About enke

enke means

"ink" in SeTswana

and

"take it" in SeSotho

We develop the skills of youth to increase their effectiveness as economically engaged, active citizens.

We equip youth to more effectively channel their desire and ability to access opportunities; whether that’s an internship, employment, entrepreneurship, or civic leadership.

We empower youth to be authors of their futures, leading change in their lives and communities and taking the opportunities that present themselves (making their mark).

We believe that all young people – no matter their background, race, gender, religion or status in society – are Africa’s greatest resource for addressing the world’s social and economic challenges.

Young people are solution creators, leaders of change and innovation. In particular, youth are uniquely placed to innovate for social change and economic transformation.

But…

… too many young people do not live in the environments, and/or lack the platform, resources and support to realise their full value and thrive. The expression of this is negative trends affecting youth:

  • – 55% of young South Africans are unemployed and out of education. This represents not just a gigantic pool of untapped talent, but also a source of social unrest and individual despair (source). 
  • – Research by James Heckman (Nobel Prize-winning economist) demonstrates social and emotional competencies are at least as important as technical skills in determining employability, earnings and career success.
  • – Schools and universities focus almost exclusively on academic and technical skills (source). This is not giving youth the soft (non-cognitive) skills to thrive in life beyond the classroom and contributes to the rising youth unemployment rate and the many issues that disproportionately impact youth. 

 

That’s why we focus on reversing these trends by building the inherent assets of young people through their participation in social innovation and entrepreneurship.

We are building a world that is an environment where all young people realise their value, thrive and mobilise for meaningful change.

Connect: We connect people across diversity and the socio-economic spectrum, creating valuable networks, social capital and building social cohesion.
Equip: We equip with an entrepreneurial mindset and social-emotional skills – real-world skills that unlock opportunities for future success.
Inspire: We inspire a bias towards action, to achieve personal, professional, national and global development aspirations
Our Values: 
  • This isn’t school
  • We’re there with you
  • Truth & transparency
  • Respect each other
  • Create your own path
  • Get your hands dirty
  • Make it happen. Make it better.

The idea for enke: Make Your Mark (“enke”) was formed while three international volunteers – Tom Walsh, Philippa (Pip) Wheaton and Kathryn Maunders – were working in some of the most under-resourced schools in KwaZulu-Natal. The three realised that the young people they were working with were all dissatisfied about the situations in their schools, their communities, their cities, but weren’t being given a chance to make the changes they wanted to see. Recognizing a need for a space where young people from all backgrounds could come together to develop creative, youth-led solutions, Tom, Pip and Kat decided to create one themselves. Thus, in February 2009, the concept of a space where youth from across the socioeconomic spectrum could come together  to take their ideas and turn them into action, was born, with the first enke: Forum held in July that year. 

At that first enke: Forum, the three co-founders and volunteers discovered that South Africa was missing out on the full potential of its young people, as the high school youth in attendance came up with innovative and inspired solutions to the social issues in their communities. The Forum delegates didn’t just have ideas, they went home and started implementing them.

Motivated by the delegates, the co-founders decided to that a once-off conference was not going to be enough. In 2010, enke: Make Your Mark was registered as an organisation and plans were put in place to bring more young people together through this remarkable platform.

The three co-founders have moved on, but the work has continued, evolved and continues to grow. Now, we run holistic programs and provide services to impart the skills and belief systems that enable youth to become effective leaders – people who have the desire and ability to identify and access opportunities for a more positive future through programs for youth in school, unemployed post-school youth and specialised services.

We are driven by the desire for all young people to have the self-belief, freedom and ability to create a positive future for themselves and with other people. Our goal is to enable thousands of effective young leaders through our products and services and incubate 3,000 social impact projects by 2020.

Strategically we aim to do this by:

  • – Continuing to provide innovative, scalable, tangible, measurable solutions that leverage the inherent assets of youth to effectively define and achieve their goals
  • – Celebrating and supporting youth to lead change in their own lives and that of others and their communities by sharing stories of youth- led change and building supportive networks for the youth in our Programs.
  • – Actively working towards financial and operational sustainability to innovate and have sustainable long-term impact
  • – Applying an ecosystem approach in our work to contribute to the achievement of national and global development goals
  • – Actively working to partner and collaborate with organisations, institutions, and companies to add and share value where possible

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