Our Programs

Assets-based training & support to activate, inspire & sustain economically active, socially responsible citizens.

We seek to reverse negative trends affecting youth by focusing on building the inherent assets of young people through social innovation and entrepreneurship. We want to create effective leaders – people who have the desire and ability to identify and access opportunities for a more positive future. Through our leadership programs, youth develop the skills that lead to future employment success and a lasting impact in their communities.

Our program curricula focuses on developing the social and emotional skills that have been associated with future employment success, social responsibility and personal well-being.  91% of enke “graduates” are in education or employment, compared with a national average of 69%. We do this through leadership programs for high school youth, for post-school youth, and specialised services.

Trailblazer
for High School Youth

The enke: Trailblazer Program inspires and supports Grade 10 and 11 high school youth to create real change in their communities. Participants design and run projects to address the social issues they feel passionate about. Through this experience, participants increase their grit, social responsibility, self-efficacy and social capital, while gaining practical experience in project management and leadership.

Through the Trailblazer Program, we introduce high school students to other like-minded, passionate and enthusiastic young people. Participants learn skills that will help them achieve their dreams and use these skills to design and run a project in their community. Participants walk away from the experience having made an impact on their communities and inspired to continue to make change happen.

This is a national program that encourages participation from youth from every province in South Africa and beyond. We have had youth from as far as Windhoek, Namibia and Nairobi, Kenya, participate in the Program!

The program has 3 key components: Training, Action and Recognition:

  1. Training @ the enke: Forum – The Trailblazer Program kicks off with a week of residential training known as the enke: Forum. Content covers personal leadership development and a guided process through which each participant develops a Community Action Project (CAP) to address a social issue.  In addition, this is accomplished through youth-to-youth program delivery, inspirational guest speakers and individual feedback.
  2. Action & Support – The Community Action Project (CAP) each participant designs at the Forum is the main focus of the program. A CAP is totally designed, owned and executed by the participant, and they carry it out over the 9 months of the program, in any community they choose, addressing a social challenge they face, with whatever creative idea they come up with.
  3.  
  4. Recognition – The enke: Trailblazer Program concludes with a one-day celebration event where participants can reconnect with their peers, reflect on their experience and be recognised for their effort.  Trailblazers also receive letters and certificates of recognition and completion for their work.

Participants learn skills that they can use in other parts of their lives; at school, when applying for a job or for
university and generally in the future. Also, if they can talk about what they learned as they ran (or tried to run!) a project then it will look good on CVs and in job or scholarship and bursary interviews. By designing and running their own Community Aation Project participants develop practical skills (planning, problem solving, resource management, resource mobilisation, team management) and non-cognitive skills (grit, social awareness, self-efficacy).

The Program has long-term positive effect on the future of Trailblazers. In 2014 we conducted research on our alumni (past participants), which showed:

  • Those who complete a community social action project are more likely to show higher levels of ‘soft’ skills, practical project skills and social support.
  • Rates of further education and employment were higher in enke alumni when compared to national averages.
  • Those who began a social action project (regardless of finishing it) are approximately three times more likely to be engaged in volunteering or self-directed social entrepreneurial efforts.
  • It doesn’t end there! Program Participants have gone on to leverage their experience to receive scholarships, bursaries, awards, and recognition such as in the M&G 200 Young South Africans or enter prestigious programs such as African Leadership Academy.

Participants in our Programs go on to join our Alumni Network, accessing opportunities and support on an ongoing basis from enke: Make Your Mark.

Creating real, positive change is how young people can make their mark. Using skills they learn at Forum, participants will be able to take action on the issues they feel passionately about and have real impact on a social issue and create a better future for South Africa. Young people don’t have to just sit back and inherit the world – we can actually be part of creating it. All too often we hear about “future” leaders – but at enke, we believe that youth can be leaders right now.

Examples of Trailblazer Community Action Projects (CAP):

  • In 2009, Maja and TK started an Each-One-Teach-One peer tutoring project at their school that contributed to increasing their Grade 11 pass rate from 67% to 90% in a 6-month period – Read TK and Maja’s Story of Impact
  • In 2015, Lwazi implemented a project to improve educational outcomes in his school. He built a team of peers with whom he ran homework classes for those struggling with school work and worked with their school management and the local government to bring their school library back to life – Read Lwazi’s Story of Impact
  • For her 2016 Trailblazer CAP, Chenoa started the “Cuddle Angels” project, collecting thousands of teddy bears and toys to donate to orphanages and homes in Durban and Johannesburg – Read Chenoa’s Story of Impact

The snapshots above are just a few examples of the over 700 social impact and enterprise projects run by high school learners through the enke: Trailblazer Program.

To become an enke: Trailblazer, Grade 10 and 11 high school learners must apply to participate!

Application periods, deadlines and detailed information is made available on our Opportunities Page. Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates.

Selection Criteria
We are looking for young people who want to part of something really cool, interested in developing their leadership skills, meeting other young people from across South Africa who share similar interest in developing themselves and making their communities better. The program is open to youth from all races and backgrounds – we want to connect all youth to each other.

We consider the following criteria for selection:

  • Desire to build realise leadership potential through active participation in their school, church, or other community group.
  • Strong ability to interact and communicate with peers.
  • Knowledge of community, political and social issues.
  • A desire to learn the skills to make change happen.
  • English fluency and understanding as the program is delivered in English

Ignition
for Post-Secondary & Recent Graduates

The enke: Ignition Program is a specialized volunteer program designed for young adults 18-30 years old. Participants commit to an action-oriented volunteer program where they gain practical skills in leadership, facilitation youth coaching, and gain exposure to professional and personal development opportunities.

In the enke: Ignition Program participants receive training and gain key skills such as leadership, self-awareness, presentation, communication, and facilitation. Youth are exposed to influential individuals and peers, accumulate volunteer hours (minimum 140 hours) and facilitation experience. They also mentor high school learners (in the Trailblazer Program) to develop projects of social action to improve their communities.

Youth leave the program transformed: with the skills, experiences, and self-belief to achieve their goals, and the networks, connections and capacity to progress into the workforce.

There are 2 Key Components of the Ignition Program: 

  • Training @ the Ignition Program Training Retreat  4-day in-person residential training camp focused on building personal leadership and facilitation skills
  • Engagement with Igniter Online Training Assessments –  Weekly assessments of practical actions to build facilitation skills over 3 months which are completed online

  • Volunteer Action – enke: Forum Program Delivery: Those who participate in training and actively engage in online assignments may be selected to be enke: Igniters, who will apply their skills in training and mentoring high school youth in the enke: Trailblazer Program Training Retreat – the enke: Forum.

Through the Program participants will:

  • Receive training and gain key skills such as leadership, self-awareness, presentation, communication, and facilitation.
  • Be exposed to leading South African corporates and influential individuals and peers.
  • Accumulate volunteer hours (minimum 140 hours).
  • Mentor high school learners to develop projects of social action to improve their communities.
  • Receive recognition in the form of letters and certificates.
  • Join the exclusive enke: Make Your Mark Alumni Network – a network of diverse youth who are passionate about their own development and that of others.

To participate in the Program, youth must be:

  • Between the ages 18-30 years old
  • Currently enrolled in university, college (FET or TVET) or any recognized post-secondary bridging programme
  • Passionate about making a difference, want to build their resume with volunteer experience, or looking for an experience to expand their networks and skills.
  • must commit to all program dates which are available on our website
  • Having previous facilitation experience is a bonus
  • Able to commit to all program activities

How to Apply

Catalyst
for Out of School & Unemployed Youth

Catalyst is for young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs). The program is a 25-week (6 month) experience in personal development, enterprise and guided coaching for professional development to increase the likelihood of conversion to employment, enterprise, education or training. Catalyst is designed to support youth to self-determine, define, achieve their goals and successfully enter into employment, education, enterprise or training.

Our goals with this program is to:

    • Contribute to reducing the youth NEET rate to <30% by 2030.
    • Break the continuum of hopelessness of out-of-school, post-school youth by rebuilding their self-belief and resilience through training, practical experience and inspiration.
    • Inspire and support a bias toward entrepreneurship and innovation by helping young people develop the skills, networks and desire to identify and access opportunity.
    • Provide an intervention that is accessible for post-school non-Matriculants to improve their futures.

      What’s included

      • 6 months intensive skill building experience
      • Lunch, tea/coffee and snack at every workshop day
      • Take home & online resources
      • Dedicated support person who is with you every step of the way

      Participants learn skills that they can use in other parts of their lives; at school, when applying for a job or for
      university and generally in the future. Also, if they can talk about what they learned as they ran (or tried to run!) a project then it will look good on CVs and in job or scholarship and bursary interviews. By designing and running their own Community Aation Project participants develop practical skills (planning, problem solving, resource management, resource mobilisation, team management) and non-cognitive skills (grit, social awareness, self-efficacy).

      The Program has long-term positive effect on the future of Trailblazers. In 2014 we conducted research on our alumni (past participants), which showed:

      Those who complete a community social action project are more likely to show higher levels of ‘soft’ skills, practical project skills and social support.
      Rates of further education and employment were higher in enke alumni when compared to national averages.
      Those who began a social action project (regardless of finishing it) are approximately three times more likely to be engaged in volunteering or self-directed social entrepreneurial efforts.
      It doesn’t end there! Program Participants have gone on to leverage their experience to receive scholarships, bursaries, awards, and recognition such as in the M&G 200 Young South Africans or enter prestigious programs such as African Leadership Academy.

      Participants in our Programs go on to join our Alumni Network, accessing opportunities and support on an ongoing basis from enke: Make Your Mark.

      To participate youth must:

      • Be between 18-34 years old
      • Have a Matric certificate
      • Unemployed / Out of School for at least 5 months
      • Reside in Johannesburg (Kliptown or Kagiso)
      • Commit to expectations & program activities

      Expectations of participants

      • Commit to attend all program activities, and complete the associated tasks.
      • Attend all training sessions which take place on weekdays & weekends
      • Note that the program is run in English, thus comfort with working in English is expected.
      • Be open to a different way of approaching your future success

      How to Apply

      • Application Status: Currently Closed – not taking new applications
      • Visit our Facebook Page or check our Opportunities Page for updates.
      • For more information about the enke: Catalyst Program, please email catalyst@enke.co.za
      • Leadership needs to be nurtured and programs such as enke are a necessary and effective way of growing responsible leaders. Key to enke’s offering is social consciousness, which stimulates a solution- seeking mentality for everyday ordinary challenges. The program not only focuses on thinking, but encourages and supports action aimed at ensuring that young people become the change they would like to see in their communities – this is a very important ingredient in a vibrant society.”

        Setlogane Manchidi

        Head of Corporate Social Investment, Investec
      • I am continuously excited at collaborating with like-minded individuals to engage, inspire and connect young people to their inherent potential as active citizens. We have much to do to ensure that our youth are equipped to embrace the future. Through the work of enke and its strategic partnerships we will continue to do our part in offering programmes to aid youth led community projects, entrepreneurship development and creating spaces for positive social change.

        Chrischar Rock

        enke Board Chairperson
      • enke has shown me that young people are capable of achieving amazing things right now – not ‘in the future’ – but right now. Remembering that there is a network of young people doing big things in their community helps me put aside any self-doubt I have (especially when people gasp at my age)

        Kiara Ramklass

        Trailblazer & Ignition Alumna, Founder & CEO of Marimba Jamenke

      Join us in creating lasting change and skills development for youth in Africa

      About enke

      enke is a leadership development organisation that generates and incubates youth-led social change. We connect, equip and inspire youth to realise their potential, thrive and mobilise for meaningful change.

      • – Non-Profit Company Reg.: 2010/0231851/08
      • – Dept. of Social Development Reg.: NPO 132-509
      • – SARS Public Benefit Org. Reg.: 9300/37429

      Partner with us in creating opportunities for youth to find and succeed in their chosen life pathways.

      Contact Us

      Address: 7th Floor South Point Corner, 87 De Korte Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa

      Phone: +27-11-403-1241 / +27-11-403-1243

      Email: more@enke.co.za