The IkamvaYouth Model
IkamvaYouth’s innovation lies in the model; youth-driven, low-cost and high impact and undepinned by IkamvaYouth’s strong value base. 5 core values guide the organisation:
- A culture of responsibility for self and others
- Commitment to impact through democratic principles
- Collaboration and peer to peer support
- Openness and integrity
- Paying it forward
The pedagogical approach ensures that the volunteer tutors (many of whom were previous learners) are able to deliver effective tutoring programmes where there is no teaching, only learning.
IkamvaYouth volunteers work in small groups: we aim to achieve a 1:5 tutor: learner ratio. The learners drive the learning agenda themselves by bringing the work they are struggling with. The volunteers then facilitate peer-to-peer learning, which build learners’ problem solving skills and helps them to learn how to learn.
The small groups enable vital individual attention, and fast feedback. The learner’s reports are also collected at the end of each term and feedback is given on progress and development.
A culture of learning is instilled through the minimum 75% attendance requirement and strict kick-out policy which is driven by the tutors as role models. The relationships between the tutor, the learner, the branch, and the wider community is paramount and reinforces the learner’s commitment to the programme.
Each branch is effectively run by a branch committee, which comprises the two full-time staff members, and the most committed learners, volunteers and parents. The democratic decision making and transparency which these committees strive to achieve build ownership of the branch and the programme, and build leadership experience and skills.
Grade 12 learners are paired with mentors, who provide one-on-one support as learners identify their post-school options, apply to tertiary institutions and for financial aid, and make the difficult transitions into post-school life. It is through this aspect of the model that every learner is supported in applying for a place at a tertiary institution, an internship, or a job.
This model, which was designed collaboratively by a young group of volunteers and learners during the first few years of IkamvaYouth’s operations, continues to be improved upon and applied in different environments and contexts. This iterative and agile approach to programme design and implementation ensures that IkamvaYouth is constantly integrating the lessons learned about how to reach more learners and improve the quality of its results.