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.

Youth Employment Skills (YES):
Vocational classes for older youth to learn in-demand trade skills like bricklaying, PC repair, computer literacy and office management, sewing and food preparation.

Waves of Change (WOC):
Assistance to young men and woman between the ages of 18 and 30, that want to obtain training to prepare them for work at sea, gaining employment in the fishing industry.

Salesian Outreach
We give innovative, customised support for at-risk youth.

Our community outreach program, works with prisons, schools, other NGO’s and NPO’s, to develop Partnerships that will allow them to find those most in need and bring them into the programmes, as well as support those who are in danger of falling into real trouble.

Sometimes this is a hard sell for youth who have experienced drugs, crime, gangsterism, physical and mental abuse and domestic violence on a daily basis. Once a young man or woman decides to participate, we develop a programme to address their specific needs, working with government agencies as well as our own staff of 12 experienced teachers, facilitators and counsellors to put together a fully-rounded programme of support, education and training. Our work is to fill gaps in education and provide a stable, safe environment for learning and growth. And when their time with us is over, we support them with resumé-writing, job counselling and placement services – for as long as they need it.

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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