We have a crisis when it comes to youth unemployment and there’s a huge education gap. Our mission is to close this gap, and to bring the necessary skills that the youth need, and to bring more opportunities that would assist young people to access better employment opportunities and to further their education and training.
The inspiration behind the founding of Ikamva Labantwana Bethu was due to the sad death of the Founder’s brother, Julian Mxhonywa, who was shot on the streets of Crossroads on 16 December, the Day of Reconciliation, in 2003.
Instead of Siviwe Dlukwana turning his back on the community which had caused his brothers killing, he saw an opportunity and had a vision, the vision was to change the community of Crossroads for the better. He took this vision and merged it with what he was so eagerly passionate about, education, which is how the ILB after school program and its mission was established.
Ikamva Labantwana Bethu (ILB) creates educational opportunities for children with great potential from Crossroads township. It is the only independent educational programme currently operating in Crossroads, an often overlooked community with a high rate of gangsterism, crime, and drug abuse.
ILB assists learners from grade 4-7 and provides them with daily homework assistance, Saturday tutoring sessions, and academic enrichment programmes during the extended school holidays. We work with high-potential, committed learners to help them maintain high marks and ensure a more promising future at university and beyond.
Our programme also trains university students from Cape Town to serve as tutors. Tutors not only work towards improving learners’ academic performance, but also serve as role models who are living examples of individuals who have successfully journeyed from township to university.
While there are many schools and organisations just like us, few offer support for primary school learners. This puts students at very big disadvantage because it is often too difficult to prepare learners for matric and university in just four years of high school. Most learners have attended poorly-resourced schools for many years and by the time they reach high school, bad habits are solidified in them and they are already far behind in attaining the necessary education to prepare them for a bright future.
We saw the need to begin working with learners at an earlier age. Rather than waiting until high school, we start working with students in grade 4, when English is introduced as the medium of instruction in township schools. We aim to address educational gaps as they appear while helping learners develop good study habits, strong characters and a lifelong passion for learning.
Beginning in grade 7, ILB works with learners to place them in local, high-performing, “impact” schools. We believe that learners need a full-time, high-quality education to ensure they are on the path to performing well in matric and have higher chances of being admitted at a university and attain higher education.
We provide a safe space for learners to complete their homework, with access to assistance from tutors, tutoring in Maths and English, help learners gain admittance to local high-performing high schools, help learners access bursary funds, and keep them occupied by providing educational and cultural programming in the Winter and Spring holidays.
The Skills Development Programme famously known as the Youth Café was officially launched on 13 July 2019 by MEC Albert Fritz of Western Cape Government Social Development. The Department of Social Development supports the skills development programme so the youth can have access to training and economic opportunities.
We offer a girls-only life skills programme where they are empowered with extra education support, life skills support and a safe space where they are able to express themselves. We also offer fun Learn4Life! Life Skills Training, a Soup Kitchen Nutrition Programme, Employment Creation and a variety of Arts & Culture Programmes.
This programme helped me improve my marks and gain admittance to LEAP Science and Maths School. My years a LEAP have made me confident that I will go to university, where I’m excited to study medicine.
Growing up in Crossroads I became involved in gangsterism at a young age. I did not know that there were better options until the day that I met Siviwe Dlukwana. Siviwe taught me that education was one of the most powerful tools that I could use to change my life. I joined ILB and never looked back.
ILB tutoring sessions were one of my first encounters with people who were genuinely willing to help and wanted me to succeed. It opened up new opportunities for me!