The Journey Continues: Umzi Wethu Training Academy for Vulnerable Youth

Publication date

22 Sep 2015

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This case study documents the replication of the model for the Umzi Wethu Training Academy for Vulnerable Youth from its roots in Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, to three venues in the Eastern and Western Cape. Umzi Wethu means 'our home' in Xhosa.

Umzi Wethu offers a 'hand up' rather than a 'handout'. The year-long programme provides comprehensive skills training and guaranteed job placement; at the same time it incorporates health and wellness training, counselling, and wilderness excursions, all within a residential environment. In the words of its founder, 'Umzi Wethu is able to transform vulnerable youth into confident, self-assured individuals working within the formal eco-tourism and hospitality sector.'

The document describes the replication of the model through the words of the author and of the founder, of the team at the Academies in Stellenbosch and Somerset East, of students, of graduates and of employees. There are sections on expanding Umzi Wethu's reach, its implementation through its four core pillars and two case stidies outlining the replication.

This document is one of a number of publications highlighting NGO good practice and innovations from partner organizations supported by Oxfam in South Africa.