Ikamva Youth

Joy Olivier and Makhosi Gogwana.
South Africa
A project offering after-school tutorial support, mentoring and career guidance for young people from the suburbs of large cities, that provides the necessary tools for their own learning and involves them as active agents of the institution.
What solution does the innovation propose?

Through offering tutoring, peer-to-peer learning and professional guidance, IkamvaYouth aims to increase young people’s chances of completing school and accessing further educational opportunities, thereby empowering them to find their own way out of poverty. The project helps students develop personal and professional skills, grow in their commitment and become more active, reflective and social citisens.


Joy Olivier is an Ashoka Fellow (2013). IkamvaYouth is the first organisation in Africa on the WorldBlu List of the World’s Most Democratic Workplaces (2012). South Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government, Civil Society category (2011).

Impact evidence

  • In 2017, the organisation had 17 branches across South Africa, reaching approximately 2,350 students.
  • 80 to 100% of participants pass matric exams (high school leaving certificate) compared to 73% nationally. 
  • In 2017, 69% of ‘Ikamvanites’ were eligible for tertiary study (achieving either bachelor or diploma passes) compared to 54% nationally.
  • A 2016 quasi-experimental study suggests that the IkamvaYouth intervention has been highly effective with regards to its impact on the performance of its participants.
How does it work?

After-school tutorial support is offered for free to students in grades 8 to 12, who voluntarily attend activities three times a week. Students must attend at least 75% of the sessions to maintain their place in the programme. Sessions take place in libraries, schools and community centres. 

Volunteer tutors, many of whom are former participants, work with a group of five students each. This high ratio enables students to receive enough attention to make progress and to get real-time feedback. It also encourages peer learning, the cornerstone of the model, through which participants increase self-confidence and gain control over their learning processes. 

In addition, the organisation provides digital literacy and eLearning programmes, professional guidance, media, image, expression and health workshops. Students are also involved in outdoor sessions and decision-making processes. 

Geographical scope

Where was initially developed
Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa.
Where has been implemented so far
Five provinces of South Africa.
Last updated: 
May 2019