Youth Potential South Africa
YOUPSA's 'Literacy & Creative Youth Empowerment' programme for disadvantaged rural children
For more insight into YOUPSA's work please view the following two videos:
Programmes in the schools:
Mobile Village Library & Reading Clubs programme:
A Brief Introduction To YOUPSA
Non-Profit Registration: 156-968 NPO
Public Benefit Organisation number: 930051112 PBO
Tax-reference number: 9095360229
YOUPSA is a Level 1 B-BBEE Exempted Micro Enterprise
YOUPSA is a member of the Literacy Association of South Africa (LITASA)
YOUPSA is recognized as a top-ranked, effective and vetted organisation by the GlobalGiving
Foundation, and is also evaluated by TechSoup.
Brief description of the organisation
Youth Potential South Africa - YOUPSA partners with disadvantaged rural schools in the Gamtoos Valley, close to Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Province, impacting over 900 disadvantaged children, their communities, school principals and teachers.
The core mission of YOUPSA is to nurture and grow social-emotional skills, problem-solving, creative and critical thinking skills in disadvantaged children and youth, skills that are neither developed in the schools nor in their communities. We do this through our weekly Literacy & Creative Youth Empowerment programmes for children in Grades 3 – 12 in schools and on farms.
YOUPSA's 4 Core Programmes
- Creative Youth Empowerment
Here we nurture empathy, sense of community, respect, enthusiasm for learning, skills of critical thinking and active discussion. Play, creative art, experiential learning and meditation unlock the participants' talents and potential.
- Creative Teacher Empowerment
This programme empowers teachers with both personal and teaching skills. This enhances their scope and increases their confidence, enthusiasm and passion for teaching. The programme deepens the teachers' impact on youth.
- Leadership & Team-Building for Students, Teachers & School Governing Bodies
Participants develop a vision for uplifting their school and improving the quality of education. They build skills of team work, conflict resolution and constructive discussion. YOUPSA is also an implementing partner of 'The Duke of Edinburgh Award for Youth Empowerment.'
- Words Can Change Worlds Literacy programme
In the communities where YOUPSA works, there are no libraries or books for reading either at school or in the family homes. YOUPSA has established Mobile Village Libraries and Reading Clubs for all ages, providing a platform for young people to experience reading, learning, listening and discussing, outside of school. In these clubs, a child learns to be the librarian. YOUPSA staff also mentor youth and teachers about book care and the value of literature.
The children that we serve
The vast majority of people in this area are very poor, living mainly in squatter camp conditions. The children that YOUPSA works with are the children of the citrus and vegetable farm laborers.
Education and literacy levels in these communities are very low. There is widespread alcohol and drug abuse and domestic violence. A large percentage of the children suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, malnutrition, neglect and exposure to daily violence.
In this area, there are so many children with incredible potential. Unfortunately the rural schools continue to prioritise academics through rote learning, which leaves children without the skills they need to become fully contributing members of our society. A high percentage of children leave primary school without basic reading and communication skills, without any vision or hope for their future. Many of them turn to drugs, prostitution, crime and violence.
Far and wide, YOUPSA is the only education non-profit organisation in the municipality area. It is therefore vital that YOUPSA is supported and can continue its work with the children on an ongoing basis. The children are so hungry to learn and to have a safe environment where they can express themselves freely and be creative.
The impact of our programmes
Through the help of YOUPSA's initiatives, many hundreds of children that previously had no hope for their life, now have awakened their inner spark and education has come alive for them. Of the children that have participated in YOUPSA's programmes, 66% show improved communication skills, 80% show better listening skills and 89% increased their problem solving skills. 65% express greater confidence, 78% experience greater self-esteem and 73% feel a greater sense of purpose.
The children can think more creatively, more critically and more independently. A Grade 8 student said: “I would have never thought that I could write a short story, expressing what I am passionate about and that people would show so much interest in what I have to say.” One school principal said: “This student was missing school on many occasions. Now he is so keen to learn and doesn't miss school anymore.” Last year YOUPSA saw school attendance improve by 86% and academic results improve by 84%. YOUPSA's effective Literacy & Creative Youth Empowerment programmes give youth the necessary skills that ensure future employment.