Johannesburg, South Africa
The mission of YouthBuild South Africa (YBSA) is to mobilize young people who are not in education, employment or training to improve their lives and their communities. YBSA has been the lead implementing partner of the adapted YouthBuild program in South Africa since 2001, when the program was launched through a partnership with the Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF). YBSA now operates education and training programs in Soweto, Germiston in Johannesburg, and in Durban.
Since 2016, YBSA and Saint-Gobain Corporation — a Paris-based global corporation that is the largest supplier of building materials in the world — have jointly operated the Saint-Gobain YouthBuild Academy, located adjacent to one of Johannesburg’s largest informal settlements. The Academy trains student for industry-recognized credentials while focusing on character development, service to others, and citizenship to create well-prepared, ethical workers with a commitment to “ubuntu,” the local tradition of service and generosity.
I appreciate team YouthBuild for giving me a lifetime opportunity,” said Japhta, a 2019 graduate. “The staff at YouthBuild never turned their backs on me. Thank you for the opportunity that you gave me. It really means a lot, and it has changed me to become a better person. You really changed my life.
All YBSA students and graduates are called to provide leadership in their communities, through their participation in community asset building projects. Students have built low cost housing, and made upgrades to schools and green spaces.
“I am successful because of YouthBuild,” said Xolane, a student in the 2019 cohort. “I am employed and have my driver’s license through the motivation and support from YouthBuild staff.”
“I never thought that people believed in giving others second chances, but YouthBuild did,” said Segono, a student in the 2020 cohort. “I never thought it would be possible. YouthBuild is a life changer.”
In total, more than 2,500 opportunity youth have been served by YouthBuild South Africa.