Empowering a generation

Tackling problems in society gives young people a sense of purpose.

Our youth are the future. Instilling values of public citizenship and civic responsibility prepares them to assume that responsibility. The Youth Citizens Action Programme (YCAP) asks young people to lead the way in addressing the challenges we face as a society.

We’ve been involved with YCAP from its beginnings in 2008 as a series of youth dialogues. High school students in Cape Town and Johannesburg were invited to discuss the social issues that concerned them as youth in South Africa.

That idea has become an annual national competition that encourages Grade 10 students to take action on the problems they see around them. The students are asked to find an issue they want to solve within their school or community and given a toolkit to develop a year-long action project. The winning teams receive resources and financial aid to pursue their projects.

As well as addressing real-life problems, like teenage pregnancy, substance abuse and environmental damage, the project develops valuable skills for life beyond school. The experience of planning a project, presenting ideas and managing budgets will be relevant to many jobs.

A school's journey through YCAP

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What they learn
  • planning
  • teamwork
  • budgeting
  • civic responsibility
A big say in the future

Under 20s represent 40% of the population of South Africa (Statistics South Africa, 2013).

What people are saying


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Last Update: September 9, 2016
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