The aims of the Spirit of Youth programme include the following:

  • To help bright ambitious young leaders make their voices heard;
  • To facilitate participants’ impacting at a higher than average level on their immediate peers and on society at large;
  • To build a new generation of leaders who see beyond class, race and divisions to build a broadly prosperous country; and
  • To provide leaders who make a difference in the world.

Spirit of Youth is a leadership programme more than anything else, and its primary objective is to address South Africa’s leadership vacuum. Interim aims along the way were for individual programme participants to develop personal leadership, whereby they are able to acquire life skills that they can use in their schools and communities. .

Participants are given opportunities to explore their socio-political context through, and subsequently to explore how change happens through various mechanisms: these include facilitated sessions in their ‘Home Groups’ (not exceeding 15 individuals), visits to various locations in and around Johannesburg, and specific activities and projects that groups must undertake.

The design of the programme is based on three elements:

  • Exposure
  • Capacity building
  • Action.

These elements, and all the programme activities, are located within a community ethos.

Learner perceptions of the programme were extremely positive, with feedback indicating that individuals feel they have grown personally, and in their understandings of diversity and contexts.

Focus area

Learner Development: youth leadership training targeted at Grade 11s.

Time frame

The programme has been running since 2005 and is ongoing. Key Learnings are drawn from the evaluation report on the programme’s implementation in 2011. Additional interviews provide a current perspective.


In 2011: 60 diverse schools across Gauteng each nominated 3 Grade 11 learners for the programme making a cohort of 180 participants. They came from inner city, township, model C and independent schools.

GIBS Project Co-ordination team (5 members) trained and mentored 11 facilitators to run the learner ‘Home Groups’.

In 2014: 147 Grade 11 learners, as nominated by 64 diverse schools across Gauteng, are participating in the programme.

GIBS Project Co-ordination team continues to manage the programme.

14 trained facilitators are involved in running the Home Group sessions.



Stakeholders/ Partnerships

GIBS, appointed facilitators, nominated learners from independent and public schools, GDE and GEDT.

Resources/ Materials

Human: Facilitation team

Materials: Home Group session programmes, discussion materials and exposure activities

Referencing Key to Report Extracts

This table provides a Referencing Key to report extracts quoted in the Key Learning Category section of the repository.


Report Title


Evaluation Of Spirit of Youth Programme at Gordon Institute of Business Science. Second Report, September 2011

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