YES4YOUTH – Interns tell it like it is – June 2022

Internships offer unemployed youth a terrific chance to expand their horizons. With youth unemployment at an all time high, we’re glad to be part of the solution. This Youth Month we’re excited to announce that our new YES4Youth sponsor is Refinex.

Previously, our monthly round up was called “Tutors tell it like it is” as all interns were working as mathematics tutors in under-resourced foundation phase classrooms. Now we have a few interns working in other areas of our organisation, like administration and software engineering. Hence the new title “Interns tell it like it is”.

WhatsApp groups offer assistance

Yonela Mdodana (32) was stressed and out of work when she heard that YES4Youth was looking for tutors to implement the NumberSense programme at No-Holland Junior Secondary School. She had some IT studies behind her and hoped she was up to the challenge. Soon, Yonela was accepted onto the programme, and now finds herself tutoring at the school her son attends. 

As a YES Youth, I have picked up many skills, such as good communication and creating unity as a team to succeed more easily. We attend workshops to learn new skills and we assist each other and discuss questions about our work in WhatsApp groups. We have a chance to study further and get opportunities to apply for bursaries. When I was searching for jobs, people didn’t admire me, but now I wake up every morning and go to work, and people respect and honour me. The parents of my learners say they see a huge change in their children when it comes to Mathematics. I will always love teaching in my future career. My sponsor is Lightstone.

Quiet games

Sesethu Gobingca (31) graduated with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Walter Sisulu University with Economics & Management Sciences (SP) and Accounting (FET). She tutors at Zakhele Primary School in the Eastern Cape and is sponsored by KSB.

The biggest challenge was teaching students with learning barriers. Because of their fear, they are unable to understand the concepts, which leads to a lack of interest. I wish we had access to counting aids, which would make a huge difference to our learners. In the classroom, I created rules for the “quiet game” to tackle the noise levels while doing exercises. It was so effective that their primary teacher now uses it in all of their classes. Tutoring maths has changed my life – it has taught me to have fun, to pursue positive change, and to utilise my privilege to help others.

Helping children face their fears

Ndundu Melikhaya (28) tutors at Luzuko Senior Primary School, Eastern Cape. Bay Engineering sponsored his post.

I have learnt why so many children don’t do well in maths at school. They don’t hate mathematics, rather, they hate the anxiety that comes with not understanding it. I think up maths games to help children understand the content, and I give them long-term benefits by making mathematics enjoyable and meaningful from an early age. The whole art of teaching is the awakening of the natural curiosity of young minds in order to satisfy it afterwards. This is why it’s hugely important to work to improve your moral well-being through the power of the knowledge and skills you will acquire in the YES programme.

Educational logistics and supply chain management

Chikonde Maggie Khoarai (29) is an administrative assistant at the Head Offices of JumpStart in Johannesburg. Refinex sponsors her YES4Youth post.

I started a higher certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain at Rosebank College in 2018 and then decided to complete my Bachelor’s degree in the same field. Now I’m working in the field I studied for, which is amazing. After finishing my studies I applied for any job that came my way. I didn’t limit myself to applications only in the field of logistics. This work experience has changed my perspective, especially regarding the stigma surrounding logistics that this is a “man’s world” which isn’t true. My daily tasks include managing things like getting tablets to the office, ensuring the equipment is available, counting the numbers of devices, and checking what is short. My mother is very proud. Last Tuesday was my graduation day, and my Mum was crying because she can see I’m on my feet in the world of work.

Working with a Deaf child was a new experience

Mmafusi Emily Chalala (26) studied ECD (Early Childhood Development) level 2 and did Management Assistant N4-N5 Maluti TVET College in Bethlehem. She’s a tutor at Kopanelang Thuto Primary School, Sasolburg Free State. Lightstone sponsors her post.

Teaching a deaf child was challenging at first. Because he couldn’t hear, he couldn’t respond, but he was extremely clever. I gave him individual attention so that he could lip-read, or I wrote things down to ensure he understood. I’m still learning to deal with students with intellectual learning barriers. It was always my dream to become a teacher, and this opportunity helped me decide to enrol in a teaching course next year. Helping my siblings in primary school with their assignments has led to one of them being placed in the top 10 of his grade for the first term. The people in my community also come for help with their maths homework.

Partner with us

Can you help us to expand our work? We need corporate South Africa to help us change underperforming classrooms in South Africa.

Participate in training unemployed youth and help them find a path to meaningful work! Email Betty Oliphant to come on board.

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