Welcome to the Youth Development Collaboration Lab
The Youth Development Collaboration Lab (YD Co-Lab) is a collaborative network of organisations and individuals working to advance youth development and empowerment in South Africa.
We are a collective of youth development enthusiasts, ecosystem actors, organisations and individuals committed to advancing a more effective systems response to advance the youth development agenda.
Our vision is a South Africa where all young people have the information, knowledge and resources to be socio-economically empowered active citizens.
We believe in the power that comes from deep collaboration between the right partners and the value of positive youth development to effect meaningful social change and improve the lives of all people in our country.
We contribute to this vision by building the largest collaborative network of youth development organisations in South Africa.
Building a collective voice for youth development organisations and others in the ecosystem
Understand, grow and recognise the collective impact of individuals, organisations and others in the youth development ecosystem
We seek to drive integration and collaboration across the sector between and with all stakeholders, whether civil society, social impact, private and/or public sector.
Supporting organisations that are delivering services to youth with shared resources, best practice, and learning.
The YD Co-Lab’s governance, strategy and work is guided by a Steering Committee, which consists of individuals that have worked voluntarily since October 2020 to establish the YD Co-Lab. The Steering Committee Members have engaged with various stakeholders to build the YD CoLab into a powerful voice and place for youth development enthusiasts to meet, work together and accelerate youth development and empowerment in South Africa.
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Lucha Lunako
I am an entrepreneur and strategist who believes that substantial reform is needed to our political and economic systems to create long term sustainability for humanity, thriving economies across the globe and to bring the management of our natural resources into equilibrium so that we can resolve the key root causes of our societal challenges, including poverty and inequality. MY AREAS OF EXPERIENCE INCLUDE: - Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment - Social Enterprise and the global and local ecosystems - Youth Development - Strategy development and innovation - Business models, identifying opportunities and the monetisation of ideas - Grassroots economic development - Venture Philanthropy and start up social enterprises
Senior Partner at Capacitate
Jason is a social entrepreneur with a passion for innovation. He is driven to find new ways to solve complex social and environmental problems using technology and a collaborative systems approach. His experience in mobile technology, ICT for healthcare, international development, banking, automotive and logistics has taken him across the African continent to support NGOs, global agencies, corporate investors and governments. Jason is a founding partner at Capacitate - an impact advisory and consulting social enterprise, SoCapX – a social investment platform, Medibucks – a medical savings platform, and Solinta – a software development company. Currently he serves on the board of HIV South Africa and on the Development Impact Support Committee of the IDC.
CEO of enke: Make Your Mark
Passionate about creating environments for people to define and achieve success, Rufaro's worked in non-profit and social enterprise in Zimbabwe, Canada and South Africa. Rufaro's dedication to youth development in Africa is driven by her belief that socio-economic transformation and leadership of the continent is in young people. To this end, she is the CEO of enke: Make Your Mark (www.enke.co.za), an award-winning youth leadership and entrepreneurial development organisation. Beyond enke, Rufaro is a board member of Ikamva Youth (a leading education and tutoring organisation), is a One Young World Ambassador, part of the inaugural Obama Leaders Africa Program (2018). She has been recognised in 2017 listing of Top 25 Distinguished Women Leaders in Africa and 2018 Avance Media's 100 Most Influential Young South Africans. A youth development enthusiast and social entrepreneur, Rufaro is fascinated by ways in which we can advance effective support and empowerment with young people on the continent. As a speaker or panelist, she also engages exploration of concepts such as servant leadership, collaboration, and how we create and sustain environments for the individual and the collective to thrive.
Project Manager, Bertha Centre Youth Development Innovation
Luvuyo Maseko is the Project manager in the Youth Innovation portfolio at the Bertha Centre. Luvuyo’s work seeks to improve and support Africa’s young people transitioning from education to employment by uncovering effective, affordable, and inclusive solutions and by supporting the accelerated uptake of these solutions in low-income settings. He has a background in psychology, sociology, and sports for development with his most recent role at Students for A Better Future, an academic scholarship programme, involving him supporting and guiding young people. Luvuyo is passionate about holistic community development, youth empowerment, sport and contributing to programmes in which young people have the freedom to be the authors of their own stories
Project Lead - Youth Capital
I have over six years’ experience in research, spanning the field of molecular biology and public health. I am passionate about data analysis and using the lessons learnt from operational research to improve policies and design implementation plans which are realistic and cost-efficient. As a recipient of the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship and the lead investigator of two research projects (in South Africa and Malawi), I have a proven track record of strong leadership and project management. Lastly my numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at both local and international conferences and meetings, are evidence of my strong communication and writing skills, and my ability to translate complex data analysis into research outputs which are understood across a broad range of stakeholders.
Nicky Du Plessis
CEO, Fieldband Foundation
Nicolette (Nicky) du Plessis has been an independent arts consultant specializing in the design and management of cultural development projects, project evaluation and training since 1996. In May 2014 she was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Field Band Foundation, South Africa. This multiple award-winning NGO is a platform for social development through the medium of music and dance, reaching over 5 000 members in all nine provinces of the country. She co-edited “The South African Handbook on Arts and Culture” with Mike van Graan in 1998; was a member of the Board of the National Arts Council (NAC) from 2003/4, was re-appointed as a Ministerial appointee from 2008 - 2011; has served as the National Deputy Chair of the Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) for three years and remained in leadership position for another three years, and was the Chair of Art Moves Africa,(AMA) an international fund that funds artists traveling within Africa till 2011. She won the Arts Administrator of the Year Award from the Arts and Culture Trust in 2005.
Partnership Manager, Harambee
Adela Ndlovu is passionate about Community Development and holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Development Studies from the University of South Africa. Adela Ndlovu also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Communications from The Tshwane University of Technology. She is a facilitator and a Stakeholder Relations Manager at Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator where she engages with grassroot stakeholders and youth in search for income generating opportunities.
Executive Director, Phronesis
Tsitsi is a social entrepreneur who founded Phronesis Students Development Trust NPO, to serve the impoverished informalettlement communities in Johannesburg North. The organisation, established in 2010 creates opportunities for holistic development through various key areas: Child, Youth, Women, Education and Skills. Theirr mission is to provide a safe space for hundreds of people, including youth (between the ages of 18-35 years) to be equipped and empowered within their community to achieve their full potential. The organisation’s programs provide alternative role models who are committed as mentors and tutors to help grow and develop every individual to be able to take responsibility for their dreams through commitment, perseverance, shared learning, giving back and having fun. Tsitsi’s mission is to see every youth go through ther program as a successful pathway to a dignified job, and to deliver professionally supported skills training, coaching and mentorship programmes that best prepare learners for the working world.
YD Co-Lab is a community of organisations, companies and individuals addressing the youth development challenges of South Africa head-on. We are building a member-based association where members will:
- Be part of a community of youth development professionals united by a common purpose to continuously learn, interact, collaborate, and innovate;
- Access and be part of collaborative action that makes a difference in the South African youth development ecosystem;
- Gain the credibility, support and professional influence of being part of coordinated advocacy efforts;
- Network with other professionals in your local area or within a specific youth development sector interest
Interested in joining?
Complete the registration form to find out more about our our membership criteria, and activities.
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