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 and social skills.

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.

Porsche Automotive Mechatronics Programme (PTRC-ZA)

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. Over three academic years, a total of 75 men and women from socially disadvantaged backgrounds will be trained as automotive service mechatronics technicians.

Waves of Change Programme

 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.    

NEETs Employability Programme

The NEETS programme is   relatively new and offers education in an innovative and engaging pedagogy. In line with Learn to Live’s Project-based learning (PBL)  approach.

The NEETS beneficiaries (who are aged 18 to 26) are recruited from specific disadvantaged communities within the greater Cape Town area in order to create a critical mass tipping point of social change within the beneficiaries’ communities.

The Programme is a 12-month programme consisting of 3 modules.

Read more about our Programmes   

Life Skills

Life Skills classes aims 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.

CV writing, job search and interview skills forms part of the training.

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 cares. 

Join Us

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