Funds to help Joza matrics

NGO wins in Eskom social investment project

Eskom Development Foundation CEO Cecil Ramonotsi right congratulates Balisa Ntloko of Ikamva Youth
Eskom Development Foundation CEO Cecil Ramonotsi right congratulates Balisa Ntloko of Ikamva Youth

Ikamva Youth fundraising coordinator Balisa Ntloko hopes to help change the fortunes of 140 youngsters from Joza Township in Grahamstown, after she won R25 000 from the Eskom Development Foundation at the Trialogue Business in Society Conference.

The conference, hosted earlier this month in Johannesburg, saw Ntloko pitted against two other non-profit organisations in front of a panel of donors – similar to the TV show Dragon’s Den.

The judging panel comprised Eskom Development Foundation programme manager Steph Prinsloo, Old Mutual Foundation head Millicent Maroga and Vodacom Foundation executive head of gender empowerment, Angela Abrahams.

Ntloko said the money would be ploughed back into the organisation to assist 140 Joza Township residents in being better prepared to access tertiary education and job opportunities.

“All the finalists do important work, but possibly what set us apart was our understanding of the sector we work in and its challenges.

“The judges also noted the number of people who are helped by our organisation and who return to volunteer.

“This speaks about the impact we have,” Ntloko said.
Ikamva Youth was started in 2003 after two researchers at the Human Sciences Research Council, Joy Olivier and Makhosi Gogwana, decided to try do something about the poor matric results among disadvantaged pupils.

They sent out e-mails to all their friends asking “who wants to tutor at Makhosi’s old school?” And an overwhelming “yes” was the beginning of Ikamva Youth. It has since grown, having established 17 branches nationally, equipping matriculants from disadvantaged communities with the skills, networks and resources to access tertiary education and job opportunities.

Prinsloo advised NGOs and fundraisers to focus on a comprehensive business plan covering everything from vision, mission and values to finance, compliance and governance.

“This will answer a lot of questions. The passion here is phenomenal, but there are hard issues people need to know about. People will invest if they feel comfortable and secure with an organisation,” Prinsloo said.

Eskom Development Foundation chief executive Cecil Ramonotsi said: “Eskom is pleased to have been part of the Trialogue family for the past few years. I’m impressed by some of the innovative ideas put forward.”

Second placed runner-up U-Turn Homeless Ministries, which helps homeless people to gain job and life skills, was awarded R15 000.

Siyavuna Abalimi Development Centre, which develops resilient micro-farmers, was third and won R10 000.