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SOUTH AFRICA: Youth gain employment, literacy skills

Salesian Institute Youth Projects meets needs of youth with 5 main projects


(MissionNewswire) 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.

A Salesian missionary explained, “The Salesian Institute Youth Projects has five main projects — an outreach program, the Center of Hope for homeless youth, the Learn to Live School of Skills education program and two workforce development programs. The projects are managed by a diverse team, some of whom live on the premises to support youth in the hostel and outreach programs.”

The Learn to Live School of Skills education program is a school designed specifically for vulnerable and at-risk youth. Recognized as an independent school by the Western Cape Education Department, the program provides basic education and skills training for youth who, for a variety of socio-economic reasons, are not able to succeed in mainstream schools.

The school offers various levels of education for students ages 13-19. There are 26 to 36 students per class, with 14 to 20 students per workshop lesson. Students over the age of 16 take technical skills training workshops to learn basic skills in subjects like hairdressing, hospitality, electrical work and woodworking.

All the students in the program also form part of a literacy program. This program helps students learn to read and overcome reading difficulties, all resulting in the student being able to read independently and be prepared for the workforce.

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.



Photo courtesy of Salesian Institute Youth Projects

Salesian Institute Youth Projects

Salesian Institute Youth Projects Facebook

Salesian Missions – South Africa

UNICEF – South Africa

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