Transforming Lives Through SEF 

ASPs can better prepare young people for the job market by offering relevant hands-on experience that equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in their chosen careers.” – Zanele Tshem, Ikamva Youth SEF participant.

The Learning Trust proudly presents a special blog series dedicated to celebrating the remarkable journeys of young individuals empowered by the Social Employment Fund (SEF) project. In collaboration with our SEF implementing partners, we gathered a collection of stories that showcase the transformative power of opportunity, resilience, and community support.  

These stories highlight the extraordinary achievements of young people who, through their participation in the SEF project, have overcome personal challenges while driving positive change within their communities.  

IkamvaYouth, a notable example of ASP success, began its collaboration with the SEF in September 2022. Traditionally focused on tutoring and mentorship through volunteer tutors, IkamvaYouth transitioned these volunteers to participants receiving a stipend under the SEF project.  

This shift has been life-changing for many young people, economically empowering them and providing invaluable work experience. The structured work environment, with contracts and job descriptions, has contributed significantly to the participants’ personal and professional growth. 

Limpho Sephula’s Journey  

Limpho Sephula’s journey with IkamvaYouth began in 2017 as a teacher assistant, where her passion for education was ignited. In February 2023, she joined the SEF project, initially starting as a tutor. With her dedication and capability, Limpho progressed through roles, from tutor to branch support, then intern. Today, she holds a permanent position as a Branch Assistant within the organisation. 

Zanele Tshem’s Experience  

Another IkamvaYouth SEF participant, Zanele Tshem, shares her story:   

“My time at SEF has provided me with invaluable skills and experience that I’m confident will be beneficial in my future career. I’ve learned to collaborate with others, communicate effectively, and manage my time efficiently, all of which are essential in any professional setting. I’ve also gained hands-on experience in various fields, including public speaking and community outreach, which have played a very important role in building up my leadership and problem-solving abilities.” 

As South Africa continues to grapple with high youth unemployment rates, it is imperative to support and expand such projects, ensuring that every young person has the chance to build a brighter future for themselves and their nation. 

Read more on the youth month series here.