YES4YOUTH – Tutors tell it like it is – April 2022

Our YES4YOUTH tutors impact many young lives inside and outside the classroom. This month we share five unique stories about individuals who care where it was most needed, be that fundraising for school uniforms, , purchasing pencils  or digging deep to reach a child in distress. We’re proud of our tutors who go the extra mile to facilitate the best learning environments for their learners. Partnerships with South African corporates enable unemployed youth to gain valuable experience and improve mathematics outcomes in under-resourced classroom. Read about similar stories in our February edition and March round up. 

Individual attention makes a big difference

Msawenkosi Vakele (25) is a tutor at Kasa Junior Secondary School, Elliotdale, Eastern Cape. Bay Engineering partnered with us to sponsor his post.

At one point I noticed one of my top learners’ marks were dropping and they weren’t as attentive in class as normal. I felt it was my duty to understand the sudden decline in grades. I talked to the learner and discovered a serious private issue. From there, with the learner’s permission, I approached the school counsellor. We worked together to deal with the matters affecting the learner, and in accordance with the school’s policy. After receiving counselling, the learner’s grades went back to normal and they are now participating in sports and other aspects of school life. It was a significant moment where I felt out of my depth, and could have been overwhelmed if I tried to deal with it on my own. Fortunately I was able to reach out to those with more experience and everything turned out alright in the end.

Growing my mind

Palesa Mokoena (24) has been tutoring at Kopanelang Thuto Primary School, Sasolburg, Free State. Lightstone sponsor her.

I feel excited when the parents living in my area make time to come and ask me questions when they are having difficulties with their children’s homework. Even some senior phase learners living nearby come to me when they need help with their assignments. The more I am able to teach and practice helping learners, the more my mind grows, and the more I will be able to master my craft. Another benefit of being a YES Youth has been the use of a tablet loaded with data. This means I can use it for my professional tasks and my own important personal things. I’m grateful to be able to use the internet for my personal growth and to apply for jobs as I near the end of my contract.

Opening bottled maths potential

Jafta Simamkele (23) lives in Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape. He is based at Duli SPS in Chris Hani East District sponsored by KSB.

I wrote my Matric exams in November 2019, and I passed with a Diploma certificate. In 2021 I decided to go back to school and rewrite my matric. Happily, I obtained a Bachelor certificate. This experience has changed my life because when I get home I immediately start preparing myself for the next day. My family is proud, and I’m also happy to help the community by opening children’s minds and teaching them to count. We encouraged everyone to collect as many bottle tops as possible, which we use in class. The Grade 1-3 learners use the bottle tops to add, subtract, multiply and divide practically. These physical markers help the learners visualise the sums.

Big business organising school uniforms

Siyamamkela Ndlela (31) works as a tutor at Tiyo Soga J.S.S, Kentani, Eastern Cape. Lightstone sponsor his position.

The main challenge in this rural area is a lack of proper network connection. This puts us at a disadvantage compared to other schools and learners. Despite that I believe we should always work with passion and patience, as you are dealing with people from different backgrounds. I noticed a number of learners who didn’t have the right uniforms, so I suggested to my work mates that we should go to business owners in the area. We asked them to donate some school uniforms and our project was a big success. I was happy to help battle this challenge we face every day in rural schools.

Not everyone learns the same way, and that’s okay

Vuyolwethu Mlamleli (24) is a tutor at S.W Mbanga Junior Secondary School in Butterworth, Eastern Cape. KSB sponsor his post.

I heard about the YES opportunity from a WhatsApp group where my friends and I share job opportunities posted online. I discovered that some learners don’t have stationery, so I bought pencils for those in need. At one point, there was a learner who did not understand the concepts in class, and lacked the confidence to give answers in class. I felt so heartbroken so I went with a smile on my face and told him that it is okay to be different, not everyone learns things the same way as everyone else. I sat down with him and we went through his workbook together. Now I am proud to see him doing well, and participating confidently in class. That experience touched my heart.

Partner with us

We need help to expand our work! Would you like to make a tangible difference to South Africa’s least resourced classrooms? Participate in training unemployed youth to be education assistants in the maths classroom, to return to tertiary education, and to find a path to meaningful work! Email Betty Oliphant to find out more. Your contribution can help you meet your B-BBEE scorecard and/or qualify you for a qualify for a Section 18A tax exemption certificate.


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