Youth are central to Africa's growth. With a large youth population often seen as an burden, Africa Matters is committed to transforming this population into an opportunity for African prosperity. Created for youth by youth, the Schools Leadership Development Program upskills youth between 11-18 years old in rural and urban communities on leadership, soft and social entrepreneurship skills over a four-week program in schools in South Africa and Senegal. We aim to reach 10 000 students.
The SLDP was created in response to two problems: 1. Africa's Emerging Youth Demographic - This population should be harnessed by investing in the education and training of youth at a young age promotes earlier impact initiatives. 2. Gap in Fundamental skills needed by youth - Schools do not often teach youth critical skills needed for society and economic growth including leadership, soft skills and social entrepreneurship. For Africa to thrive, we need critical skills possessed by our youth.
This project upskills and empowers youth with critical skills. The 1st module "Youth Leadership within Africa" explores questions like "What is a leader, who is a leader?" The 2nd module covers the critical soft skills, including public speaking, teamwork, critical thinking and conflict resolution. Social Entrepreneurship, the 3rd module, educates youth about social entrepreneurship in Africa and teaches them how to identify solutions to community problems. Lastly, a pitch combines all learning
The benefits of this project are tangible. One student pitched a school vegetable garden idea to provide underprivileged students with food, and is currently implementing this in her school in Ekurhuleni Johannesburg. We need more youth. The project will upskill 10 000 youth with skills and knowledge to start social enterprises to address community problems. Through starting at a young age, the trajectory of their communities are destined to improve. We are the ones we've been waiting for.