YES4YOUTH – Tutors tell it like it is – February 2022

The JumpStart Foundation provides — literally and metaphorically — a jumpstart for unemployed matriculants who have the drive and ambition to make careers for themselves, but who got stuck along the way. The combination of skills training, the chance to return to or initiate tertiary studies and the provision of a stipend that feeds families is a significant factor in helping young people get out of poverty and frustration. It is also part of how we are responding to the country’s mathematics education crisis in foundation phase.

With YES4Youth we are participating in a national drive to create work opportunities for black South African youth at scale by connecting them with suitable companies and programmes. The year spent working as educational assistants tutoring maths in under-resourced classrooms is combined with programme support that increases youth employability. A key goal is to facilitate the transition to meaningful work with viable future earnings. Companies like Lightstone, KSB and Youth At Work improve the chances of achieving this by leveraging B-BBEE policy for better, and more meaningful company impact and performance.

Because our partners cover the monthly stipend JumpStart can reach more schools with the grant money we receive from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and SASOLJumpStart and YES4YOUTH commenced a partnership in September 2021 and we are excited to bring you the face of the tutors who share their stories of challenge.

Eunice Malgas

Eunice Malgas (27) at S.W. Mbanga Junior Secondary School in Butterworth, Eastern Cape, is sponsored by KSB. She says, “Chances of bettering yourself are rare in this life so when you see one, jump at the opportunity! A friend told me about JumpStart. I applied as I met the requirements. As an unemployed graduate and a young parent, I knew that the opportunity to join the team would be a great privilege. It turned into a significant milestone towards my growth.

Being part of the Jumpstart team had a positive impact on me and those around me. I am able to give friendly advice to the parents of the kids. I share how they can assist their kids with maths at home. I’m helping them at school and the parents are happy and very pleased with the advice. This empowers them to help their children with maths, and improves their interactions as the family bond over maths at home.

Portia Feleza

Portia Feleza (27) is a tutor at Xcwalubomvu Primary School and is sponsored by KSB. She says, “My family was so happy to see me working and putting something on the table. The community is also glad to see me help children improve their maths. I also help children do their homework after school. I wish this YES4YOUTH programme could be implemented across the entire Eastern Cape to assist all learners in mathematics. In the Eastern Cape, there is still a lot of development that needs to be done. We need jobs for qualified people who are currently staying at home with nothing to do. Thanks for the work that you are doing, YES, and thanks for choosing me!”

Simbulele Magatyana

Simbulele Magatyana (27) is a tutor at Colosa Senior Primary School sponsored by Youth at Work. He says, “The experience has been great so far! It has its challenges, but I’m thriving. The biggest challenge so far has been dealing with the little children from the lower grades. I’m more used to tutoring learners from higher grades, but I am taking it one step at a time and learning every day. There are far more highs than lows!

I am learning so much about myself and the different paths open to me in this department. This experience couldn’t have come at a better time! I am no longer financially dependent on my parents. I can assist at home so this is having a huge impact at home as it gives my parents a little breathing room. This opportunity is also benefiting my community as I impart knowledge to the generation coming after me.”

Mothabiseni Tafane

Mothabiseni Tafane (26) has a BCom (Business Management & Economics) and a year of tutoring experience. She tutored second year students at the University of Fort Hare but couldn’t find work. Mothabiseni was glad to get a post as an education assistant at Mgxobozweni Primary School in the Eastern Cape. She is sponsored by Youth at Work.

She says, “The experience has been a steep learning curve. I have encountered students with special needs and learned that when you give students incentives they tend to perform even better. I’ve also learned tutoring skills, workplace conduct, interacting with students, problem-solving skills, and punctuality. In the future I will know how to deal with active young minds and teenagers. I’m going to be adaptable to change. Yesterday during my free period, I was helping a cleaner who was cutting the grass. I actually learned how to cut the grass! I also like helping teachers with printing and other computer related issues that they struggle with.”

Lesedi Mokhali

Lesedi Mokhali (22) is a tutor at Lehutso Primary School in Sasolburg. She is sponsored by Lightstone. She says, “I went above and beyond by introducing stickers and sweets to my learners. The dramatic change after that was mind blowing! Everyone started to listen, they were concentrating in class and completing their work on time to earn a reward. I noticed how tired the learners were at times and this made my work very challenging. I was able to turn what they thought of as boring into educational fun. To my fellow Yes4Youth team, remember that we are fortunate to have been given such an amazing experience! This is going to change our lives for the better and help us grow. We were chosen for a reason and this is our chance to shine.”

Asanda Biyana

Asanda Biyana (32) is based at Biyana Primary School, and sponsored by Lightstone. She says, “They are not easy students having the mentality that maths is too difficult. Every time I arrived in class, they looked unhappy and said, ‘Yhooooo!’ At first I thought the pupils didn’t like me. Then I wondered if there was a problem with me explaining things badly. I was so disappointed and started losing confidence. Then I spoke to a maths teacher who explained the situation. She helped me to understand the children and deal with them. To my surprise things changes. Now when I do activities with them they show interest and ask questions. They are willing to try activities on their own. Some are doing well, trying their best. That makes me feel welcome and they enjoy maths.”

Does your company want to create jobs and be part of the change?

Do you wish to meet your B-BBEE levels? Contact YES4YOUTH to become a business partner. Email Betty Oliphant to learn how to engage JumpStart interns who are ready to exit the programme. Your donation qualifies you for a Section 18A Tax Exemption Certificate.

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