81% access to post-school opportunities for IkamvaYouth’s class of 2010

 More than half return as tutors and mentors for the next generation, but still more volunteers are needed.

 Less than 10% of all South African youth access tertiary education (SAIRR study, 2009), and 41.6% of 18-24 year olds are not in education/training or employment (CHET,2009). These statistics no doubt largely reflect those children living in poverty, attending under-resourced schools, lacking supportive networks and not having inspirational role models, as opposed to middle class children.

 Yet 81% of IkamvaYouth’s passing matriculants have accessed post-school placements in 2011. This is despite the fact that the far majority of IkamvaYouth’s learners’ caregivers are unemployed, disabled or deceased. They have not let poverty and challenging home environments prevent them from enrolling at institutions including UCT, Wits, UKZN, UNISA, DUT, UWC, CPUT, to study fields such as Environmental Science, Electrical Engineering, Psychology, Business, Nursing, Computer Science, Social Science, Journalism and Physiotherapy.

 68 learners sat the matric exams last year, and 42% are now at university, 38% at colleges, 6% at technikons, and 6% have been awarded learnerships. The application process is difficult to navigate, especially when you are the first in your family to apply to university, or the only one amongst your friends inspired to do so! IkamvaYouth supports these individuals through a mentoring process where each learner is paired with a respective adult to guide them and advise them. An invaluable supportive relationship is built between mentor and mentee, to encourage post-school study and to support academic improvements.

Thobela Bixa, an ex-learner who is studying for his Masters in Chemistry at UCT pays-it-forward at the Makhaza branch through tutoring and mentoring and now sits on the organisation’s board of directors. He says “IkamvaYouth has instilled a sense of determination and self-belief, and young people from township communities are truly being the change”. Although 51% of Ikamvanites, like Thobela  are returning to their branches to tutor and mentor, there is still a real need for motivated volunteers willing to support these young people through this …… time of change.

Masiphumelele will have a grade 12 cohort for the first time this year and is looking forward to achieving similarly excellent results with many more learners in 2011 and beyond. These results rely upon your support, whether in kind as a tutor, mentor, or career counsellor, or in monetary donations to support career guidance programmes and application fees and registration fees. Any involvement is appreciated and warmly welcomed.

Please see www.ikamvayouth.org for an overview of IkamvaYouth and the latest press release. Please contact Zoe: 0761207054, or Nico: 0798854314 for any specific information about the Masiphumelele branch and why we need your support