The “Salesians” is a worldwide group of dedicated persons in more than 135 countries involved in the education and training of youth…. especially those in most need.  The  “Salesians” was founded by Saint John Bosco (Don Bosco). Click here to read more about Don Bosco

The Salesians in Southern Africa have schools and training centres in Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique and South Africa. To read more about the Salesians in South Africa, please click here

To read more about Salesians Worldwide, click here.

Dedicated to our young people – for more than a century

The Salesian Institute is dedicated to improving the lives of South Africa’s vulnerable youth. For more than a century we have been providing education, training, and emotional support for at-risk young people – a mission begun in the 19th century by the Salesian order founder Saint John Bosco (Don 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.

What makes us different:

Educating, empowering and improving employability for youth at risk with our ethos of reason, faith, love and respect.

South Africa’s youth is in crisis

Safeguarding and improving the lives of young people is a vital task in South Africa.

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the first quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate was 64% for those aged 15-24 and 42% for those aged 25-34 years, while the current official national rate stands at 35%. In the Western Cape province where Salesian Institute Youth Projects work, 44% of the population are young people under the age of 25.

Too many young people, do not have jobs or have given up looking for jobs, in the Western Cape. Nearly a third of them live in poverty, with one in five suffering severe deprivation.

Cape Town has a very high level of chronic homelessness, with 50% homeless, compared to 5% to 25% in other countries.

There are an estimated 14,357 street people in Cape Town, and many of them are young people.

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. Authentic education prepares the youth for productive engagement within the world of work. At the very least this is the ability to build and maintain a sustainable livelihood, preferably thriving, even flourishing livelihoods- requiring a state of work readiness that enables them to engage in value-adding and worthy transactions in the workplaces in which they find themselves. 

Providing job training and social skills for the 21st century


Our programmes include:

Learn to Live School of Skills (L2L)

A four-year programme providing basic education and vocational skills training for youth ages 14 to 18, who are no longer part of mainstream schooling.

Porsche Automotive Automotive Programme (PTRC-ZA)

Youth from socially disadvantaged backgrounds are trained as automotive service  technicians. This programme is being revised and will be updated early 2023.

Waves of Change Maritime Programme

The Waves of Change (WOC) Maritime programme empowers disadvantaged and unemployed youth between the ages of 18 to 35 years from Cape Town and surrounding areas, by preparing them to find employment in the maritime industry.   

NEETs Youth Employability Programme

The NEETs Youth Employability programme beneficiaries aged 18 to 26 are recruited from specific disadvantaged communities within the greater Cape Town area to create a tipping point of social change within the beneficiaries’ communities. The Programme is a 12-month programme consisting of 3 modules within a SAQA accredited New Ventures Course curriculum.

Read more about our Programmes 


Lifeskills training forms an integral part of ALL training programmes and aims to give at-risk youth self-confidence and social skills including basic skills like budgeting, 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, 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 form part of the training.

Project Based Learning (PBL)

Project Based Learning forms the foundation of our programmes within the Learn to Live School of Skills, as well as the NEETs Youth Employability Programme. PBL is an instructional approach designed to allow students to develop knowledge and skills through engaging projects set around challenges and problems they may face in the real world. Introducing the concept of PBL unlocks 21st-century competencies and solution-seeking mindsets so that the youth become employable, engaged, and entrepreneurial.

Click here to watch a brief explanation on PBL 

Our commitment remains to:

  • Enrich the lives of South Africa’s at-risk young people
  • Creating better futures for vulnerable youth

YOU can help us to reach our long-term goals

Please join us on this journey to make a life-changing difference in the lives of vulnerable young people who are deserving of our support and our care.  

Support Us

You can join our daily mass in the Salesian Institute Chapel at 2 Somerset Road, Green Point, Cape Town:

Monday to Fridays – 07h00

Saturdays – 07h30

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