Youth Citizens Action Programme – Powered by Empowervate

Congrats to the YCAP Virtual National Championships Finalists and Winners 2021

Through a climate change project a group of students from a junior school in the Eastern Cape managed to feed their fellow students with food from the school garden, thus addressing food insecurity in their community.

The group of students from Ncihana Junior Secondary School did this as part of a project for the Youth Citizens Action Programme (Y-CAP). The project earned them first place in the Junior Category in this year’s Online Y-CAP 2021 competition.

The students set out to reduce pollution caused by littering as well as to reduce water wastage at their school and in their community. Their action driven project naturally grew to address matters such as recycling and responsible water usage which in turn promoted the resurrection of their school’s community garden.

Weekly drives to clean up litter on and around the school grounds, and bi-weekly drives to clean up litter in the community, not only reduced pollution in the area, but also gave way to educate the school and community. The value of recycling and even the financial benefits it can bring was a big win for the team.

Awareness and steps taken around reducing water wastages lead the group to utilise the grey water and they resurrect the school’s community garden. The group and learners from the school were taught invaluable life skills with being able to grow their own food in the garden. Food harvested was not only used for the schools feeding programme but extras were sold to community members and the funds generated went back to the school. 

The Y-CAP-programme, which has been running since 2010 aims to empower, motivate and equip the South African youth to identify and address social issues such as poverty, racism, social and economic challenges and gender inequality in their schools and communities. “The winners have showcased their enthusiasm about becoming active citizens and creators of change in their communities while helping to step closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Empowervate CEO; Amanda Blankfield-Koseff.

Through this year’s online programme, learners were provided with the Y-CAP step-by-step values and project management toolkit and online workshops to launch their projects. The adjudicator feedback assisted those who made important addition and edits to their portfolios to progress to the semi-finals. The semi-finalists had workshops on video-oral presentation techniques before submitting their videos. The finalists then competed to receive funds and equipment that will enable them to further their projects.

The finalists attended the National showcase event online on the Day of Reconciliation – 16 December 2021. There were motivational and educational talks before they had a final opportunity to impress the judges who later announced the winners. .

The programme is powered by the non-profit organisation Empowervate and its funders and is implemented in collaboration with the National Department of Basic Education.

The winners receive tablets and a monetary prize to further their projects or start a new one as well as individual prizes of books, short-course bursaries, powerbanks and badges. 

Heartfelt congratulations to the winners for the Online Y-CAP 2021, we at Empowervate are proud of you and your efforts.

Our winning project topics were:

Junior: Ncihana, EC – Environmental and Climate Change

Intermediate: Matlaisane, NW – Food insecurity

Senior: Shobiyana, Mpumalanga – Covid19 safety awareness

Here are all our winners per category:

Project type winners:

Action: Khotso, EC 

Research: Kranskop, KZN

Creative: Kwaggafontein, GP

Junior category winners:

First position: Ncihana, EC

Second position: Isibukosabasha, KZN

Third position: Louisvale, NC

Intermediate category winners:

First position: Matlaisane, NW

Second position: Bophelong, GP

Third position:  Mathubesizwe, KZN

Senior category winners:

Second position: Shobiyana, Mpumalanga

The recording of the event is available here:



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