South African youth face obstacles that perpetuate disadvantage. Most township schools produce learners whose academic performance is below grade level. Poor matric results and low awareness of post-school opportunities lead to high numbers of unemployed youth. Most learners in township schools do not receive the skills and development opportunities the same way their more privileged counterparts in the suburbs do.
IkamvaYouth is a social venture that uses the values of peer-to-peer learning to overcome youth unemployment and education crisis. The IkamvaYouth model draws from a large and growing pool of volunteers made up of township-based students and local professionals. The program offers ‘out of school’ tutoring and homework session, career guidance, and mentoring programs in which learners are paired with university students or professionals to inspire and guide them through the ultimate transition from secondary to higher education environments.
There are 11 centers in 5 provinces across South Africa
Since 2004, the program has engaged over 4000 committed learners 1300 - 1400 learners registered at the branches (grade 8 –12),
Plans to grow the centers to 15 branches to accommodate more learners,
Plans to accommodate 5510 learners (grade 8-12) and 1045 Grade 12’s by the end of 2016
Build youth confidence. Ikamva Youth’s Media, Image and Expression Programme encourages self-expression, builds confidence and provides a safe space in which learners can build on their ideas, discuss societal issues and learn from each other. The program’s highlights include talent shows, photography exhibitions and a wide range of workshops that provide learners with opportunities to create, voice, share, experience and grow.
Nurture a generation of volunteers. IkamvaYouth creates a platform where graduates are encouraged to come back and serve as volunteers grouped with 5-6 younger students and help them through their studies, Self-designed study plan. Students are encouraged to set their own study plan and to bring it to their study sessions. Their study is developed based on their plans.
Teach students how to solve problem set. Students are given guidance to solve academic problems on their own and in groups with minimal influence from their team leaders. The team leaders make sure students have the understanding they need to master the problem sets, and monitor their progress.
Youth development beyond academics. The program provides additional career development opportunities through HIV counseling, computer literacy and higher education and career search mentorship.