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place South Africa

Levelling the playing fields by connecting children and youth to opportunities.

YearBeyond is a Youth Service multistakeholder partnership between government, donors and NGOs. It addresses both our educational crisis and unemployment. Unemployed youth (18 to 25 year-olds) are provided with work experience and a pathway to further studies or work, while at the same time addressing the literacy and numeracy of underperforming learners and thereby reducing unemployment.


Information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been evaluated by HundrED.

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Target group
Students basic
April 2023
YearBeyond aims to reduce youth unemployment and improve literacy and numeracy rates of children by the time they are 10 years old. The programmme works to build an educational eco-system, activate community support, and create a cohort of passionate educators by introducing youth as assistants in the class and after-school catch-up tutors for struggling learners.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

50% of children entering the schooling system do not complete. Two in every three youth are unemployed. YearBeyond provides a year-long bridging programme to unemployed youth, offering work experience, personal/professional development, mentorship, and economic connections. At the same time, youth help struggling children at risk of dropping out of school with reading, numeracy and wellbeing.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Launched in 2015, YearBeyond is a social franchise partnership programme. As a dual beneficiary programme, we provide NGO partners with the catch-up materials for children and the youth development training, using a train-the-trainer model. A mentor oversees programme delivery.

Learners get 150 hours of extra support and parents access workshops and materials. Youth get 96 hours of curriculum content to build key competencies.

To enable scale, the programme has honed its systems and also leverages technology to track attendance, roll out the curriculum, and monitor quality. As a result, the programme’s live data dashboard shows which youth are in service/work, how many learners are in sessions and the length of sessions enabling the management team to zoom into and support areas with challenges.

Youth are effective in supporting learners because they are supported by mentors. In 2023 we are piloting a virtual mentorship model which will enable scale into remote areas.

How has it been spreading?

Despite Covid challenges, YearBeyond has grown significantly, providing opportunities to over 500 youth supporting 7000 children in 2020 to 3,017 youth supporting 33 130 learners across two provinces in 2022.

The focus in the last two years has been on building systems for scale while retaining programme quality.

We have grown from a small family of 13 partners to over 30 partners, from a largely paper-based, face to face programme to a digital, blended programme leveraging technology for scale and developing manuals and a comprehensive quality assurance system.

On exit, 78% of youth become economically active. Feedback from teachers suggests an overwhelming positive impact on learner attendance, wellbeing, confidence, self-esteem, and literacy/numeracy.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

There are three innovations available.

Firstly, our youth development model, transitioning youth from unemployment to being economically active. Secondly, our literacy/numeracy catch-up programme for 9-10 year old learners. Thirdly, our social franchise model for scale including the systems, guides and onboarding processes.

Interested parties can visit us or email yearbeyond@westerncape.gov.za

Implementation steps

1. Set up an initial meeting with YearBeyond
Set up a meeting with our team to understand what we do, establish if there is alignment with your goals and values, and if yes, to explore opportunities for collaboration and partnership.
2. Respond to call for partnership
Every year, YearBeyond advertises a call for Implementing Partners. If you are working in education, or youth development, and want to join the movement and provide a dual beneficiary programme apply. You will be given access to clear simple guides, wrap-around support and a community of practice with space to leverage your assets and uniqueness within the social franchise.
3. YearBeyond IP
If you cannot implement the full programme you might be able to leverage parts of the programme and become a collaborator. Tap into our literacy and numeracy catch-up educational material using Teaching At the Right Level Principles, our youth development framework and training materials or our social franchise model.

Spread of the innovation

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