Entrepreneurship for 27 Prisoners in South Africa

by The Message Trust South Africa


We believe every young person has the God-given talent & potential to flourish. Young people in South Africa face enormous socio-economic challenges such as high rates of unemployment, crime & gangsterism. This results in many young people ending up in South African prisons & losing purpose for their lives. MEP is a holistic 1 year entrepreneurship programme that works with juvenile offenders economically, spiritually, emotionally and socially, preparing each offender for pre and post release.
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Overcrowding, prison gangs & lack of rehabilitation programs have contributed to the cycle of crime and high recidivism rate in South Africa, which ranges between 65-85%. Additionally, South Africa has the third highest youth employment rate in the world (45%), which contributes to juvenile offenders struggling to find employment once released. All these contribute to preventing the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of juvenile offenders who will benefit directly from MEP.


MEP provides an intensive entrepreneurial course in prison to help prepare youth offenders for employment and provide opportunities to incubate their own businesses once released on parole. MEP will provide a foundation for young men prior to release and The Message Trust Aftercare and Enterprise programs will continue to assist young men once released. The programme provides a through care process including training and mentoring offenders in prison through to their release and employment.

Long-Term Impact

MEP beneficiaries are equipped & trained with the tools to gain employment & not re-offend. This brings healing & restoration to the individual, the family & the community. One of the most exciting elements of MEP is that graduates become positive role models to the next generation of youth in disadvantaged communities, preventing youth from crime & gangsterism. 25 offenders are directly impacted including their families and indirectly thousands of youth that our MEP graduates speak to each year

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


Message Entrepreneurship Website
The Message Trust website.
Our enterprise strategy for ex-offenders

Organization Information

The Message Trust South Africa

Location: Cape Town - South Africa
Website: http:/​/​www.message.org.za
Project Leader:
Mark Slessenger
Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa
$5,394 raised of $80,000 goal
46 donations
$74,606 to go
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