The Sozo Foundation is a non-profit organisation, based in the impoverished Cape Flats community of Vrygrond, Cape Town. With a vision to see the community of Vrygrond living with dignity, purpose and hope, Sozo creates opportunities for holistic development through three key areas: Education, Skills Development and Social Enterprise.

We run core projects that work to promote Education, Skills Development and Enterprise in Vrygrond. Our current projects are Educentre, GED General Education Diploma, Youth Café Skills Schools, The Wild Goose Bakery, Dancing Goat Roastry and Kingdom Builders.

With the vision to see communities transformed through unconditional love, the Sozo Foundation provides education, skills and enterprise development programmes to youth under the age of 35 years old. Our interventions are geared towards addressing high levels of school drop-out, unemployment and limited economic opportunities. We do this through an After School Education Centre (EduCentre) for high school youth; a Youth Café providing vocational skills training in Digital Skills, Technical Skills, Barista Skills and Hair & Beauty to youth who are not in education, employment or formal training (NEET) while our Social Enterprise provides youth with apprenticeships and work experience.

The Vrygrond Township is located in the Cape Flats in Cape Town. Despite being only 1.5km in size has an estimated 40 000 residents and is known as one of the poorest townships in the Western Cape, with 77% of households having a monthly income of R3 200 or less. The community of Vrygrond is rife with gangsterism, crime and young people are often exposed to substance, physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect. Due to school limitations and community obstacles, 50% of learners in South Africa drop out of school, leaving without any formal education.

The Sozo Educentre provides a safe space for high school learners to be equipped and empowered through education and academic assistance. In a community where young people are negatively impacted by gangsterism, abuse and crime, the Educentre also provides alternative role models who support and enable young people to reach their full potential. Being the only programme of its kind in the Vrygrond community, the Educentre aims to close the gaps through tutoring, mentoring, computer and mathematics development, career inspiring initiatives, psycho-social support and nutrition.

In South Africa, the youth unemployment rate is currently the highest in the world, with 68.3% of young people between 15 and 24 years old unemployed. With over 60% of the SA population under the age of 35, there is a significant lack of job opportunities in impoverished communities such as the Cape Flats, an area notorious for high levels of crime, violence and abuse, within a systemic culture of gangsterism. In response to this context, the Sozo Foundation launched the Skills Development Programme in 2016 to provide a safe, creative and vibrant space for unemployed young people. The Youth Café programme equips, trains, mentors, and socialises young people within their community so that they reach their full potential.

Through our Social Enterprise initiatives and partnerships with local businesses, we can offer internships and job shadowing; all of which result in work experience and sustained employment. Since 2017, Sozo has been developing a social enterprise programme to complement the skills development programme for advance training, internships and full time employment, as well as self-generated income. Currently, Sozo has three social enterprises:

  • The Wild Goose: An enterprise that is both an artisan baking school and a wholesale bakery that produces artisan products for retail.
  • Kingdom Builders: A maintenance and construction crew, based in Vrygrond, that provides building services to local homes and small businesses. Young people are trained and employed through an apprenticeship programme.
  • Dancing Goat Roastery: Trained Baristas and a mobile coffee carts serve espresso-based and other hot drinks at various venues for events.

Contact Person

Kristin Rockhill
+27 082 737 1123

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