Youth Empowerment

This project provides a safe environment in challenged and vulnerable communities by providing the best possible programmes developing emotionally well-rounded children and youth who make positive life choices and become contributing members of society. It is a place where everyone achieves and succeeds in life, contributing to a successful, prosperous and non-discriminatory South Africa, of which we can all be proud.


Location Cape Town, South Africa
Duration From 2 - 12 weeks
Dates from February to end-October.
  • You must have an Intermediate level of English
  • Special skills: You should have an ability to take the initiative as well as a compassionate heart and interest in community work.
  • Special skills: You need to be energetic and playful and ready to participate actively.
Minimum Age: 18
Your impact
Documents required Enrolment form, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, passport copy, proof of medical insurance, police clearance certificate
Day of arrival Sunday
Day of departure Saturday


  • Giving love to vulnerable children is the best gift you can give; sharing love costs nothing but means the world.
  • Taking part in many different facets of this project - you can teach lots but you can also learn a lot.
  • Participating in diverse project programmes focusing on children and youth in various stages of education.
  • Being a role model and inspiring and encouraging others.
  • Having the opportunity to learn about African culture by working with children and young adults from vulnerable communities.
  • Experiencing amazing tours and adventures in and around Cape Town.
  • Getting personal support from the volunteer coordinator.
  • Making new friends from all over the world.

Project Information

As a non-profit organization, the Youth Empowerment Project offers programmes designed to encourage the development and empowerment of young people aged 5 – 35 years who come from vulnerable communities in local townships.
The name of the township Gugulethu derives from the Xhosa word “igugu lethu”, meaning “our pride.” It was established in the 1960s due to overcrowding at the, then, only black residential area in Cape Town. Bonteheuwel, on the other hand, was a township for mainly coloured people who were forced to move out of Cape Town. Philippi township is best known for its horticultural area with at least half of Cape Town’s vegetables being grown here. The main language spoken in Gugulethu and Philippi is Xhosa and Afrikaans in Bonteheuwel.

Project details

The project runs two types of programmes:


This programme provides an environment that allows school-going children to overcome shortcomings in their education. This is encouraged by focusing on creativity as the project aims to make learning enjoyable while fostering the drive to academic success. Children taking part in this programme are aged between 5 – 18 years. The programme takes place in various locations and offers a variety of activities including:

  • Academic Support
  • Literacy for the Intermediate Phase
  • Greening (vegetable gardening) and Environmental Education
  • Peer Education (life skills)
  • Foundation Phase (basic literacy, maths and motor skills development through play)
  • Arts & Culture (kwaito, dance, marimba, drama, music lessons, choir)
  • Sports (including football, hockey, netball and cricket)


This programme is based in Sybrand Park and helps young adults aged between 18 – 35 years prepare for the world of work, employment and entrepreneurship by completing a free three-month programme.

Unemployment is a big challenge in South Africa and even more so among young adults and school leavers who often fall short in soft skills, vocational skills and experience.

The aim is to develop and empower participants through systematic and structured, mainly practical, (vocational) training and experiential learning interventions. This better equips them for work, study or entrepreneurship and often ultimately links them up to the project’s development partners offering them an internship, further education, potential jobs or business opportunities – a career.

The following disciplines are trained:

  • Hospitality
  • Beauty & Wellness
  • Craft & Design
  • Soft Skills & Work-Readiness
  • Business Skills & Entrepreneurship

Your role

Monday – Thursday, from 10:00 – 17:00
During the morning hours (9.00 until 13.00), volunteers can choose to do additional work in the office.

Tasks include:

  • Administration
  • Taking photos
  • Storage clearing
  • Holding workshops

Daytime and afternoon tasks where volunteers assist, include:

  • Music (violin, guitar, marimba, choral singing and brass)
  • HIV/AIDS Peer Education & Prevention sessions
  • Sport (soccer, netball, cricket and hockey)
  • Computer Literacy
  • Greening and Environmental Education
  • Literacy
  • Creative Arts including (including painting, drama, kwaito, dance (modern, traditional and ballet))

During school holidays, the project runs camps and holiday programmes. Additionally, there are regular weekend trips you may want to get involved in (e.g. hiking with the children).


You will live at the Volunteer House. It is a private house in an upmarket residential area in Cape Town. Volunteers are accommodated in twin bedrooms but may upgrade to single rooms upon request. There are 4 bathrooms to share, a communal kitchen to cater yourself, a dining room, a lounge with TV and DVD and a beautiful garden with a swimming pool.
Bedding is provided. Towels will not be provided.
There is a washing machine at the residence for you to use which works with tokens which can be purchased for R40 per load.