PYMA

Phakamani Young Minds Academy (PYMA) provides an afterschool educational program to learners in the basic educational system. PYMA supplements the learning of children at school through providing tuition, mentorship, support with homework, extra maths and reading, support to the parents and providing a safe learning space for children in their programme.

PYMAs vision is to help disadvantaged children and young people in areas of Soweto, Johannesburg to become active, responsible, independent and prominent members of society. This is achieved through access to high-quality supplementary education and personal development programmes, delivered within a positive and inspiring learning space.

PYMA impact since 2014

1813

young minds reached through the afterschool programme

85%

of all learners placed in tertiary education, found employment or internships

92%

of learners passed grade 12 and eligible for college enrollment

98

learners completed grade 12 with PYMA support since 2014

113

young minds participated in internship programmes

69

mentees paired with mentors to help with high school exit strategies

130

youth linked to social employment opportunities

212

young minds part of the alumni network

Sawabona Africa supports PYMA projects

PYMA offers a range of support

Supplementary Tutoring

Children attend after school lessons with tutors to supplement their school learning

Reading and Maths Clubs

Extra help with reading and maths with a dedicated tutor

Life Skills
programme

Focus on topics that are relevant to youth in South Africa e.g Gender issues

Achievement awards

Celebrate the success of great work by the learners

Vegetables from garden

Their own vegetable patch for children to take vegetables home

Exam preparation

Tutors support the learners with preparation for their final exams

PYMA TUTORS

The heartbeat of the aftershool programme.

Teachers and students dedicated to PYMA's academic success

Tutors are responsible for delivering the aftershool programme, homework support, extra maths, reading programmes and providing motivation and support to all learners. Many of the tutors are past graduates from the PYMA academy, now students at university giving back to support young children in the community.

True examples of the success of the PYMA afterschool programme. Read the incredible success stories from the PYMA Tutors and a very Special poem dedicated to PYMA and Sawabona Africa

PYMA projects we support

On the truck

Classroom for the future

After the success of delivering the first classroom in record time, there is so much interest in attending the afterschool programme. Learners love their new classroom and are now even more eager to attend. Due to a lack of space, PYMA has a waiting list and needs another classroom. 

Let’s try make it happen together

Cost of Classroom: € 11 000

PYMA projects we support

On the truck

Classroom for the future

After the success of delivering the first classroom in record time, there is so much interest in attending the afterschool programme. Learners love their new classroom and are now even more eager to attend. Due to a lack of space, PYMA has a waiting list and needs another classroom. 

Let’s try make it happen together

Cost of Classroom: € 11 000

Support a tutor

Tutors are invaluable to running the programme. Tutors provide mentoring, guidance and teach the children. Help us cover the costs of the tutors.

Below is an example of costs to support a tutor:

  • € 840 covers a tutor’s allowance for 1 year
  • € 600 trains 30 tutors in 1 year (4 trainings)
  • € 180 trains 10 tutors in 1 year
  • € 70 covers a tutors allowance for 1 month
  • € 20 trains 1 tutor a year (4 trainings)
  • € 5 covers a tutors allowance for 1 lesson 

Support a tutor

Tutors are invaluable to running the programme. Tutors provide mentoring, guidance and teach the children. Help us cover the costs of the tutors.

Below is an example of costs to support a tutor:

  • € 840 covers a tutor’s allowance for 1 year
  • € 600 trains 30 tutors in 1 year (4 trainings)
  • € 180 trains 10 tutors in 1 year
  • € 70 covers a tutors allowance for 1 month
  • € 20 trains 1 tutor a year (4 trainings)
  • € 5 covers a tutors allowance for 1 lesson 

Maths and Science for girls

Currently the number of girls who learn and maths and science is incredibly low. Support with learning and career advancement for female learners in the maths and science field. 

Goals

  • To improve the numeracy levels of female learners in the High School programme.
  • To enhance the learners academic performance by 5% every term for female learners in Maths and Science
  • To improve the attitude of female learners towards Maths and Science subjects
  • To encourage learners and Alumni to pursue scarce skills careers in Maths and Science.
Project to commence in 2023 subject to sufficient funds raised

Cost per Year 4000€

Maths and Science for girls

Currently the number of girls who learn and math is incredibly low. Support with learning and career advancement for female learners in the maths and science field. 

Goals

  • To improve the numeracy levels of female learners in the High School programme.
  • To enhance the learners academic performance by 5% every term for female learners in Maths and Science
  • To improve the attitude of female learners towards Maths and Science subjects
  • To encourage learners and Alumni to pursue scarce skills careers in Maths and Science.
Project to commence in 2023 subject to sufficient funds raised

Cost per Year 4000€

Alumni Spotlights

From Cradle to Career

Nhlakanipho has been with PYMA since 2014 when it was first established with only 12 beneficiaries until he graduated from the programme in 2019 with a Bachelor certificate and became one of the first PYMA Alumni. His life has been a roller coaster ride faced with a barrage of challenges.

Growing up in a house full of illiterates had been the worst nightmare he could imagine, moreover being the role model of his siblings has positioned him in a dire circumstance in which he had to be responsible and become a good exemplary at home. “I have always wished upon a star or a guardian angel to rescue me, until I realized that I am my own hero.”

Little did he know that his own hero came through the PYMA programme in which at first, he thought that he would not fit in. He would always sit by his little corner, look through the window and dream of a day full of possibilities. “I despise homework because I knew very well that nobody at home would be able to assist me.” At times he would even be reluctant to ask his parents for homework supervisions as that made them feel discouraged and mortified. He has always felt like he had a cross to bear, and it was more than he could possibly bear.

In 2019, PYMA introduced a parental workshop for literacy skills in which his parents were part of the group of parents that attend such sessions ….

 his parents obtained reading and writing skills, and this has played a huge impact in their interest towards his schoolwork and his personal well-being. When he graduated in 2019, he thought life would be magical and fruitful as a freshman; however, life took an unforeseen turn. He had to take an unprepared gap year due to his financial constraints. He approached PYMA to assist him in re-applying at the University of South Africa (UJ) and raising funds for him to be assisted with his registration fee. When he was accepted at UJ for a bachelor’s degree in accountancy he could not stop crying because he knew that all his resilience and persistence has paid off.

PYMA has ignited the spirit of volunteerism in Nhlakanipho as he has chosen to make a difference through the UJ Community of engagement, and he has chosen to work with PYMA. “PYMA is my home, and I have made memories of a lifetime with my brothers and sisters.” He recalls when they used to go for camps and visiting historical centers and he is grateful for all the exposure to various cultures and people.

He lives by the quote “If one is free at heart, no man-made chains can bind one to servitude _Steve Biko.” He hopes to transform the lives of others in his community.

Alumni Spotlights

Nhlakanipho Mhlanda

From Cradle to Career

Nhlakanipho has been with PYMA since 2014 when it was first established with only 12 beneficiaries until he graduated from the programme in 2019 with a Bachelor certificate and became one of the first PYMA Alumni. His life has been a roller coaster ride faced with a barrage of challenges.

Growing up in a house full of illiterates had been the worst nightmare he could imagine, moreover being the role model of his siblings has positioned him in a dire circumstance in which he had to be responsible and become a good exemplary at home. “I have always wished upon a star or a guardian angel to rescue me, until I realized that I am my own hero.”

Little did he know that his own hero came through the PYMA programme in which at first, he thought that he would not fit in. He would always sit by his little corner, look through the window and dream of a day full of possibilities. “I despise homework because I knew very well that nobody at home would be able to assist me.” At times he would even be reluctant to ask his parents for homework supervisions as that made them feel discouraged and mortified. He has always felt like he had a cross to bear, and it was more than he could possibly bear.

In 2019, PYMA introduced a parental workshop for literacy skills in which his parents were part of the group of parents that attend such sessions ….

 his parents obtained reading and writing skills, and this has played a huge impact in their interest towards his schoolwork and his personal well-being. When he graduated in 2019, he thought life would be magical and fruitful as a freshman; however, life took an unforeseen turn. He had to take an unprepared gap year due to his financial constraints. He approached PYMA to assist him in re-applying at the University of South Africa (UJ) and raising funds for him to be assisted with his registration fee. When he was accepted at UJ for a bachelor’s degree in accountancy he could not stop crying because he knew that all his resilience and persistence has paid off.

PYMA has ignited the spirit of volunteerism in Nhlakanipho as he has chosen to make a difference through the UJ Community of engagement, and he has chosen to work with PYMA. “PYMA is my home, and I have made memories of a lifetime with my brothers and sisters.” He recalls when they used to go for camps and visiting historical centers and he is grateful for all the exposure to various cultures and people.

He lives by the quote “If one is free at heart, no man-made chains can bind one to servitude _Steve Biko.” He hopes to transform the lives of others in his community.

Nhlohlori wins Sawabona Africa and PYMA learner of the year 2021

I’m Nhlohlori Ndhlovu. I joined Phakamani Young Minds Academy (PYMA) in 2020 while I was in grade 11, that was when we were exposed to the pandemic, and it was a challenge for me to fully participate in all the PYMA program activities.

In the very same year, PYMA paired me with my mentor. It was not an easy year due to Covid 19 and we all know Grade 12 basically starts in grade 11, as a result it was not an easy journey although with my mentors support I made it through. She would send motivational quotes to encourage me, teach me how important time management is and motivate me as much as she could. She also helped me with choosing my career path and figuring out if there are job opportunities in that field in future.

The PYMA programme has had a positive impact in my life. Being at PYMA has taught me whole lot about self-reliance, but also considering the people around you. It has proven to me that I am more than capable to achieve my dreams. From the staff members to the tutors, everyone has been friendly and helpful. PYMA has been eternally helpful to the class of 2021. I never imagined anyone contributing financially towards my university application fees. What I will remember the most about PYMA is their peer-to-peer learning style, I got to interact with learners from various schools and this indicated that I was not facing the world alone nor walking this journey by myself. There were plenty of Nhlonhlori’s where I came from and PYMA was our savior.

 

I got a bachelor’s degree pass with 3 distinctions in my matric. I am proud of myself although in some subjects I did not achieve as much as I thought I would. This has brought a huge difference in my life as I am the first person in my family to get a bachelor’s degree pass and to be enrolled at a university.

I am enrolled for BCom Accounting at the University of Witwatersrand. The reason I choose this course is because I realized how much I enjoyed commerce especially Accounting and I love working with numbers. Personally, I do believe in afterschool programmes although others have the mentality that it is only for learners who are not performing well at school.

 

This is what I would tell a grade 8-year-old Nhlohlori “failing a term is not the end of your journey, be persistent and consistent, you will make it come hell or high water.” And to my 20-year-old Nhlohlori adhere to 2 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 8-9. As I will always be conflicted in many ways, but I am not struck down by the situation I will be facing at that moment.

Just be persistent girl because you are going to make it.

PYMA children shout out for Sawabona Africa

Stories from PYMA

Many children have benefitted from the PYMA programme. We would like to share with you a few stories that make the team proud: