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“You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you” – John Bunyan

“When a child loses a parent, it disrupts their foundation—their sense of security and safety, having secure attachments, having his/her parent provide everything that parents provide. That all gets blown to pieces when a child loses a parent.”

“Children who have experienced complex trauma often have difficulty identifying, expressing, and managing emotions, they often internalize and/or externalize stress reactions and as a result may experience significant depression, anxiety, or anger, carrying into adulthood.” (

The learners attending the Learn to Live School of Skills at the Salesian Institute Youth Projects, are between the ages of 14 and 18 and come from impoverished communities in Cape Town where abandonment and violence is a daily way of life. Single-parent households are more than often than not the norm. These youth are no longer accommodated in mainstream educational facilities and do not have the resources to better their lives.

The Salesian Institute Youth Projects takes these youth in, providing a safe, stable environment for learning. Vocational skills training forms part of the 4-year programme which included Life Skills & mentorship. Daily meals and transport assistance are provided, with a clear goal: to facilitate learning and employment opportunities. To offer an alternative to living in fear and a continued sense of loss and hopelessness. To facilitate sustainable livelihoods and break the cycle of poverty.

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Salesian Institute Youth Projects (SIYP), has a rich 109-year history in Cape Town serving the needs of youth at risk by providing education and skills development training to those who do not have the opportunities to access education or training. This, in turn, facilitates employment in a country with appalling unemployment rates, particularly in this age group. Current figures indicate that nearly a third of the youth in the country live in poverty with an official youth unemployment rate of 55%!



Learn to Live School of Skills Programme

The Learn to Live School of Skills is a programme specifically for vulnerable and at-risk children and youth. The School has been recognised as an independent school of skills 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 Learn to Live School  currently caters for learners aged 14 to 18 studying at various levels.

Porsche Service Mechatronics Programme

The “Porsche Project” or PTRC-ZA, 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.

The Cape Town programme offers an Automotive Service Mechatronics Course running over two years. The programme is being jointly implemented by the Salesian Institute Youth Projects and the local Porsche importer.


There is an urgent need to assist NEETs, the term used for youth between the ages of 18 and 25 NOT in employment education or training. SIYP has developed a 12-month programme for this age group which will in essence be portfolio based and a WORK READINESS PROGRAMME.  Youth will be skilled to enter employment, establish their own entrepreneurial ventures, and ultimately establish a sustainable livelihood for themselves. This will have a positive effect on their immediate families and greater communities, forming a critical mass.

In all our work we seek to fulfil our purpose by offering hope, igniting self-respect, healing the past and forging a new future. We want to address youth unemployment head on.

To sustain our current programmes and launch the Youth Work Readiness Programme for the age group 18 to 25 – SIYP requires urgent funding.

Our work ultimately facilitates youth employment, creating hope, a more stable society and sustainable livelihoods.

We are seeking support and funding to continue doing so.

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