The Youth Citizens Action Programme (Y-CAP) evolved on the back of the annual ‘The Big Talk’ youth dialogue events hosted in Cape Town (2007) and Johannesburg (2008) by Afrika Tikkun. Challenges faced by youth in South Africa were at the forefront of the discussion by Grade 10 learners who identified health, welfare, education and environmental issues such as teenage pregnancy, poverty and substance abuse to name a few, as major concerns. These highlighted concerns were identified because of the impact it has on not only the learner’s school, but also on their communities and on 19 March 2009 the first meeting was held and the programme changed from ‘talk’ to an ‘action’ programme.
The Youth Citizens Action Programme was born and after strategic planning, in collaboration with The National Department of Basic Education and sponsorship from Deutsche Bank South Africa Foundation, the pilot programme launched in 2010 with Secondary Schools across four provinces.
The success of the pilot programme lead to the participation of all nine provinces in 2011 and in 2015 a new category, Primary Schools were added.
Y-CAP grew too large to be housed under a community development organisation and thus Empowervate, a youth development NPO was born. In 2013 Empowervate was registered with Y-CAP as its flagship programme.