Transforming Lives through Education: The Inspiring Journey of Sozo's Education Department.
Author: SOZO Foundation
This department is at the forefront of a critical mission to address the pressing issues of youth unemployment and lack of education in the Vrygrond community, and it consists of the Educentre (after-school program), GED and Second Chance programs.
We are excited to take you on a journey through the remarkable story of the Education Department at the Sozo Foundation.
A Call to Action
The backdrop for this story is South Africa, which holds the highest youth unemployment rate globally, with 77.4% of young people aged 15 to 24 unemployed. With over 60% of the South African population under the age of 35, there is a dire need to interrupt the cycle of unemployment, which could become a cultural norm, especially in areas like the Cape Flats, characterised by high crime, violence, substance addiction, trauma, and gangsterism.
The Educentre - A Safe Haven for Learning
The Educentre is the after-school tutoring and mentorship program designed to empower high school learners from the Vrygrond community. It provides a safe space for 105 learners, aged 13 to 18, to unlock their full potential. This program aims to equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to break free from the cycle of unemployment and violence.
The Introduction of GED - A Path to Opportunity
Recognizing the importance of a matric certificate for employment opportunities, Sozo introduced the General Education Diploma (GED) program. GED serves as a South African Grade 12 equivalent, enabling unemployed youth to complete their Senior Certificate and access job opportunities where a matric certificate is a minimum requirement. GED is recognized globally, opening doors to further education and career advancement.
Second Chance - Overcoming Setbacks
The Second Chance program provides support to students who wish to retake their matric exams. In 2022, five students formed the pilot group, with four successfully passing and improving their results. Currently, 17 young individuals are rewriting exams in 2023, determined to turn their academic setbacks into success stories.
The Bridging Academy - Bridging the Gaps
The Bridging Academy is a critical initiative aimed at helping students who are on the cusp of meeting GED entrance requirements. We are journeying with six youth as part of the pilot program, providing support in foundational subjects such as Maths, English, and Computer Literacy. The aim is to bridge the gaps and pave the way for a brighter future.
Throughout this series of emails, we will be sharing testimonies from our remarkable students who have experienced transformative journeys through these programs. These stories are a testament to the power of education, mentorship, and resilience.
Thank you for being a part of our mission to transform lives and empower the youth of Vrygrond through the Sozo Foundation's Education Department.
With gratitude and determination,
The Sozo Foundation’s Education Hub