The “Dream Factory Foundation” was founded in Cape Town in 2011 with the aim of supporting a large part of the youth from the townships in the Western Cape of South Africa with career prospects. A lack of future visions and lack of access to high-quality education are the reality for many young people from marginalised parts of South Africa. Since summer 2019, we have been able to support the young organisation with its “Emergent Business and Coding Academy” project, which trains young adults for the digital labour market.

 

The “Dream Factory Foundation” was founded in Cape Town in 2011 with the aim of supporting a large part of the youth from the townships in the Western Cape of South Africa with career prospects. A lack of future visions and lack of access to high-quality education are the reality for many young people from marginalised parts of South Africa. Since summer 2019, we have been able to support the young organisation with its “Emergent Business and Coding Academy” project, which trains young adults for the digital labour market.

The Western Cape, especially Cape Town, is still strongly marked by the apartheid era. Back then, the black South Africans were driven out of the inner cities and excluded by the white regime. The exclusion of citizens in both social and economic contexts led to increased poverty in the heavily populated townships that developed on the outskirts of the city. Despite the end of apartheid, the new generation is still struggling with the effects of discrimination. Many young people grow up in poverty and without reference to education or the world of work.

The continuing injustices and the difficult access to good education and the associated low chances for qualitative jobs were the motives for the foundation of the organisation Dream Factory. The two founders experienced first hand the gaps in some schools in Cape Town. In the first instance, they launched a programme that allows young people to develop their own dreams. Because without a vision there is no motivation. The response was immense. To have the courage to dream alone triggered immense potential in the young people. The program of #bethedream formed the basis of the organisation and encourages young people to hold on to their dreams. Specially developed mentoring projects help young people to develop personal skills. For additional qualifications and to achieve even more sustainable development and success, the Academy for Entrepreneurship and Programming, the Emergent Business and Coding Academy, has been implemented.

Women in the male-dominated tech industry

The Emergent Business Coding Academy programme extends over one year and aims to prepare black women in particular for the digital labour market. The focus of the training program is on the topics of digital technologies, business development, entrepreneurship and personal skills. They are accompanied by mentors and supported by professional specialists. The training programme offers space for 40 young people and, in addition to learning business skills, focuses above all on practical job experience with the help of cooperation partners who provide the students with insights into various professions and the world of work, as well as lessons.

Throughout South Africa, around 49% of the unemployed young people (aged between 15 and 34) are young black women who face particularly limited job opportunities. For this reason, at least 70% of training places are reserved for them each year. In addition to the predominantly practical skills, IT skills, such as programming, are also being developed and strengthened. In particular, women, who represent a minority in technological professions, are being trained for a future strongly growing field of work in the male-dominated tech sector.

#bethedream – opportunites for finanical independence

The aim of the training is to equip each participant with increased self-confidence and skills as well as professional knowledge in the fields of business and IT and to prepare them individually for the labour market. Based on their experience in the cooperation companies and their degree, at least 80% of the participants will subsequently pursue a job opportunity or university education. Parallel to the lessons about entrepreneurship, the young people will also be strengthened and supported in the development of their own business ideas within the framework of the project.

The support from Lemonaid & ChariTea Foundation is used to promote the programme, develop the infrastructure for the project and purchase the necessary teaching materials, as well as to cover the salaries of some skilled employees.

In this unique project in South Africa, the 40 participating young people per year are given the opportunity to get a good job in a growing professional field and thus achieve financial independence through high-quality education. By expanding their professional and personal skills, they contribute to strengthening local economic growth and reinforce South Africa’s transformation into social equality.

Team of the Dream Facotry Foundation
Team of the Dream Factory Foundation