Help us rebuild Ikamva branch in Makhaza

IkamvaYouth office in Makhaza was petrol-bombed, on South Africa’s Freedom Day, 27 April.  Read about the details of the petrol-bombing. The Makhaza branch has lost everything , including cameras, computers and some of the phones that were donated for our Nokia mobile video project.

Bombed Makhaza office of Ikamva Youth
Bombed Makhaza office of Ikamva Youth

Ikamva Youth is a wonderful volunteer-driven youth project that runs on a shoestring. Together with energetic postgrad students like Tino Kreutzer, Nicola Pallitt and Silke Hassreiter I’ve been involved in Ikamva’s media, image and expression program since 2008.

The picture above made me cry because during the last few years I have realized that Ikamva’s impact goes beyond helping individual learners achieve success, but is also felt more broadly as a result of their democratic approach to leadership and developing civic awareness in their area. My own graduate students have benefitted immensely from the opportunity to volunteer and conduct their research in a context which addresses the challenge of urban poverty and continued educational inequality in South Africa. This is a place where young people can help each other and connect with others who can help them to realize their goals, and discover what they might become.

The clear-up has started.  Andrew Barrett, Ikamva’s Gauteng regional co-ordinator, puts it best:

It is, afterall, the ordinary people from all sections of South Africa that are the heartbeat of this country and we join together in a collective resilience and assurance that actions like these, that seek to destroy, will always be self-defeating.

Do you have an old computer, laptop, smartphone or camera gathering dust somewhere? Please let me know and I’ll collect it and deliver it to the Makhaza branch next week. I promise that the Ikamvanites will make it feel loved again!

Here’s how you can help. Follow this link to find out how to donate, volunteer or just post a message of support on Ikamva’s website.