From working out of a container with two staff in 2011, The Sozo Foundation now operates two fully-fledged centres with 41 staff.
Sozo have taken a considered approach and focused on providing After School services and extended these services from Early Childhood Development (ECD) and youth employment initiatives to the whole community.
Their success lies in being responsive to the needs of their beneficiaries, having community members involved in the decision-making of the organisation and investing in their staff wellness.
The Sozo Foundation continues to achieve impressive matric results from their academic support programme for high school youth.
Enabling youth employability through education, skills development & social enterprise
The Sozo Foundation is a non-profit organisation operating in the Vrygrond area on the Cape Flats of the Western Cape.
Vrygrond is one of the oldest informal settlements in the Cape and was originally a fishermen’s village. Today, it is home to a diverse but impoverished community from across the Cape, South Africa and the African continent.
The Sozo Foundation runs a series of core projects that work to promote Education, Skills Development and Enterprise in the area. These projects are Educentre, GED General Education Diploma, Youth Café Skills Schools, The Wild Goose Bakery, Dancing Goat Roastery and Kingdom Builders.
Relationship building within the Vrygrond community is critical to their success and over 75% of their staff are from the area.
The Sozo Foundation focuses on three core areas:
The Sozo Educentre is their after-school tutoring and mentorship programme for high school learners from the Vrygrond community. Educentre provides a safe space for 105 high school learners (between the ages of 13 – 18 years) to be equipped and empowered within their own community to achieve their full potential.
Sozo also offer a General Education Diploma (GED) option to their Youth Café students. GED is a South African Grade 12, National Senior Certificate Equivalent; UK: A-Level; New Zealand: NCEA and the globally recognised International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
The Sozo Foundation empowers an average of 1000 High School learners annually by facilitating life skills sessions and job readiness with Grade 8 and 9 learners at a local High School weekly as part of their Life Orientation module.
Through skills development projects that include Barista skills, Bakery skills, Construction, Hair & Beauty and Digital Design skills, The Sozo Foundation’s mission is to enable all young adults in Vrygrond to have access to education, employment and training.
The Sozo Foundation’s social enterprise project include the Wild Goose Bakery, Dancing Goat Roastery and Kingdom Builders.
Each of these three social enterprise projects focus on skills development to train and support unemployed young people through apprenticeship programs.
The Sozo Foundation is a grantee of the The Learning Trust.