IkamvaYouth offers an award-winning, high impact program that provides after-school tutoring to learners attending poorly resourced schools in underprivileged areas. Learners not only receive free academic support with their schoolwork but also holistic development support with life skills and career guidance. Programs also include post-school placement support ensuring that learners can move into further opportunities once they graduate.

The IkamvaYouth mission is to assist disadvantaged youth pull themselves and each other out of poverty and into tertiary education or employment. This is achieved through an after-school academic intervention centered around tutoring in a peer-to-peer environment with the help of trained volunteer tutors. IkamvaYouth has 15 branches in South Africa in under-resourced communities in Gauteng, the Western Cape, KwaZulu Natal, the Eastern Cape, and in the Northwest Province.

In 2023, 3,665 learners were directly assisted through their centers, and 89% of the senior class passed with 79% achieving a tertiary pass allowing them to study further. The significance of these results cannot be understated, in a recent report highlighting the importance of afterschool academic support it was found that:

    1. 44% of learners dropped out of school before reaching their senior year
    2. Only 47% of the learners who remain in the school system go on to graduate from high school
    3. Of this 47% of learners only 14% achieved a bachelor’s pass.

The Masiphumelele Branch opened its doors in 2010 and 1,509 learners have enrolled in the program. The impact the branch is making is significant and well-illustrated in the table below:

2023IkamvaYouthMasi High School
High School Pass Rate85%63%
Eligibility for Tertiary Education74%48%

The program is supported by 16 active tutors and tutoring takes place at the local library after-school and on Saturdays, five days a week. It is learner-led, placing the responsibility of the learners’ success in the learners’ hands while ensuring they are provided with the necessary tools, tutoring, and mentorship. Tutors are mostly university students who have come through the IkamvaYouth program.

Learners need to attend 75% of sessions to stay in the program and from 2020 to 2023 only 4.8% of learners left the program before completing high school.

The impact of the existing program has been tremendous, but it has struggled with limited resources sharing facilities at an overcrowded local library, only able to assist 200 learners at maximum capacity. By way of reference, there are 942 learners attending Masiphumelele HS and 1,339 at neighboring Ocean View High School.

Currently, there are 130 learners at Masiphumelele HS on the IkamvaYouth waiting list that can’t be accommodated.

Funding provided by the Nika Foundation is enabling Ikamva Youth to expand and upgrade its services as follows:

    1. Establish a permanent presence on the Masiphumelele HS campus in a converted and secure container housing a computer lab with 20 computers as well as office space.
    2. Increase learner enrollment by 30% and add 6 new tutors.
    3. Utilize school classrooms after hours for tutoring Grade 8 through Grade 10.
    4. Expand life skills and tutoring programs offered during winter vacation.
    5. Expand career guidance program starting with Grade 8 & 9 and assisting Grades 11 & 12 pursue opportunities with tertiary education, internships, and employment.
    6. Identify high potential learners.
    7. Provide mentoring services for tutors.

The Nika Foundation is committed to scaling the program over the next several years.