South Africa is a young democracy: nearly 40% of its people are between 14 and 35 years of age. South African youth have always played an integral and powerful role in the formation of the society. The youth were crucial to the modern South African revolution in 1976 and thereafter. Young South Africans today have a tremendous amount of responsibilities as their country develops, as outlined in the National Youth Policy (NYP) 2009 – 2014

South Africa’s youth are undoubtedly capable of meeting these enormous expectations. Yet they, and in particular disadvantaged youth, are faced with tremendous obstacles in reaching their full potential and in being the catalysts of the country’s development. Unemployment, HIV/AIDS, crime, familial responsibilities, and limited access to information and recreational facilities are some of the barriers facing youth and preventing their social participation and civic engagement and exacerbating poverty in their communities.

Participation in art and expression is linked to greater societal cohesion, participation, and poverty reduction. A youth perspective gives greater relevance to poverty reduction. When taking young people’s knowledge and experience into consideration, set targets become more relevant.

Youth are the reason for this project. A groupf of four organisations from South Africa and Spain, with the support of the European Commission, took the challenge to reach 2.000 vulnerable youth and empower them by improving their life skills, participate in their communities, and contribute positively to their communities' development through arts and culture.


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