Global Reach: Past Grantees

Ikamva Youth


The education system in South Africa is failing. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report (2016), the quality of the South African Education system is ranked 137th among 139 nations, with the quality of its maths and science education ranked 139th. While the pass rate for the high school exit exam (matric) in 2016 was 72%, only 19% of graduates were eligible for admission to university. Additionally, education experts say the matric pass rate is deceptive because it does not include the 41% of students in the 2016 cohort who dropped out of school before grade 12.

Another issue is the disparity between educational quality and student performance in predominantly poorer, black South African townships and better-resourced (predominantly white) suburban schools. For example, while 85% of white students who sat for the maths section of matric passed, only 26% of black students did. And in 2016, while over 33,000 scored 60%+ on maths, only 1700 (5%) were black African students.


Founded in 2003, Ikamva Youth (IY) equips learners from disadvantaged communities with the knowledge, skills, networks and resources to access tertiary education and/or employment opportunities once they matriculate. 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 instil a culture of hard work, peer learning and responsibility. IY is an important player in the after-school tutoring space and is sharing its proven, cost effective and scalable after-school tutoring model with other NGOs and provincial governments. IY’s achievements have been widely recognized, most recently when the organization won the Stars Awards in the category of education in Africa and the Middle East. Founder and Director, Joy Olivier, received an Ashoka Fellowship for her work with IY and was named one of the Most Influential Women in Business and Government in South Africa.

Where is Ikamva Youth?

Primary Location: Cape Town


Funded Since: 2008

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