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:
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:
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):
The snapshots above are just a few examples of the over 1,000 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.
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:
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.”
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.
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)
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.
Partner with us in creating opportunities for youth to find and succeed in their chosen life pathways.