Context: In South Africa, pass rates for secondary school completion exams (“matric exams”) are low and falling, as are the rates of qualification for post-secondary studies; this situation is made worse by the fact that job opportunities are increasingly linked to having passed the matric.
Organization: Ikamva Youth (IY) was founded in 2003 to address the inequities in educational quality that persist post-apartheid. What began as a few university students gathering on Saturdays in a library in Khayelitsha has grown into an institution that serves over 1,000 students annually with the help of 300 tutors in seven townships in three provinces across South Africa. IY provides after-school support to learners in grades 8 to12 three times a week, as well as intensive two-week holiday programs. Volunteer tutors (many previously beneficiaries of the program themselves) provide after-school supplementary tutoring, career guidance, mentoring and computer literacy training free of charge to students from township schools in grades 8-12. There are no academic requirements for entry, but students need to meet a minimum 75% attendance in order to keep their place in the program. Students drive the learning agenda by bringing questions and problems for small group discussion. The pedagogical approach aims to instill a culture of hard work, peer learning and responsibility.
Current Grant: EMpower’s sixth grant to Ikamva Youth provides negotiated general operating support towards Ikamva’s 2015-17 organizational goals to leverage opportunities to scale its work through community collaboration and government partnerships, increase organizational capacity to support and enable effective scale, and strengthen its M&E system and capabilities.