A year with YES4Youth & Lightstone

Last September JumpStart became an implementing partner with YES4YOUTH and Lightstone. This novel decision was a turning point in our model. We could boost the Sasolburg team (which is funded by Sasol) by an extra nine youth tutors. That took the cohort of education assistants to 24, expanding significantly the effectiveness of the programme.

“At a time when post-COVID catch-up teaching was an urgent priority, we saw a tremendous recovery,” said General Manager, Callen Hodgskiss. “Many Grade 1 learners had not learned to count due to closure of Early Childhood Development centres during lockdown. Our EGMA assessments across foundation phase show tremendous recovery in maths learning here. The Sasolburg cohort have bounced back to pre-COVID levels.”

“What an exciting day that was!” Nobantu Mshumpela is the Project Coordinator who supervises the team and she awarded the interns their certificates of completion. at the farewell held at the Boitjhorisong Resource Centre on 30 July.  “We see a huge improvement in numeracy performance once learners reach Grade 3,” she said. “Those who have benefited from the programme since Grade 1 are better able to grasp a sense of the number. Each tutor was part of that, thanks to Sasol and Lightstone’s support for our project.”

Extra hands eased the load

Team lead, Mamela Nkitseng, said that the spirited youth tutors made a great difference to the morale in Sasolburg. “It was helpful to share the load. At the bigger schools there had been just two interns tutoring 18 classes. With tutors we improved the consistency of attention to children in the classes. I enjoyed working with the YES youth who learned quickly and were willing to grow,” she said. “They helped to capture data and mark the NumberSense workbooks, which sped things up greatly. It helped us to synchronise our efforts. If the tutors didn’t understand something, they asked for guidance.”

Gratitude for an opportunity

“There were tears and laughter at the farewell ceremony! Each intern shared their feelings and experience. They expressed affection and thanks to their colleagues at the schools. More importantly, a deep sense of gratitude was expressed. Without the Jumpstart Foundation and YES4YOUTH this opportunity would not have existed,” said Nobantu. Each Tutor received a JumpStart Certificate acknowledging their 12 months of work experience in our NumberSense Maths Programme.

Nobantu praised their vibrant enthusiasm, saying it was a joy to work and learn from them. “We value your contributions to learning in this community. Thank you for leaving an imprint on many young lives. I hope you incorporate all the skills you learnt with us in your future jobs. Never stop looking for new opportunities and developing yourself. The only way up is by chasing your dreams. We wish you all the luck and warmth for your future!” she concluded.

Lightstone comments

Prospective interns were interviewed at the Boitjhorisong Resource Centre.

Nhlanhla Mabuza, Head of HR at Lightstone, encouraged the YES4Youth. “We love to see the application and effort that uplifts the maths education in Sasolburg schools. I hope you go on to expand the skills you’ve learned as education assistants. Good luck as you apply them in your future professional development and personal lives” he said. “Fortunately, Lightstone has again committed to supporting another cohort of 25 youth interns. This is a valuable opportunity for us to partner with JumpStart and YES4YOUTH. We are striving to help address the issue of youth employment. As a consequence, I’m very pleased that more young people will be gaining valuable skills and experience, starting mid-September.”

Play a part to impact maths education and youth employment

With solid partnerships we can improve our reach, helping more children to learn the basics of maths. We can better help unemployed youth to gain the experience and skills that lead them to securing meaningful work. Is your organisation hoping to help reduce youth unemployment? To join this constructive and creative initiative to uplift South Africa, email Betty Oliphant to find out how you can become a business partner. Your contribution to our organisation qualifies you for a Section 18A Tax Exemption Certificate.

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