Young people living in South Africa experience multiple vulnerabilities depending on their geography and life circumstances. Young people need income to survive, participate in society and to break intergenerational cycles of poverty. But structural, individual and socio-economic obstacles stand in their way.
Rodney Mntambo receives instruction from Innocentia Vilikazi, a welding instructor, at the Don Bosco Skills Development Centre in Ennerdale, Gauteng.
Evidence shows that far too many young people are leaving school without completing their matric or other post-secondary education, which limits their chances of further learning, earning and other possibilities. We know that reaching one’s full potential goes beyond economic participation, which is why the support that young people require must take into account the different social, physical, socio-emotional, economic and environmental factors that signify well-being. It must start early, in homes, communities and schools so that young people are supported to complete their qualifications, don’t become discouraged when applying for work opportunities, stay employed for longer and can seize opportunities for building a productive life.
These projects are by no means a comprehensive list of the work of civil society. This list represents a small selection of organisations that will be updated from time to time
An organisation focused on empowering young talent from under-served communities to become creative change-makers. The organisation provides young people with the tools, socio-emotional and entrepreneurial skills needed to thrive in creative industries. BFM works with both local and international partners to bring music education to communities.
Located in rural Mbhashe, Bulungula Incubator aims to sustainably end poverty in a generation while enhancing community life and providing education to the community from early childhood to matric. They have improved access to healthcare and health education and created employment opportunities for the community through incubated projects.
The Catholic Institute of Education’s project aims to close the gap between training programmes and economic opportunity. Through partnerships with the formal and informal sectors, the CIE focuses on optimising economic activity in an effort to reverse unemployment through place-based learning and fostering an environment for new economic participants to thrive.
The School of Hard Knocks provides psychosocial support and life skills counselling for young people in low-resource communities that have been exposed to violence and trauma. The organisation uses a combination of counselling and rugby coaching to help young people work through adversity. Ultimately, the intervention aims to reduce the likelihood that they would participate in risky or harmful behaviour.
There are many things that we can do to improve South Africa but trying to figure out where to start can be overwhelming. We’ve created practical guides to help you make a meaningful difference as an individual or organisation. Even the smallest actions can contribute. Get involved, there’s no time like the present!
Three-fifths of South Africans are under the age of 30. This youth bulge has the potential to transform South Africa’s economic and social reality. Find out what you can do to make a difference.