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SOUTH AFRICA: 215 students learn digital literacy skills

Salesian Institute Youth Projects in South Africa recently launched a Smart Work Center

Salesian Institute Youth Projects launches Smart Work Center


(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Institute Youth Projects in South Africa recently launched a Smart Work Center to ensure youth have the digital skills needed to compete in the current marketplace, according to an article in The Southern Cross. The center is in the institute’s old computer lab and was supported by the Rotary Club Waterfront and carried out in collaboration with Computers4Kids.

Providing digital literacy across all of the institute’s programs can be challenging given the varied literacy and writing abilities of the students. Salesians have brought on volunteers to assist with literacy programs at the institute’s Learn to Live School of Skills, which is a school designed specifically for vulnerable and at-risk youth. For a variety of socio-economic reasons, these youth are not able to succeed in mainstream schools.

According to the article, Salesians have also partnered with the Ulektz platform so youth can create an online profile highlighting their strengths and interests for potential employers to increase their chances of finding employment. Leveraging its extensive network of industry partners, Salesian Institute Youth Projects ensures that the Smart Work Center provides youth with the digital skills needed for employment and then works to create the bridge between education and industry.

The Smart Work Center has already made a significant impact by educating 215 youth. These students use the center at least twice a week to enhance their digital literacy and academic skills. The Computers4Kids and Reading Eggs programs that are integrated into the curriculum have proved instrumental in improving literacy rates.

“Our mission is to foster lifelong learning and cultivate a reservoir of skilled youth ready to contribute to the thriving Cape Town’s economy,” said Father Francois Dufour, CEO of the Salesian Institute Youth Projects, in The Southern Cross article.

Since 1910, the Salesian Institute Youth Projects has been helping homeless, unemployed and impoverished youth in Cape Town, the second most populous city and legislative capital of South Africa. Salesians provide shelter, education and workforce development services, meeting the basic needs of the youth they serve while helping them break the cycle of poverty.

Poverty is extensive in South Africa with more than half the population and more than 63% of children living below the poverty line, according to UNICEF. A significant percentage of the population struggles to survive on less than $1 a day. The country is plagued by high crime rates and violence against women and girls, and it has been the hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS crisis in the world. There is an urgent need for education to help prevent the spread of the deadly virus and to help lift youth out of poverty.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS) 

The Southern Cross – Salesian Youth Projects empower at-risk youth with digital skills

Salesian Institute Youth Projects

Salesian Institute Youth Projects Facebook

Salesian Missions – South Africa

UNICEF – South Africa

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