CAPE TOWN - Salesian Institute Street Youth Projects

Many of the youth we work with here in South Africa come from poor, crime-ridden communities. Education and skills training offer hope for these youth. The skills acquired while at the SIYP can break the cycle of poverty – in particular, when older youth are assisted with job placements that offer new and life-changing opportunities.

There are three main projects for youth at risk in the Greater Cape Town area. The projects are managed by a committed and skilled Board of Directors, Management Committee and staff consisting of Salesians who live on the premises and professionals from the corporate and education sectors.


propelling youth into the automotive elite

The “Porsche Project” is the latest addition to the SIYP programmes and is part of the Porsche After-Sales Vocational Education (PAVE) worldwide network that offers new opportunities to youth in the mechatronics arena. Mechatronics combines mechanical and electronic skills. The Cape Town programme offers a world-class Automotive Service Mechatronics Course that runs over three years.

The programme is being jointly implemented by the Salesian Institute Youth Projects and the local Porsche importer. This unique combination of competencies allows for a fantastic synergy where the Salesian and Porsche missions are jointly fulfilled. The life skills component prepares them for the world of work and community. The learning content equips the trainees to diagnose, repair and service the motor vehicles of today and tomorrow across the Volkswagen Group, which includes Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, Bentley and Lamborghini.


one-of-a-kind programme

Sea fishing is a large industry in South Africa, especially along the Western Cape coastline. The Salesian Institute Youth Projects realised the need for youth with very low levels of education, to be gainfully employed, in order to contribute towards the financial needs of their families and communities.

The objective of the Waves of Change (WOC) programme is to empower disadvantaged and unemployed youth between the ages of 18–35 years from Cape Town and surrounding areas by preparing them to find work in the maritime industry. This programme impacts directly on approximately 200 youth annually.

All the participants complete a 2-week life skills program and then go on to complete Safety and Familiarisation Courses, obtain their Medical Certificates, Seaman’s Record Book and other requirements to become seafarers. At the end of all training, participants not only have the hard skills employers require, but also the social skills needed to be successful and sought-after mariners.


a future for children and youth at risk

We designed the Learn to Live education programme specifically for vulnerable and at-risk children and youth. The School has been recognised as an independent school by the Western Cape Education Department. The programme provides basic education and skills training to youth at risk who, for a variety of socio-economic reasons, cannot cope in mainstream schooling. There are very few such schools. The school currently caters for learners aged 14 to 18 studying at various levels.

All learners participate in academic classes and skills workshops and receive a cooked meal each day. Approximately 240 children arrive daily from the various communities and shelters in and around Cape Town. The school has been running for 27 years. 90% of learners either graduate, continue education in a different facility, attract learnerships or find employment.


In all our work we seek to fulfil our purpose by offering hope, igniting self-respect, healing the past and forging new futures - all of which would be impossible without the extraordinary commitment of the staff and volunteers of the Salesian Institute Youth Projects, who absolutely believe in its mission.

There are many ways you can contribute to our work of restoring dignity to the lives of disadvantaged youth – all of them are most welcome.

How can you help?

Donations, sponsorship, organizing a fundraising event or volunteering are what keeps our programmes running. If you are able to help us, thank you and please go to out donations page and fill in the form.

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