Since 2013 AVA has discovered that well trained and managed youth volunteers can add value in many contexts: NGOs, micro enterprises and schools.

These are our current programmes:

Work 4 Progress

Year Beyond

Mobile Career Cafe

Work 4 Progress

AVA’s core programme started in 2013 with a pilot programme placing 30 youth into a variety of NGOs.

Aimed at youth between the ages of 18-25 who have not yet managed to progress after school, AVA connects youth to full-time volunteering positions in a variety of NGOs. The volunteering is enriched by our unique orientation, training and self-development curriculum designed to encourage the volunteers to identify and strengthen their innate abilities while gaining valuable first-time working experience.

The curriculum focuses on the development of new basic skills and supports the volunteers in building the confidence they need to reap the full benefits of their experience.

In 2017 AVA partnered with a variety of small businesses that were willing to host 20 recruits. Recruits have been working full-time in the partner businesses, gaining new valuable skills and have started adding value to their host companies. The aim of the programme is to get small businesses to recognize the willingness of young people and the value they can add with a little guidance, patience and mentorship.

Besides the obvious benefits of gaining skills, experience and self-confidence, the AVA Work 4 Progress programme enables young people to identify future opportunities and advance their careers.



YearBeyond (YeBo) is a flagship youthdevelopment programme of the Western Cape Provincial Government, designed to improve educational outcomes in underperforming primary and high schools around
the province.

In 2013, we were the first NPO to pilot the Year Beyond Programme in collaboration with the Western Cape Government. Unemployed youth with Grade 12 are selected to participate in a 10-month programme where they are trained to facilitate academic initiatives around school times, and after-school, for Grade 1-4 learners. Youth are placed in schools from Monday – Thursday and act as teacher support during the day. They run a 2 hour after school programme with grade 3 and 4 learners where they offer literacy, numeracy and homework support.This unique, dual-purpose programme aims to improve educational outcomes for learners at low- and no-fee schools while strengthening the employment prospects of the youth volunteers who deliver the programme. The youth undergo weekly development sessions every Friday with their AVA Programme Mentor; we call these sessions “Future Fit Friday”. The sessions are designed to equip youth with the variety of skills they will need in their personal and professional lives.

Every June school holiday the youth provide a weeklong holiday programme to the learners that are part of the YearBeyond Programme. The holiday programme is designed with both fun and educational activities to stimulate the learners and keep them in a safe space. Further, the programme brings together partners from Non-Governmental Organisations, educational institutions and government departments in a collaborative model. Over the years, Year Beyond has touched the lives of thousands of primary school learners and thousands of youth volunteers, giving us great cause for optimism. Many of our staff (80%) are alumni of this programme, all between 20 and 35 years of age. We currently have 90 youth working in 15 primary schools in Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain in Cape Town.  


MObile Career Cafe

Our Mobile Career Café supports unemployed young people living in under-served areas such as rural communities across South Africa. We drive to these villages and towns, and facilitate various work readiness (CV-building, job-hunting, accessing opportunities for study/work where they are, interview skills) and basic career guidance to youth, 16 – 28 years of age.

Youth are also afforded the opportunity to complete a Career Profiler Screening Test that will indicate their top 3 suggested career options that match their interests and personality.  It will also provide info on where they can study that particular career choices, and where to apply for bursaries.  They are also connected to support and assisted to register on an online job portal. Youth are guided on using and managing social media platforms such as LinkedIn.  With 64% of these young people unemployed, and only 65% of our students completing high school, South Africa is facing a very serious problem - and the Mobile Career Cafe is a unique and innovative solution to address this - with potential to scale. 

In rural South Africa, young people are not able to access as many services as those in the cities. These young, unemployed rural youth are especially vulnerable to socio-economic exclusion - and the wider, long term impacts to South Africa's economic and social future is deeply concerning.So far, evaluation statistics are extremely  positive: 72%  more could identify potential employment and learning opportunities; and, the number of youth who's confidence in job interview skills rose by 52% having visited our Cafe. Here is a short video on the project and results achieved.  
The Cafe relies on collaborative partnerships with local NGOs in the rural areas.  AVA has also initiated a community of practice that mainly consist of organisations that hosted an MCC.  This allows AVA to transfer capacity to local NGOs so they can implement similar programmes in the future.  Organisations keen to host the Mobile Career Café, can contact AVA at

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