WiSTEM2D activations with Johnson & Johnson

Over 1500 primary and high school learners exposed to WiSTEM2D careers

Recognising that the need for STEM skills is rapidly increasing, and that people employed in STEM careers earn 26% more than other workers, J&J has partnered with JASA in 2018 to provide Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design (WiSTEM2D) opportunities for school learners in Gauteng and the Western Cape. Their aim is to inspire more girls to pursue studies and careers in WiSTEM2D.

Learners at Square Hill Primary and South Peninsula High School in the Western Cape and at Bonwelong Primary School and Eqinisweni Secondary School in Gauteng had interactive classroom sessions with J&J volunteers from all three business in South Africa. J&J also funded excursions to  the Science and Technological Advancement Centre and Sci-Bono Centre in Gauteng, and the Cape Science Centre.

Through this experience, the learners have been inspired by the diverse and exciting careers that could open up for them if they pursue studies in STEM2D fields. Thank you to J&J for the funding and thanks to all the volunteers who spent time with the students.




Catch Team Meraki’s presentation at Africa Regional COY 2018 here

Catch Team Meraki’s presentation at Africa COY 2018 here

Filmed by JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng, who was in the audience, the team ended with the wonderful advert they created for their magnifier screen and the audience was clearly engaged. Team Meraki are representing South Africa at the Africa regional Company of the Year Competition 2018, which is hosted by JA Ghana. The presentations took place yesterday, Thursday 6 December, and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony this evening. We are holding thumbs for you Team Meraki!


Citi-funded Digital Enterprise Programme enlists students from three schools

Students from three high schools meet on Saturdays for successful Digital Enterprise Programme

Funded by Citi, students were pooled from Willomead Secondary in Lenasia, Nova Pioneer High in Ormonde and Curtis Nkondo in Soweto for a Digital Enterprise Programme that ran on Saturdays.

The sessions were held at Curtis Nkondo, which was the first of 27 schools of specialisation to be opened by the Gauteng Department of Education. The aim of these schools is to offer technical and vocational skills to high school pupils with a keen interest in engineering, math, science, ICT and commerce, entrepreneurship as well as performing arts and sports.

Learners formed three companies and were initially taken through the comprehensive Lean Canvas Model, which highlights the importance of problem solving in the process of developing products and services.

One of the participants in the programme, Celokuhle Ncayiyana, a student at Curtis Nkondo, who belonged to the company called Creative Legacy, explained that his team first wanted to make a photo booth but in the end decided to provide a photographic service. As stock controller he was responsible for trying to procure the materials needed but there were differences of opinion in the group as to what material would be best so in the end they decided to rather take pictures.

“I learnt that in life people are either with you or not with you and in our company everyone wanted to be a boss and give orders. No one wanted to do the work but at the end of the day everyone wanted to see the work produced. With that said I ended up creating a business selling snacks and a business where people can record in my studio.”

Ncayiyana went on to explain that the decision was made to liquidate the company at the end of the programme since not everyone was pulling their weight, which meant some members would have to take on several positions while others didn’t participate. The experience provided valuable lessons on the importance of choosing your company partners well and on what it takes to build a team.

One of the other companies, Oricals Corporation, developed a shock bracelet, which lightly shocks the wearer if they start drifting to sleep, which is particularly useful for academic and work environments. According to their company report: “The shock will not be painful and uses mostly short bursts of vibrations rather than comprising solely of actual electricity. This creates an actual shock rather than hurting the wearer.”

Is there anyone willing to test wear this self-correcting accessory?

The group was fortunate to have Rooksana Modan , CEO of Apex Development, attend some of the sessions to provide valuable insight into how to be successful in business.

Amahle Makwela is one of the students on this programmewho also joined the Molo Africa project, where 20 students spent 10 days building the body of a Sling 4 light aircraft, which has a capacity of four. The students are learning to fly and if sufficient funds are raised then the Molo Africa team plan to fly from Cape to Cairo, You can follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buildmyplane/ 

On the left he is pictured with Programme Manager Terence Modiba and below is the plane body they built.


Annual Report 2018: Joint Message from MD and Board Chair

Joint message from our MD and Board Chair


The year 2018 has been one of transition for JA South Africa, following purposeful shifts in terms of sustainability and growth priorities. This has required different approaches for the organisation, including adopting dynamic programme roll-out strategies and developing complementary initiatives.

Through the sustainability lens, it is more evident that empowering young people to acquire skills that will help them to continuously adapt to the changing demands of today’s world of work requires a consistent and collaborative approach.

As an organisation we are really excited to be pioneering a pipeline for continuous learner development, where we are engaging a number of partners and working with a single cohort of learners as they move from Grade 7 to Grade 12, using the Opportunities Out There programmes that focus on entrepreneurship, technology and work readiness.

Over this period of six years, selected learners from Gauteng, the Free State and Mpumalanga will be exposed to the concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Manufacturing (STEAM2D), with the aim of inspiring and motivating them to take up STEAM2D subjects as they proceed through high school and to tertiary studies.

These learners will explore the world of work, focusing on the employment realities and the possibility for self-employment in STEAM2D fields. As part of their training they will go on study visits and job shadows to innovation centres and companies active in the tech space. They will also attend innovation camps and generate ideas for businesses they will set up when they get to grade 10.

Another initiative we have introduced this year is the school enterprise club, where high school learners do not liquidate their businesses at the end of the programme but are encouraged and supported to continue as enterprise clubs and hand over the businesses to the next cohort of learners as they leave school. These enterprise clubs will also participate in competitions including the JA Company of the Year Competition; the Youth Entrepreneurship Exchange Programme, in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network SA; and the School Enterprise Challenge, managed by Teach a Man to Fish, where students can invest their prize money into growing their businesses.

In 2018, we have increased our student reach by 60% (2017: 6 661; 2018: 11 046) with more impactful interventions that go beyond the normal programme time. Nurturing entrepreneurial thinking at an early age was taken to another level when we reached more than 7 000 primary school learners through the More than Money programme, where students learn to earn, save and spend responsibly. More than 5 000 of these students took part in the post-programme Savings Challenge, where the top nine savers across the country had their savings matched up to the value of R2 000.

We continue to gain traction on our Youth Enterprise Development Programme, with more young people choosing entrepreneurship as a viable option for economic success. This year more new businesses started during the programme and more students signed up for the six-month post-training mentorship programme, where they are supported to start or grow their businesses, study further or gain employment.

Women graduates from the programme had an opportunity to pitch their businesses at the WEConnect Conference SA, with the top three winning cash prizes to the combined value of US$5 000.  First prize winner – 2017 JASA alumnus Nthabiseng Tomotomo – was also the guest speaker at the Gauteng Youth Enterprise Development Programme graduation ceremony. There, she explained how being an employee had been frustrating for her. Wanting to start a business, she joined the closest JASA programme, which meant commuting from Soweto to Katlehong to attend classes. Though she had to take two taxis to get to the programme, she never missed a single session! Her commitment has paid off as she builds her business Baby Sonic, which delivers baby and personal hygiene products to busy mothers, as the primary target market.

It is a great pleasure to welcome Collen Ngundu who joined us as Finance Director in April 2018. He brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of financial, HR and programme management combined, with international experience in the management and real-time oversight of multi-million dollar grants.

The year 2019 marks 100 years of achievement for JA Worldwide, JA South Africa also celebrates four decades this year! As an organisation we can only continue to make a sustainable impact through our collaborations – we are truly grateful to our sponsors and partners for the continued and enthusiastic support.

In line with building on Sustainable Development Goal four, which seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and equal learning opportunities for all, we do look forward to continue working with you in 2019 to prepare the 21st century learner for economic success.



Company of the Year winning team attend Youth Entrepreneurship Exchange

Meraki, school company team from McAuley House in Jhb, attended the Youth Entrepreneurship Exchange (YEEP)

 Thanks to generous sponsorship from Law Trust (@lawtrustinfosec), the Meraki team, who won the national Company of the Year competition 2018, could attend YEEP. This camp assisted them in their final preparations for JA Africa regional Company of the Year, which kicks off this Wed 5 December, in Ghana.

Over three days the participants, which also included @JASwaziland alumni, converged at @GEN22OnSloane to be exposed to design thinking, branding, finance, teamwork & pitching skills. They were divided into teams and had to come up with an idea that they pitched to a team of judges, with mentoring and coaching built into the programme.

JA South Africa MD Nelly Mofokeng and Programme Coordinator Elias Sebola were on hand to support the team and Nelly was also a member of the judging panel.



IT/ Coding workshops at Setshabelo and Mathlasedi primary schools 

Siyafunda is providing digital skills workshops at Setshabelo Primary School in Welkom and Mathlasedi Primary School in Krugersdorp

Digital skills workshops are being facilitated by JASA’s long-term partner Siyafunda over two days, where the students learn the basics of how to use a computer and are then exposed to the coding language Scratch. The hands-on approach enables the learners to code a game.

This is made possible through a partnership between JASA and the Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation, where the same cohort of learners at five schools in three provinces, will be offered programmes for six consecutive years, beginning this year with the group in Grade 7, with an emphasis on STEAM2D (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Manufacturing).

The workshops occurred at the Ndabeni, Beretta and Timbavati Combined primary schools in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga, on 8 and 9 November. In this last week of November Siyafunda is training learners at Setshabelo Primary School in Welkom and Mathlasedi Primary School in Krugersdorp.

The students were exuberant when expressing their delight at having the opportunity to take their first digital steps and were proud that in a short space of time they had progressed far enough to present their games to their fellow learners.

To see some of the students presenting in Acornhoek, click here, and for more information on the partnership pilot, click here.



Opening up young minds to the potential of STEM2D

Grade 7 learners get their first taste of coding through in-school STEM 2D partnership with Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation

The Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation is partnering with JASA to provide STEM2D Programmes to a cohort of learners, from five schools in three provinces, for six consecutive years, beginning this year when the group is in Grade 7.

This month the students are being exposed to digital skill workshops, conducted by long-term partner Siyafunda. The students not only get to learn the basics of how to use a computer but are also introduced to the coding language, Scratch, on the second day, where they learn to programme a computer game.

The workshops occurred at the Ndabeni, Beretta and Timbavati Combined primary schools in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga, on 8 and 9 November. Further workshops will take place later in the month at Setshabelo Primary School, Welkom and Mathlasedi Primary School in Krugersdorp.

By all accounts this experience has made a lasting impression of the students in Mpumalanga. In the interactive workshops, the emphasis was on learning through fun, and there was even time to play a tug-of-war. Students were so proud when they got to present how they had coded the games to work.

Siyafunda facilitator Lutfiyya Patel interviewed two students from Ndabeni Primary School. Ntsako says that even though it was a little hard, it was really fun and she was surprised how quickly she could understand enough to start coding. She is hoping to use this programme in the future and was happy to learn the basics of using a computer combined with learning the beginnings of a coding language. Another 13-year old in the class, Nolenbangu, also expressed her excitement at learning to code a game that she could then see in real-time. She hopes that she will have further opportunities to learn more coding, as she grows up.

Loads of interactive fun is built into the workshops.


For an overview of the project, and the progress made so far, see this earlier article:

Six-year pilot will expose 600 students to successive STEM2D Programmes