• November 29, 2018
  • Seithuto Seakgwa
  • SOS Projects


YouthCan! is a global partnership that supports young people at SOS Children’s Villages to successfully manage the transition from school to independent adulthood.

The risk of labour market and social exclusion is especially high for young people at risk of losing parental care or who have already lost it. They lack support networks and positive role models, skills training and work experience. Young people, who grow up without the care of their families, often leave the care system ill-equipped to compete effectively on the labour market. Many of them are unemployed, pursue precarious employment conditions, and are exposed to a high risk of poverty.

The initiative is developed for young people between 15-25 years of age who are currently participating in SOS programmes. When possible, young people from local communities and other child care organisations will also be offered the opportunity to join the initiative.

The Objective

YouthCan! follows the successful Deutsche Post DHL Group – SOS Children’s Villages Global partnership model and aims to:

  1. Create direct opportunities for young people to be more employable by empowering them with knowledge and relevant skills and offering them opportunities based on market needs and their capabilities.

  2. Build an action-centred practitioners network of existing and new corporate partners to visibly increase the measurable impact of corporate partnerships on youth unemployment and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  3. Grow the platform of corporate partners who come together for an increased impact on youth unemployment through sharing and leveraging successful initiatives and market expertise.

  4. Exchange learnings to scale up successful initiatives and working models, making good practices replicable and increasing the joint impact.

  5. Create evidence-based research that can be shared to improve youth employability practices on national and global level.

  6. Inspire and invite other global and local actors to replicate the model.

The areas YouthCan! can cover are:

  1. Orientation: Volunteers/ employees act as mentors for guidance and job orientation; for example, by providing a soft skills training.
  2. Access: Volunteers render information and orientation about application and recruitment procedures, train participants in critical skills, i.e.: CV-writing, computer skills, language development, interview trainings, goal setting, emotional intelligence and career planning.
  3. Professional and technical training: Vocational training, tertiary education, career development. Training on ICT skills or language skills, guidance on virtual calls and messages exchange.
  4. Expose young people to professional work environments, i.e.: Internships, apprenticeships, job shadowing and other opportunities that facilitate practical experience.
  5. Platforms and information: Job fairs, job and business networks and access to other relevant stakeholders
  6. Entrepreneurship training: Entrepreneurship and seed funding are options to be explored.
  7. Motivation: Share your employees’personal and work experience through webinars,video recording on a day in your job, etc. Inspire young people to join the job force.
  8. Readiness: Volunteers support SOS young people in preparing for an interview,review and advise on their CVs and motivation letters, share templates, recreate a job interview, or train on emotional intelligence and career planning.
  9. Intelligent volunteering: Share your skills in a certain domain that relates to your job: administration, accounting, logistics, secretariat, etc.

Outcomes of the YouthCan! Project since March 2017

  1. youth attended painting training and they all completed AkzoNobel – Vocational training for 14 youth took place from February 2018 to July 2018 and they all did well and are now awaiting for their results
  2. One programme took 30 youth for take a girl child to work and they did a tour at the local municipalities’ procurements site, local water purification station, fire station and local mine.
  3. DHL GoTeach Programme 40 youth participated in a week of activities (7 Inland Programmes) 20 youth (from Cape Town SOS CV) participated in GoTeach Activities in Cape Town and 3 Youth are in their second year of an internship at DGF Cape Town.

SOS Children’s Villages South Africa YouthCan! Partners:

  1. DHL Deutsche Group – The GoTeach – Mentoring Program for SOS SA youth, 14 years upwards
  2. Akzo Nobel – Professional Painting Training
  3. Schwarzkopf – Intro-mid level Hair Dressing Training Program for select SOS SA youth
  4. Dept. Higher Education & Training – Provide strategic KHETHA Career Dev. Services) (CDS) to SOS SA youth as well as open for the general public via SOS SA.
  5. DOKA South Africa – A Mentorship Program
  6. Youth Career Initiative (YCI)- An entry-level training in the Hospitality industry for select SOS SA youth, who will be trained (and hopefully placed) at their associate hotel groups.
  7. L’Oréal (Dark‘n Lovely Academy) – A Hair Dressing Learnership program for select SOS SA Ennerdale & Mamelodi youth.
  8. Continental Tyres – Education programmes focused on Port Elizabeth
  9. HSBC – Education programmes for Qwa Qwa and Sekhukhune Social centres
  10. Western Union- Funding of educational programmes.
  11. Johnson & Johnson – Funding youth employabilitiy activities Africa
  12. African Youth Montorship Network (AYMN) – A mentorship programme that aims to build emotionally intelligent, socially responsible and self confident young boys.