Empowering the nation – one learner at a time

Making sure that every child in South Africa gets access to education and information has always been a goal to reach in South Africa.

In 2003 two young researchers, Joy Oliver and Makhosi Gogwana at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) were looking at ways in which science, technology, innovation and research can boost economic development.

Interested in the links between education, skills, employment, economic and racial transformation, Oliver and Gogwana were shocked by the Mathematics and Science results of black matriculants. The pair decided to do something about these findings. Joined by their friends, they began tutoring at a school in Khayelitsha. What began as a small group of committed volunteers and learners in Makhaza, 14 years ago, has grown into what Ikamva Youth is today.

Esethu Numa, who is the communication coordinator at Ikamva,  said that the organization is committed to tackling some of South Africa’s biggest problems,  i.e. low skills base, unemployment, lack of black professionals, poverty and the youth turning to drugs & crime. She further explained that this will be achieved by accessing higher education, job-based training and employment.

“The organization’s mission is to provide disadvantaged secondary school learners with the necessary skills and information to enable them to realize their potential and post-school dreams.” 

“To support this mission, volunteer tutors assist learners after school in improving their performance in all subjects, more so in Mathematics, Physical Science and Languages. And mentors assist learner in accessing post school opportunities upon matriculating”, she added.

A challenge the organization faces, is the high demand for the provision of tutoring programmes in townships. In order to provide these programmes, financial support is needed. This will in turn ensure growth in a sustainable manner.

“So far we have never closed a branch. We currently have 17 township based branches and we plan to keep it this way” said Numa.

Ikamva Youth cites Omidyar Network and ELMA Philanthropies, internationally, as well as a large number of South African corporate such as Capitec Bank, Coca Cola Beverages SA and Deloitte as their donors.

In light of the assistance received, between the years of  the organization’s establishment in Khayelitsha in 2003 to date, its low-cost, high-impact model has been implemented with remarkable results. Ikamva Youth has since spread to 17 branches across five provinces. These are: the Western Cape, Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal, North West, and the Eastern Cape. Well over 3000 learners are benefiting from this initiative.

“Ikamva Youth’s learners have consistently achieved between 80-100% Matric pass rate since 2005. 87% of the 2016 Matric cohort accessed a post school tertiary opportunity, further education, a job or an internship within 2.5 months of matriculating” Numa explained.

The organization still welcomes tutors, mentors and donors. For more information, visit their website http://ikamvayouth.org/get-involved/donate  or email: alex@ikamvayouth.org . Alternatively, you may call their Cape Town Head Office on: +27 21 820 7444


  1. Reply
    Where2Be says

    Two words that caught my attention, technology and innovation…There is plenty out there we just not paying attention or we too scared to invest in new ideas….

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