What is the Youth Citizen Action Programme (Y-CAP)?
The Youth Citizens Action Programme (Y-CAP) is a youth development programme that empowers, skills and motivates new generations of active citizens.
The programme is powered by Empowervate Trust (NPO 132-121) and its funders and is implemented in collaboration with the National Department of Basic Education.
Why Principals and SMTs should promote Y-CAP in their schools
All schools have some social, environmental and academic 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 are solved.
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 teams or split the grade into teams, where the best team’s project is sent to represent the school at the district level.
Where does this programme fit in the curriculum?
Y-CAP fits most naturally into Economic Management Science, Life Orientation and Business Studies. 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 above mentioned 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
Grade 5-12 learners in the participating year are invited to participate in Y-CAP. The programme will empower you to be active citizens. You are never too young (or old) to make positive changes in your school or community.
This programme will give you the toolkit to show you how to make these changes and you will be recognized and rewarded for your efforts at the district competition – you’ll be the new positive role models in your school and community.
You can strive to take your team to the provincials and 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.
There are certificates at district, provincial and national level, and other prizes for the top teams at provincial level. Prizes at national level are awesome – the top teams per category receive prize money to grow their project and learners in the top Primary and Secondary Category get tablets to expand their connections and knowledge!
How do we get started?
- Complete the Y-CAP application form and email/fax to Empowervate and your district office and Empowervate
- The school will receive the toolkit with a learners booklet and teacher’s guide including timelines