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SOUTH AFRICA: Youth succeed in fishing careers

Salesian Institute Youth Projects’ Waves of Change Maritime Training Program

Waves of Change Maritime Training Program educates future fishermen and women


(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Institute Youth Projects’ Waves of Change Maritime Training Program is having a big impact for youth interested in commercial fishing. Salesians recognized that sea fishing is a significant industry in South Africa, particularly along the Western Cape coastline. The industry is always in need of qualified workers. At the same time, youth in Cape Town have access to limited education and opportunities. The program was a perfect fit to meet both needs at once.

A Salesian missionary explained, “More than 60% of South Africa’s total population is under the age of 34 years, and many are struggling to gain access to quality education. Inexperienced individuals, especially those who are desperate for employment, are at risk of falling into the vicious cycle of unemployment and a bleak future.”

The Salesian Institute Youth Projects is in close proximity to the Cape Town Harbor. Salesian missionaries were able to establish partnerships with prominent sea fishing companies within the sector, as well as various accredited training institutions approved by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

The Salesian noted, “Together, we provide training facilitation through the Waves of Change Maritime Program to young men and women between the ages of 18-35 coming from disadvantaged backgrounds in and around Cape Town, meeting the industry need for skilled labor and the need for youth to have stable employment opportunities.”

The program begins with a three-day orientation session followed by a 10-day Life Skills Program, equipping students with essential life skills. Those who succeed proceed to the required maritime training courses to ultimately work at sea. These courses culminate in vital SAMSA medical certificates, seafarer’s logbooks and certificates of discharge, all of which are prerequisites for a career in seafaring.

Salesian Institute Youth Projects has been providing education, emotional support and skills development training for at-risk youth in Cape Town since 1910. The institute has been instrumental in changing the lives of hundreds of at-risk and vulnerable youth who would otherwise not have been able to access the job market.

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

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Salesian Institute Youth Projects Waves of Change

Salesian Missions – South Africa

UNICEF – South Africa

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