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City Year
South Africa history and values

Founded in Johannesburg in 2005, City Year South Africa is a full-time national youth service programme that brings together a diverse group of 18-25 year olds for a year of voluntary service, civic engagement and leadership development.

Close up of a red jacket with a Johannesburg 2005 patchFounded in Johannesburg in 2005, City Year South Africa is a national youth service programme that brings together a diverse group of 18-25 year olds for a year of voluntary service, civic engagement and leadership development. Working together in teams as tutors, mentors and role models, these City Year South Africa “service leaders” work to support children in schools and youth development centres across Gauteng.

City Year South Africa endeavours to develop a generation of leaders for South Africa who know their value in society and have the skills to make a lifelong contribution to building our nation. Through service and training, City Year’s programme helps young people develop civic knowledge, skills, and equips them with the tools to be active, responsible participants in our society.

City Year is built on the belief that one person can make a difference, and with the vision that one day, service will be a common expectation – and a real opportunity – for citizens around the world.

City Year South Africa works to support the growing national youth service movement in South Africa, with a strong belief that youth service is a powerful vehicle to:

  • Develop a generation of young leaders for South Africa
  • Enhance employment and educational opportunities for young people
  • Address critical developmental needs in schools and communities
  • Promote a culture of service across all sectors of society
City Year South Africa service leaders surrounding President Mandela with a red jacket on his lap
With the support of President Nelson Mandela and President Bill Clinton, City Year was introduced to South Africa leaders in 2001. Inspired by the program, the founding co-chairs Mr. Rick Menell and Mr. Murphy Morobe helped launch the first City Year South Africa Corps in 2005. City Year was founded in the United States in 1988, and now serves 29 cities across the US. In addition to South Africa, the United Kingdom launched an affiliate program in 2010; City Year UK now serves in London, Greater Manchester, and the West Midlands regions.

Our values

The power of City Year South Africa comes from ordinary people taking action. To put our idealism into action, we are guided by four values.

ServeToWork

In response to South Africa’s youth unemployment crisis, City Year South Africa launched its flagship "ServeToWork" model in 2017, a progamme designed to help service leaders transition from City Year into the workforce.

Service Partners
  • Lyndhurst primary school logo
  • Mikateka logo
  • Rebonwe Primary School logo
  • Sekwati primary school logo
  • Tshilidzi Primary school logo
  • Zola Higher Primary School logo
  • Paul Mosaka primary school logo
Amathuba Partners
  • Camp Sizanani logo
  • Phakamani young minds logo
  • WestRand Youth Development logo
  • Timberland South Africa Logo
  • Aggatu logo