Describe in detail what your Organisation does:
Inkululeko’s mission is to provide South African township youth with the skills, support and guidance necessary to apply, attend and succeed in university; to challenge the bigotry of low expectations for township youth; and to provide sustainable, positive change; student-by-student, generation-by-generation.
We began this work in 2011.
The organization is structured to be heavily woven into the local community it serves. Inkululeko works with the Grahamstown community to identify challenges and opportunities in education and works within existing frameworks and systems to address those challenges and capitalize upon those opportunities. Qualified staff with knowledge of the local culture are hired from the township to help lead key Inkululeko initiatives. The Board of Directors is made up of citizens from a wide variety of backgrounds from both the USA and South Africa. The organization also has a Board of Advisors. The Board of Advisors is made up of local South Africans familiar with the township. The Board of Advisors is tasked with providing feedback as to how we can better serve the community and continually improve our processes.
Inkululeko enjoys robust collaborations with Rhodes University Office of Community Engagement and Social Development to obtain high-quality, low-cost tutors from the School of Education to work one-on-one with Inkululeko youth. It is also collaborating with other non-profit entities in Grahamstown that work with children to share ideas, resources and insight.
Inkululeko has also collaborated extensively with Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, USA, as well as student and faculty volunteers working in Grahamstown The volunteers from universities around the world support, not supplant, staff member efforts.
Which three words best describe your Organisation?
Enterprising, Data-Driven, Community-Focused
If you could change only one thing about your Organisation, what would it be?
We’d like to be able to enroll more young people.
Describe what a typical work day looks like for you at your Organisation?
Students arrive after school and the day is roughly broken out like this:
14:30 – 15:30 – spent on remedial lessons in problem areas that the learners themselves identify to us;
15:30 – 16:30 – homework slot in which they will have time to receive help with assignments, and be able to use our resources to do research for homework tasks;
16:30 – 17:00 – spent on a physical activity outside, before cleaning up and heading home.
What is the one thing you wish members of the general public knew about your Organisation?
We wish that the general public knew how brilliant our learners are and how they’re succeeding despite having had many obstacles put in their path.
Describe the saddest moment you’ve experienced while at work in your Organisation
We had a case a few years ago where people sought to join but we were already full and we had to turn people away.
Apart from donating money, how can members of the general public assist your Organisation?
We are always looking for volunteers to help with graphic design, social media, connecting us with other like-minded people, helping with our social enterprise unit (http://inkululeko.org/social_enterprise.html) and joining our Board of Directors.
Describe the happiest moment you’ve experienced while at work in your Organisation
I remember at one point we had a group in that was presenting and one of our learners stood up and asked a very good, very respectful yet very pointed question that pointed out a flaw in their argument. The presenters danced around the issue, but never addressed her question.
At the conclusion of this, she raised her hand, again, and said you did not answer my question and pressed, respectfully, to get a response.
We seek to create autonomous learners at Inkululeko and that was one highlight for me.
If you could say only one thing to the Community your Organisation serves, what would that be?
Thank you for letting us be a part of the rich tapestry of the Grahamstown community.
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