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Social entrepreneurship skills are the gateway to preparing South Africa’s future leaders in eradicating domestic and international problems, with the annual Youth Citizens Action Programme (Y-CAP) providing the ideal platform for manifesting active citizenry, says Amanda Blankfield-Koseff, CEO of Empowervate Trust, which runs Y-CAP.

The programme is implemented in over 700 public schools nationally in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education. The programme provides young leaders with project management, social entrepreneurship and life skills through the Y-CAP Toolkit and workshops. It also gives them a platform to showcase their impactful and sustainable projects at district, provincial and national level.

“Over the years the programme has seen so many innovative solutions stemming out of this country’s young people. Now in its tenth year, and 2019 being a national election year, we anticipate even more schools not only participating but coming up with creative ways that showcase leadership and a passionate desire to change both their communities and country for the better,” says Blankfield-Koseff.

Entries for this year’s programme are open to all primary and secondary public South African schools and will be closing on February 28. The district eliminations will take place in May, with provincials being held in Youth Month. The national event will take place during Mandela month at the end of July, where the National Champions whose were the most impactful and sustainable will be announced.

“Last year’s winners focused on food security projects, ensuring the 9,2 million learners fed by the country’s National Nutrition Programme were managed effectively and had the best nutrition during school hours.  They believe their food security solutions will help their peers cope academically and live a well-balanced life,” Blankfield-Koseff says.

The incentives include certificates, trophies, tablets, phones, and prize money to enable the projects to grow and develop.

“This year will be our biggest year yet, with over 7000 learners set to be taking part. Our sponsors and various partnerships have allowed us to reach over 36 865 learners since the programme’s inception 10 years ago, but more can always be done. Our reach and that of the learners is only limited by the number of resources we have access to,” Blankfield-Koseff says.

Empowervate partners up with a corporate on their BBBEE agenda to help primary and high school learners transform their lives through funding and fostering a social entrepreneurial mindset at an early age. The programme empowers young people to be active citizens, Blankfield-Koseff explains.

The programme’s major sponsors through the Empowervate Trust include Deutsche Bank South Africa Foundation and DSV Mounties.

“Anyone who has spent any amount of time around children will know how dynamic their imaginations are, and how vast their potential can be. Y-CAP aims to harness and direct all that greatness into creating actual solutions to real problems. This world’s future leaders are here now, so why not encourage them to take action to succeed from a young age, and in turn watch them improve all our lives in the future,” Blankfield-Koseff concludes.

To apply to take part in the 2019 Y-CAP competition please download the application form from

Or to make a monthly contribution to the empowerment of youth across the country, join the 99 Action Club

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