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Charity profile


Our mission is to provide for the physical, educational, and spiritual needs of youth at risk through the provision of education, counselling, recreation, and training, in a professional, caring, and secure environment. We honour Don Bosco’s calling to serve the youth and to build hope, open hearts and transform minds – creating a mission that today represents one of the biggest youth development programmes in the world.” – Salesian Institute Youth Projects Board & Management


a future for children and youth at risk

The school caters for learners aged 14 to 18 from at-risk backgrounds.

The Learn to Live School offers an integrated approach for youth, who due to their socio-economic circumstances, cannot gain access to, or cope with mainstream schooling. Learn to Live School of Skills follows Project-Based Learning (PBL) the primary teaching and learning methodology. This teaching methodology allows the school to cater more effectively to the needs of our learners, as it aligns well with the expectation of the workplace.

The Learn to Live Programme is very much vocationally driven – our vision is to prepare and equip learners to function in the workplace and when they cannot be immediately placed in a job, our learners should have the confidence and skills to create their own jobs and future.

LIFESKILLS forms an integral part of our learning programme.

The Learn to Live School is a 4-year programme. Our Learn-to-Live graduates either continue with learnerships, find jobs, start their small businesses or join one of our other Programmes.

The current vocational workshops on offer are:
1. Hospitality
2.         Hairdressing
3.         Electrical
4.         Woodwork & Timber

CHILD PROTECTION is a priority, and a strict child protection policy is adhered to and followed by all staff and volunteers at the institute.


propelling youth into the automotive elite

The Porsche Programme is currently being revised. An updated new Porsche Programme will be shared in early 2023.


facilitating training for the maritime industry

Sea fishing is a large industry in South Africa, especially along the Western Cape coastline. The Salesian Institute Youth Projects realised the need for youth with low levels of education to be gainfully employed to contribute to the financial needs of their families and communities. The Cape Town harbour is on our doorstep, with a result we partnered with large sea fishing companies in the sector as well as various training Institutions that have accreditation and approved by SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority)  providers in the sector to train young men and women ages 18 to 35 from disadvantaged backgrounds.

All the participants complete a 10-day Lifeskills Programme and then go on to complete Safety and Familiarisation Courses, including Personal Survival Techniques, and obtain their SAMSA Medical Certificates, and (seafarer’s record book and certificates of discharge) which are requirements to become seafarers. Some of these costs are covered by the Institute if enough funding is available, alternatively, the beneficiaries must cover some of the costs.

The maritime industry affords these youngsters a career path, something they cannot easily access in other sectors due to their low level of education & socioeconomic circumstances. The objective of the WOC project is to empower disadvantaged and unemployed youth between the ages of 18–35 years from Cape Town and surrounding areas by preparing them to find work in the maritime industry.

For those women who find the idea of working at sea daunting, due to its immense physical requirements, the Waves of Change Programme is offering a specific course to women interested in sewing:


This newly acquired programme is a 3-month course at the Salesian Institute Youth Projects, teaching females of Cape Town and surrounds who can read and write hand-sewing and machine-sewing techniques. The course starts with two weeks Lifeskills course, followed by a three months sewing course that will enable participants to sew basic garments for their use or to generate income through a home-based business.


21st Century training for the 21st century needs

NEET is the term in use for youth ages 18 to 26 not in employment, education, or training.

SIYP aims to provide a critical service to NEETs through an intervention strategy combining Lifeskills Training with Vocational Skill Training, packaged in an innovative approach to student-centred education through a project-based learning methodology. NEETs youth are empowered through re-engagement with learning, the development of entrepreneurial skills, and exposure to workplace experiences.

In line with Learn to Live’s Project-based-learning approach, it adopts the same platform to develop work readiness for youth at risk that have not completed their basic education.

The emphasis is on the design and facilitation of high-quality learning experiences that are relevant to learners in today’s rapidly changing technology-driven world.

The NEETS beneficiaries are recruited from specific disadvantaged communities within the greater Cape Town area to create a tipping point of social change within the beneficiaries’ communities.

This is a SAQA-accredited in-house programme with a National Certificate in New Venture Creations, via the Services SETA completed over 12 months consisting of three modules:

Module 1 - Foundation Module (30 weeks)
Learning takes place on-site at the Salesian Institute Youth Projects premises in Greenpoint, Cape Town. The first 2 weeks concentrate on orientation and Lifeskills, whereas the coverage of core academic modules is focused on preparing students for learning.

Module 2 - Internship in Social Enterprises (6 weeks)
Learning takes place within community-based projects that address key needs, engage with social responsibility and develop their understanding of good citizenship. Project management and action learning are key outcomes of this module.

In Module 3 – Organisation Module (12 weeks)
Workplace learning takes place within a partner organisation of choice, developing organisational and work literacy skills. SIYP partners with various entrepreneur skill-driven industries: Insurance; Food & Beverage and Wholesale/Retail.

Supporting the skills training and employment of these unskilled, young individuals will empower them to lead active, productive, and successful lives, thereby counteracting inequality, and elevating destitute communities out of poverty.