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“Young people really are dreamers. They dream of a better kind of world. They dream that we can makepoverty history. And they were at the forefront of the Arab Spring. Don’t be affected by the cynicism of ‘oldies’ like us. Go ahead and dream of a different kind of world. You young people are our hope.”

– Desmond Tutu


“Making a down payment on our future”

To provide young people ( ages 17-20 years) from low income communities across Cape Town, of whom 75% are young women, with educational and work experience that will increase their opportunities for employment.

More than 60 years ago, the apartheid government – arguing that labourers had no use for knowledge of mathematics or science – introduced a new education system that deliberately sought to under-educate Black children for lives of servitude.

Generations of South Africans were deliberately stripped of the culture of learning and reading, and of the underpinnings of their self-belief. Although this system was formally abandoned 25 years ago, at the dawn of democracy, its impacts are inter-generational.

Youth@Work was designed by the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in response to crisis of unemployment facing young South Africans today.

The programme, now in its fifth year, provides opportunities for young people to explore, understand andarticulate career paths – which is followed by a series of specific steps to turn their articulation into action.

Most young people in South Africa receive limited, if any, career education at school. Many leave school with unrealistic notions of careers, setting them on a path of limited success.

Building participants’ self-esteem and sense of self are the heartbeat of the Youth@Work curriculum. The goal is for them to leave the programme with the confidence to better understand themselves, and their roles as citizens of the country and the world. The notion of citizenship is critical for the sustainable growth ofany society.

Youth@Work is one of a series of complimentary efforts undertaken in the Western Cape Province to provide youth, in particular young women, with educational and work experience that will increase their opportunities for making informed career decisions and finding meaningful employment.

The programme encourages participants to make realistic and informed decisions, and affords them access to career professionals to open their eyes to the variety of industries that that lie before them.

Youth@Work has revolutionized my life… I have learnt to embrace my imperfections and to make peace with my past. The program has taught me to act with humility and has shown me that I am a leader.

Healing, as we all know from when we fell off our bicycles as children, is not an event. It is a process.

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