How to pay it forward

IkamvaYouth is a South African non-profit that, since 2003, has supported better prospects for township-based youth through education, e-literacy training and career guidance.

Volunteers, who have often gone through the programme themselves, offer tutoring and homework sessions; mentoring; computer literacy; a creative media, image and expression programme; and health and leadership programmes. An alumni programme assists learners post-school to fight unemployment.

Funding is sourced from Capitec Bank, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (which also mentors and supports), Montpelier, Omidyar Network, The ELMA Philanthropies and Empower.

When IkamvaYouth won the Drivers of Change Award in 2010, the initiative had five branches in three provinces. It now has 16 branches in five provinces.

Co-founder and director Joy Olivier says during that time the organisation has grown its learner reach from 308 to 2 598 in 2016, tutors from 62 to 840, and revenue by 2051%. It has managed to achieve matric pass rates of over 80% each year, with over 85% of learners placed into tertiary education, learnerships or jobs.

“In 2017, IkamvaYouth and its partners will be reaching more than 4 000 learners, tutored by about 2 000 volunteers. These tutors are mostly university students, and many are ex-learners returning to pay forward the support they received which helped them to access tertiary education. In 2016, this volunteered support was valued at over R15-million.


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