2016 enke Forum JHB Group

"The biggest learning from my enke experience is that no matter where you come from – whether rich or poor – you can make an amazing difference to those around you!” - Gareth Kieck, Trailblazer Class of 2012, Ignition Program 2014-15

The enke: Trailblazer Program

The enke: Trailblazer Program inspires and supports young people 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.

Program Benefits

Participation in the Program has impact on the individual and their community. 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.

How the Program Works:

The Trailblazer Program has 3 key components:

  1. Training at the enke: ForumParticipants attend the enke: Forum – a week-long, residential retreat. Participants develop leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills; hear from inspirational speakers and experts in fields such as entrepreneurship, technology, media and the environment.
  2. Social Action: Running a Community Action Project allows participants to learn by doing (experiential learning). Through this process, participants develop key skills in project design and management. Over the 9 month period, enke provides technical and emotional support for participants through our trouble-shooting hotline and monthly SMS reports.
  3. Recognition:  We recognize the effort that all participants put into the program – even where a community action project isn’t completed. All participants who start a project are invited to regional celebration events.  In addition, top projects are awarded prizes and all participants receive a certificate and letter of recognition.

Download the Trailblazer Program Information Booklet to for more details.


Read about the wonderful work of enke: Trailblazers....

Interested in Getting Involved?

Check out our Opportunities Page for information about open Applications and processes.

Also check our Facebook Page and Twitter for regular updates.


The 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:

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


The value of the enke: Trailblazer Program is R10,000 per participant. Thanks to the generous support of our funding partners, we are able to offer this opportunity for a participation fee of R3,000 per person or for free for participants who qualify for participation fee waivers.

This includes:

  • Accommodation and meals for the enke: Forum and Celebration Event
  • Intensive training to improve skills in leadership, communication, resilience and self-awareness
  • Hands-on practical experience with designing and implementing a project
  • Take home materials and information resources
  • Dedicated support over the nine-month program
  • Recognition letters and certificates for completing the Program

We offer bursaries to cover program fees for exceptional applicants. Priority for bursaries is given to youth with financial difficulties, those from under-resourced schools (annual fees less than R5000), as well as youth identified by our implementation partners.

School & Community Partnerships in the Trailblazer Program

We believe that it takes a village to raise a child. We actively partner with schools and community organisations to work with us in selecting and supporting youth to participate in the Trailblazer Program. We are always looking for more partners to enhance the diversity and reach of our programs.

Benefits of partnering with us:

  • Opportunity for personal leadership development and practical experience for beneficiaries of your organization/school, which extends the scope of your offering to the youth you work with.
  • Low cost access to an established leadership and social action program. The associated financial cost is that of contributing to participation fees and/or transportation of your selected participants to the enke: Forum and Celebration Events.
  • Regular customized reporting on the activities of your beneficiaries in the enke: Trailblazer Program that can be used for fundraising.
  • Joint marketing and media with enke: Make Your Mark on the work of your beneficiaries that are selected to the enke: Trailblazer Program. Includes listing as an Implementation Partner in online and printed materials and media associated to the Trailblazer Program

Our implementation partners include the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Scholarships Programme, GOLD Peer Education, the Kids Foundation, University of Cape Town 100 UP Programme, Masifunde Learner Development, Keiskamma Music Academy, Ikamva Youth, University of the Free State Schools Project, Sekwele Centre for Social Reflection, 180 Ministries, Education Without Borders and many more.

Our school partners have included St. Cyprians High School, Westville Boys High School, Wynberg Girls High School, Krugersdorp High School, Crawford College and the African Leadership Academy.