South Africa

Masiphumelele

Economic Development Education Gender Youth

Library

Masiphumelele Library

Founded by a local NGO, MasiCorp, and now funded by the City of Cape Town, the Masiphumelele Library serves the Masiphumelele Township, with a population of more than 38,000 people — many of whom are young and unemployed. Beyond providing internet access, the Masiphumelele library provides a range of services, including digital literacy and computer training, job readiness courses, tutoring and mentoring for youth, girl groups, and art programs. The library has also developed partnerships with local government and NGOs to deliver education, gender, youth, and HIV/AIDS-related services.

Government Partner

City of Cape Town

Only 8% of South African schools have a library and 31% of youth aged 15–24 are not employed nor enrolled in education or training. So the City of Cape Town has invested in initiatives — such as “Educate Yourself @ Your Library — that improve literacy and access to information, and provide a space where people can enrich themselves and advance their livelihood goals, whether they are working on basic literacy or business ideas. Specific activities supported by the city include public speaking competitions, arts and crafts, games for children, and workshops on health and wellness, the environment, human rights, leadership skills, and entrepreneurship.

Community Partner

IkamvaYouth

IkamvaYouth is a non-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment of youth through education, e-literacy training, and career guidance. Currently fewer than 10% of South African youth access higher education, of which only a fraction come from township or rural communities. IkamvaYouth equips learners from disadvantaged communities with the knowledge, skills, networks, and resources to access tertiary education and/or employment opportunities. IkamvaYouth aims to increase the collective skill level of the population, to grow the national knowledge base, and to replicate successes in other communities.