Bona Ikamva (See your future) is a non-government organization in Philippi Township, Cape Town, South Africa. We provide opportunities for disadvantaged high school students to realize their full educational potential by providing learners with tertiary education guidance and life learning processes. The reason we provide coaching and training is due to the number of youth that does not proceed with their education. According to South African Market Insights, a study done on education field on 29 May 2019 states that “1.4 million people in South Africa aged 18-24 reported that they did not attend any educational institution because they had no money for school fees.'' (SAMI) South Africa Education Statistics.
Bona Ikamva is changing these statistics. We have bootstrapped ourselves using personal money and time to provide financial aid and application guidance to over 700 students in 2019, and we are asking for your help to triple the impact in 2020! We need $15,000 USD (~215,000 RAND) to cover costs in order to help over 2000 students from urban townships and rural provinces to have a chance to realize their potential. That’s $10 USD (~150 RAND) a student-- exposure to our program typically means the difference between going to higher education or not.
Bona Ikamva is comprised of two forms of outreach:
1. high touch, year-round mentorship for ~50 high school students from the townships of the Western Cape
2. An education drive in which we drive to rural towns in South Africa during critical times of the school year to evangelize higher education curriculums and help people apply for financial aid and university. We also host career exhibitions during these visits, which are the first chance most students have to learn about the practical realities of studying in and working after higher ed.
We provide those training because those are the basic skills that an individual needs to get into university and succeed in the market place. The majority of families residing in Cape Town’s townships are rural to urban migrants that come from the Eastern Cape to pursue better employment opportunities, better education and better access to basic human needs but unfortunately, after they find challenges and without skills, they are more likely to drop out of university.
During our 9-month mentorship program, students are paired with successful professionals for in-person mentoring sessions. we provide activities, and essential skills training such as 1 to 1 coaching sessions with professional mentors, monthly weekend activities with your cohort (students from poor backgrounds), basic computer literacy training (typing, Microsoft Suite, Windows), Curricula Vitae workshops, varsity application guidance, career guidance, university visits, bursary application guidance, academic preparation content from top programs around the world. Without those skills, students find it challenging to get into University or to adapt and most of them due to those challenges of lack of skill end up dropping out of university. Finally, what makes our program unique is that all mentors are from the very same context as the students they mentor-- these professionals grew up in rural parts of South Africa, relocated to the townships, and overcame the hardships associated with culture shock and lack of resources.
Over the past year we succeeded to give training and mentorship to over 700 students, those students now have skills and awareness to apply to universities and scholarships. The mentorship, IT skills, cover letter, cv training, literacy training and etc will not only help them get into universities but also allow them to succeed while in University and this will help in their future job prospects.
In order to keep training more young people in South Africa, we need financial help. We need 15 thousand USD to have a full year of mentorship and training, the money will be used for the following:
Internet access- For IT training; (how to use a laptop, how to create a Gmail account, how to use excel, powerpoint, cv, cover letter and also how to write on a laptop);
Transportation- Over 2000 students need transportation from their community to the community school venue to attend the training or our career exhibitions. (This year we only assisted 700 students due to a limited budget we could not accommodate more students and we could not reach out to more communities.
Food during the training and outings- Our team trains from 9:00 am to 15:00 pm two times a month and they guide over 600 students, this year we want to train and bring hope for over two thousand students, to be able to do this we need a snack to make them energized while the training;
- Electricity during the day and nights we will be giving trains to the students;
- Courseware such as pen, notebook, pencil and etc;
- Purchase at least 3 more laptops, a printer and 1 wifi router;
- Career exhibition events- to reach out to more disadvantaged communities in other provinces and assist more grade 12 learners with university applications and career guidance;
- Venue fees to career exhibitions
- Booking different venues in different communities were we host learner exhibitions in poor rural towns.
- Transporting graduate volunteers who take part in career exhibitions.
These are the basic materials we need to be able to train over 2000 students in 2020, Once they get the training they will start their application form for scholarships and university application, this will not only bring hope to their lives and their families but also to the entire community, making sure that there is always hope when it comes to education we hope that you will be part of this process for over two thousand students in South Africa.
Once we get the funds and apply to the project, a Google drive link will be shared with donors to allow them to be part of the process, pictures, receipts and updates of what we are doing. We will also provide an update on the GoFundMe page.
One of the great things that our community would love to express once we get your support is gratitude, at Bona Ikamva we believe that gratitude is one of the values that allow us to acknowledge how privileged we are.
Finally, we want to share something vulnerable. In our organization, we have members who graduated but will not receive their diploma due to the policy that degrees are not awarded until fees are paid off. The lack of scholarships means most of our members have taken out loans, so they are working highly technical jobs for substandard pay until they pay off their loans. This begs the question, “why would I get educated if I will never get my certification?” It is hard to answer. But, these are the very realities that we are trying to change, both by connecting students with creative scholarship opportunities and by teaching them about the realities of life past applying to higher education. With your help, we will be able to scale the reach of these hard and honest conversations and work to lobby university systems for change. This final goal is a moonshot, but with the momentum of Bona Ikamva’s impact, we have to try!