Dedicated to our young people – for more than a century

The Salesian Institute is dedicated to improving the lives of South Africa’s vulnerable children and youth at risk. For more than a century we have been providing education, shelter and emotional support for at-risk young people – a mission begun in the 19th century by Salesian order founder St. John Bosco, who made it his life’s work to support children in need. It’s a mission we are living today, adapted to the unique needs of South Africa’s 21st century young people.

South Africa’s youth is in crisis

Safeguarding and improving the lives of young people is a vital task in South Africa. In the Western Cape province where we work, 44 percent of the population are young people under the age of 25. Nearly a third of them live in poverty, with one in five suffering severe deprivation.
In addition, recent studies have shown some half a million youths and children live on the streets of South Africa – 120,000 of them in the Western Cape province alone. And the trend is accelerating.

We transform youth at risk into successful citizens

The Salesian Institute serves vulnerable children and youth at risk regardless of religion, race, gender or nationality. We give them the skills they need to stay out of danger, find good jobs and lead happy lives. Each year we do this for the many young men and women in our programmes with a custom-tailored mix of basic education, vocational training, social skills, and neighbourhood outreach.

Providing job training and social skills for the 21st century

Our programmes include:

Learn to Live School of Skills(L2L):
Classes for children and youth who have dropped out of school or who do not have the skills to pass their matriculation exams, including: woodcraft and timber, electrical, hairdressing and hospitality studies.

The Porsche Training and Recruitment Centre – South Africa, is the newest addition to the Salesian Institute Youth Projects. This exciting project was launched in 2017 with the first pilot class of 28 male and female students. Over three academic years, a total of 75 men and women from socially disadvantaged backgrounds will be trained as automotive service mechatronics technicians.

Life Skills

Life skills classes to give at-risk youth self-confidence and social skills plus basic home skills like budgeting: this includes self-actualisation, self-confidence building, interview skills, communication, cultural diversity awareness, relationship building, motivation and problem solving, time management, stress management, conflict resolution, peer pressure, interview skills, gender and domestic violence sensitisation, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS awareness, goal setting, trust building and positive thinking.
Job search and placement services.

We are in it for the long haul

Our commitment to enriching the lives of South Africa’s at-risk young people is long-standing and long-term. It must be: creating better futures for vulnerable children and youth at risk is not an overnight process. Can you help us reach our long-term goals?  Please join us on this journey to make a life changing difference to the lives of vulnerable youth who are deserving of our support and our care.

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