What is the Youth Citizen Action Programme (Y-CAP)?
The Youth Citizens Action Programme (Y-CAP) is a twelve year old youth development programme that empowers, skills and motivates new generations of active citizens. The programme is powered by Empowervate Trust (NPO 132-121) in collaboration with the National Department of Basic Education.
Why Principals and SMTs should promote Y-CAP in their schools
All schools or communities have some social, environmental, educational and economic challenges. Many of these issues can be solved from a ground-up approach by giving learners the opportunity to brainstorm solutions, and to give them a sense of ownership to ensure the problems
Giving learners the opportunity of becoming agents of change with positive values is a positive way to boost their confidence and self-esteem as well as development of practical skills, such as:
Communication, Organization, Project management, Team work, Leadership, Time management, Discipline, Commitment, Perseverance, Public speaking and Information Technology.
Participating in the Y-CAP programme will assist in creating a team of proactive learners in the school who are positive role models for other learners. The added benefit is the prize money at national level for the Y-CAP team to expand their project or start a new one. Y-CAP is powered by Empowervate and endorsed by and implemented in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education, and Provincial and District Departments of Education.
Should RCLs be involved?
Yes, this is a great platform for Representative Learner Councils and Teacher Liaison Officers as it is a practical programme that will upskill learners in project management, leadership, public speaking, IT, time management and positive values. However, we do not restrict participation to RCLs – the school can either audition members to join the three or more teams of 4 learners, where the team that implemented the best project is sent to represent the school at the district level event.
Where does this programme fit in the curriculum?
Y-CAP fits most naturally into Economic Management Science and Life Orientation. The programme encourages a problem-solving and values-driven mindset, which is the precursor to social entrepreneurship. Since there is a major unemployment problem for youth in our country, this is one important solution.
Why teachers will want to lead a Y-CAP programme
Teachers also gain the abovementioned skills such as project management and presentations. Many teachers also find that they learn so much from their learners through this ground-up approach. Teachers have the benefit of being coaches to their Y-CAP teams, which builds morale and positivity in the school. Teachers get the opportunity to attend the district level competition with their learners and the teachers receive certificates of participation. If the teams get through to provincial level and then national level, the teachers get prizes as well.
The commitment that we are asking teachers to make is to be a coach for your Y-CAP team – to guide them along the Y-CAP journey and motivate them to persevere and strive to succeed in making a positive impact on their school, community and themselves.
How to get involved
The teacher who will mentor the team for the Y-CAP project will recruit teams from Grade 5 to 11. They will submit the application form and then receive the Y-CAP Toolkit which has the Teacher’s and Official’s Guide that explains the rules, competition and timelines as well as the step-by-step
instruction glossy magazine on how to run the project. The programme will empower and motivate the teams to be active citizens and change agents.
You are never too young (or old) to make positive changes in your school or community. This programme will give you the tools to show you how to make these changes and you will be recognized and rewarded for your efforts – you’ll be the new positive role models in your school and community.
You will have a district showcase event where you can share the learnings and positive impact your team made, and you can strive to take your team to the provincials and even nationals where you’ll represent your province and ultimately our country as young leaders, but just by participating and completing your project you are already winners because you made positive changes to challenges in your school or community. *The events may be online or in-person – TBC.
How do we get started?
- Complete the Y-CAP application form and email/fax to Empowervate and your district office
between before 30 March 2022
- The Department/Empowervate will send the school an emailed and/or hard copy of the Y-CAP
Toolkit which has the Teacher’s and Official’s Guide that explains the rules, competition and
timelines as well as the step by step instruction glossy magazine on how to run the project.
- The workshops for new schools will be in March and then district events will be in May-June,
followed by Provincials and The National Championships will be 24-26 July 2022.