The Oliver Foundation

"Working with local communities to help build a sustainable future for people and the environment"

Projects > Umzi Wethu Training Academy


177 students have now graduated. See Danny, one of our first students, in this heart-warming clip.

See more videos: YouTube Clip 2 | YouTube Clip 3

We are delighted to announce that our Trustee, Andrew Muir, was awarded a Rolex award for Enterprise for implementing the Umzi Wethu Programme. You can watch a short video of the programme here.

Umzi Wethu

Umzi Wethu is a ground breaking programme initiated by the Wilderness Foundation. This programme provides skills training and a secure, nurturing home, complete with healthcare, nutrition, counselling, mentoring and life skills for youth who are disadvantaged, stigmatized and at risk because of poverty and HIV/AIDS. On completion of this 14 month training students who have passed are placed in jobs which will allow them to support, on average, between 8 and 10 members of their extended family at home.

Residential centre

The Oliver Foundation has been a major supporter in raising the necessary funding for this project and continues to champion for scholarships for youth to participate. Now that the project is a proven model we hope that Umzi Wethu can continue to be rolled out to give many disadvantaged youths the necessary skills training and support to become productive adults.

The first student intake

Over a 3-year period from January 2006 to December 2008, 75 students from backgrounds of extreme poverty will be trained and placed in paying jobs as chefs, food and beverage staff and game rangers in the growing eco-tourism industry of the Eastern Cape.

Training in the on-site coffee shop

In April 2008 the 2nd Umzi Wethu Training academy was opening by the Honourable Premier Zisiwe Nosimo Balindlela.

Located in Somerset East, a rural location, with a stunning mountain as a backdrop, 30 field guides will be trained here each year.

"The reward of witnessing young people develop from a life of potential hopelessness to a life of employment and dreams fulfilled is priceless."

Skilled chefs

Game Ranger training

From Township to Town House

We are delighted to hear that five Umzi students have been recruited to work at Shamwari Town House in Port Elizabeth. This is quite a remarkable achievement and demonstrates the value and success of the Umzi Wethu programme.

The Oliver Foundation has produced a 10 minute DVD for Umzi Wethu, if you would like a copy please contact us, or alternatively, watch it here.

Click here to view our press releases.

Sponsoring a youth through the intensive Umzi Wethu training programme costs approximately £6,500. For more information click here.




Browse Projects by Type




Back to Top

Website designed and maintained by Inkreaser