Skip to content

Chapter 2024: ramping up our commitment to connecting rural youth with opportunities for growth

Chapter 2024: ramping up our commitment to connecting rural youth with opportunities for growth

At Good Work Foundation (GWF) we entered 2024 with a surge of excitement and anticipation rippling through us. The year marks the beginning of another transformative journey – not just for our organisation, but also for the thousands of lives we touch across rural Mpumalanga and the Free State every month.

We've begun implementing our new five-year strategy, which at its core focuses on the expansion and refinement of our main programmes: the Bridging Year Academy (BYA) for young adults and the Open Learning Academy for primary school children.

Aligned with South Africa’s National Development Plan and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, these programmes are equipping young people with the creative and digital skills they need to thrive. At GWF, we don’t just dream of a better future; we build it, one learner and one success story at a time.

Rolling out our five-year strategy


Our five-year strategy will initially launch across our six dedicated campuses: Hazyview, Justicia, Huntington, Lillydale, Dumphries and Philippolis, broadening our impact by extending our reach to an even greater number of children and young adults seeking educational opportunities.

This will be achieved by offering supplementary lessons to more students across various grades, through our after-school immersion programmes and by physically going into more of the schools in our communities.

Our passionate team of 150 staff members across our campuses is instrumental in empowering over 12 000 schoolchildren and 450 adult learners every month. Through the transformative power of digital education, we are equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve their individual goals and pave their pathways to success.

Innovations in learning

HDLC OLA 7 2017

Through our Open Learning Academy, we are introducing more coding and robotics immersions for rural schools, helping them keep up with the technology that’s critical to the world we live in. Further, we’re expanding our partnerships with teachers in local schools, working together to enhance educational outcomes and create a supportive learning ecosystem for the children in their classes.

Graduates from our Facilitator Academy, who have been trained to work in the education space, are looking forward to spreading the joy of reading by extending reading circles and specialised English instruction to Grade 3 children (previously, we have mainly focused our English literacy efforts on Grade 4s and 5s).

BYA and career academies

PHOTO 2023 12 11 13 20 10
53096049360 c146398924 k

This year the BYA is placing stronger emphasis on entrepreneurship and employability skills, ensuring our students are better equipped to enter the workforce. Our career academies are also well placed to consolidate their position in our ecosystem of learning and working.

The Hospitality Academy will be expanding its partnerships to place even more students in hotels, lodges and restaurants than before. Our Conservation Academy students will spend more time guiding, birding and connecting with the natural world in ways that inspire an even greater sense of stewardship for their environment. Ultimately, our aim is to place as many of our young people as possible in jobs in the regional economy.

VillageUp: connecting youth to employment

53106526699 96699056a6 o
7 1

Another exciting development for us is the growth of VillageUp, a social enterprise established to help create employment opportunities for our graduates, as well as serve as a sustainable revenue stream to support GWF’s mission. Construction of the dedicated VillageUp building on our Hazyview campus is complete, and its new management is ready to welcome our current and new contact centre employees.

We are aiming to increase the number of VillageUp employees from our first 30 young people to over 80 people to further accelerate our impact on unemployment. However, we recognise that we cannot achieve this goal alone – which is why we’re inviting corporate partners that share our commitment to social responsibility and economic empowerment to join forces with us on this project.

It is only through collaboration that we’ll equip more individuals, especially those in underserved communities, to build brighter futures and achieve financial independence.

The support and selfless contribution of everyone involved in our organisation fuels our mission – they move us forward, paving the way for another inspiring chapter of empowerment, education and life-changing transformation in 2024 as we strive for a better future for the youth of South Africa.


Subscribe to our newsletter