left) and branch co-ordinator Thandazo Mkhize. Photo: nosipho Mkhize

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IKAMVAYOUTH is a non-profit organisation that enables disadvantaged youth to pull themselves and each other out of poverty through education.
IkamvaYouth Branch co-ordinator Thandazo Mkhize said the NGO was established in 2003, and works in township communities in five provinces and boasts an impressive track record.
“The matric pass rate has consistently been above 80% over the past five years. Seventy-six percent of pupils achieved eligibility for tertiary study - 31% diploma passes and 45% bachelor passes. Overall, 91% have accessed post-school opportunities - 59% into tertiary, 15% into learnerships or jobs, and six percent upgrading key subjects.

“IkamvaYouth is therefore growing in order to reach this number of pupils and currently operates in five provinces in South Africa, including KwaZulu-Natal where we have been operating since 2011, and currently have two branches in Umlazi AA Library and Chesterville Vuyani Nkosi Youth Centre.
“Umlazi AA branch offers its programme to 120 pupils from Mzwamandla, KwaMathanda, Okumhlophe, Sishosonke and Umbelebele high schools. The Chesterville branch has 150 pupils enrolled from Chesterville, Bonella, and UMkhumbane Secondary Schools.”

The IkamvaYouth model involves after-school supplementary tutoring, career guidance mentoring, e-learning activities and extra-curricular enrichment opportunities.
“The branches draw from a large and growing pool of volunteers made up of students from nearby universities and local professionals. The organisation's sustainability is driven by ex-pupils who return to pay forward the help they received, by becoming volunteer tutors and mentors themselves.
“Please refer to Appendix 3, which illustrates the model, its underpinning values, and the ways in which the activities contribute towards achieving the mission of enabling youth to pull themselves and each other out of poverty and into tertiary education and employment.”

She explained the strategies they use to facilitate pupils, which are the tutoring approach that involves a method of teaching where pupils bring their homework or work they struggling with to tutoring sessions where they engage in small group peer-to-peer learning facilitated by volunteer tutors.
In this way, the tutoring augments and supports the content covered by teachers in the classrooms, and pupils are provided with support to tackle the gaps in their knowledge or understanding.

“The career guidance mentoring involves one on one mentoring for Grade 12 pupils whereby they are assisted with their applications to post-school opportunities. IkamvaYouth also contributes towards their application and registration fees. Each branch has a computer lab and pupils participate in programmes to ensure they are computer literate and can benefit from e-learning platforms and programmes.”

“Winter schools are held at the Durban University of Technology in addition to tutoring, career guidance and ed-tech activities pupils engage in extra-curricular and life skills workshops, excursions and sports days.
“These activities help pupils stay healthy and boost their confidence in terms of socialising, showcasing their talents and get to understand their peers from their communities.”

The programmes are free, but in order to keep their place on the programme pupils are required to meet a minimum attendance requirement of 75%.

For more information, phone 031 264 0000.

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