In 2017, ASoH board member Gail Auguston-Koppen was exploring additional options that could be integrated into A Spring of Hope’s existing approach in South Africa. While water, sanitiation, permaculture and hygiene projects are vital to our partner schools, we needed more than this to transform the Acornhoeck community in a sustainable way. In December 2017, Gail reached out to Elizabeth Bintliff, President JA Africa, to find out what Junior Achievement programs were available in South Africa for our schools.
Acornhoeck has an
unemployment rate of 89%
Founded in 1919 in the United States, JA is operational in 118 countries globally. The organisation was established in South Africa in 1979 and for the past 38 years JA South Africa has been providing experiential business, entrepreneurial and life skills to young people aged between 8 and 35 years nationwide in both rural and urban environments.
Although entrepreneurial activity is considered to be an important mechanism to address the massive challenge of youth unemployment, the current South African school curriculum does not provide for practical skills development in the understanding and management of economics, business, entrepreneurship and personal finances, leaving little scope for school leavers to shape a future for themselves through the establishment of a business.
For the past 38 years, JA South Africa, a non-governmental organisation supported by Junior Achievement Worldwide, has been providing these essential business and entrepreneurial skills to young people of all ages, across the country, in both rural and urban environments. Children as young as 10 years of age are exposed to entrepreneurial and business activities in a fun and interactive manner. The core programme is one for young people between the ages of 16 to 25, where under the guidance of highly trained facilitators, participants are introduced to key business concepts, after which they launch and manage a real small business.
In addition, A Spring of Hope will be matching JA schools in the United States with our partner schools in South Africa. We are excited about the opportunities this presents—for students to exchange ideas, discuss their projects, and participate in live streaming speaking events.
Bottom photo from left to right: Nelly Mofokeng Managing Director JA South Africa, Gail Auguston-Koppen, and Elizabeth Bintliff President JA Africa at the JA Africa COY competition in Johannesburg, SA, December 7, 2017 where 17 African countries participated in this event.