TKD Tours: Youth-owned business providing bicycle tours of Soweto

South Africa – TKD Tours offers tourism packages visiting historical places and museums in Soweto and Kliptown. With GPA funds, they were able to purchase 9 additional bicycles (they have 16 bikes total.)  This has allowed them to expand their operations and hire 3 youth.   They have entered into several partnerships with other local tour guides to strengthen their presence in the area and has fast become a premier tour provider for local hotels.  The organization spearheads a charity drive to provide school uniforms for children in Kliptown.

In June, 2014 TKD Tours was awarded a second grant in the amount of $10,000 from GPA in order to expand business operations, develop a business plan and purchase a van to transport tourists to tour sites. Additionally, the organization is receiving business mentoring and instruction from GPA partner, Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP). TEP will assist TKD Tours with developing a vision and plan expand/develop operations, run efficiently and leverage assets.

Grassroot Soccer: Teaching youth life skills through soccer

South Africa – Grassroot Soccer (GRS) is a South African based, not for profit organization. Its mission is to use the power of soccer in the fight against AIDS by providing African youth with the knowledge, skills, and support to remain HIV free.  Founded by former professional soccer players in 2002, GRS trains African soccer stars, soccer coaches, teachers, and young peer educators in the worlds most HIV-affected countries to deliver an interactive HIV prevention curriculum to youth. GRS focus its efforts in delivering an innovative education program to and by youth. The curriculum focuses on building basic life skills that help young people, to adopt healthy behaviors and live risk-free. Through a series of interactive games, activities, and discussions students gain a tangible understanding of core messages related to HIV/AIDS and get a chance to practice the skills necessary for sustainable behavior change.

Key topics in the GRS curriculum include healthy decision-making, avoiding risks, building support networks, reducing stigma and discrimination, increasing knowledge about testing and treatment, addressing gender issues, and assessing values. After having completed the curriculum the students graduate with a ceremony. GRS graduates are also given tools such as Extra Time Magazine, which is a unique communications tool that includes messages and interviews with many of the Worlds top soccer stars. It also reviews the topics covered in the GRS curriculum and provides a tool for the graduates to serve as peer educators by sharing their knowledge with the community at large.


  • July 2008 – $5,000 for Grassroot Soccer program in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  GPA was interested in becoming a funder of GRS so we might benefit from the excellent learning approach of this well-designed and evaluated program. Our African advisors also thought the program might be usefully extended to other countries where we make grants.

Esther Retreat: Computer literacy training programs for disadvantaged young women

South Africa – The Esther Retreat was founded in April 2009 by Masentle Mokhele, a young social entrepreneur.  The organization focuses on skills development for previously disadvantaged young women who are currently in high school, tertiary and unemployed young women. Training courses in interview preparation, self–discovery and purpose,  entrepreneurship in tourism and computer literacy.

A 2010 GPA grant in the amount of $ 4771 allowed the organization to begin and train over 100 disadvantaged girls in Pretoria and Soweto South Africa to become computer literate at no cost to them.  At the conclusion of the grant period the organization had purchased 20 computers, conducted countless training courses for young girls in Soweto and Kliptown and supported instruction at two local schools.

Ekupholeni: Emotionally challenged youth participate in transitional and skill building programs

South Africa – Ekupholeni is a non-profit organization in Katorus, South Africa that provides mental health services to their community.  Their programs focus on psychosocial impact of violence, trauma, abuse and the HIV/ AIDS pandemic.  Ekupholeni utilizes mental health development programs addressing youth at risk, gender violence and HIV/AIDS and bereavement to provide holistic mental health care to the community.  A cross cutting income generation project supports sustainable livelihoods of clients in the various programs on a needs basis.

Recently, Ekupholeni launched a Kick-Start Program for the teenagers and young adults that have been emotionally and psychologically stabilized through the  psychological intervention groups to move into a bridging program that affords them the opportunity for skills training, apprenticeship, further studies or micro-business depending on their abilities.  Kick-Start is a “transitional” program that assists participants to become re-integrated into their communities with not only psychological but also material and economic resources.  Such further intervention is necessary to break the long-term cycles of poverty and deprivation and the associated helplessness by empowering/transforming our youth to become as self-sufficient and productive as is possible.


  • September, 2008 – $5,000 for establishment of the Kick-Start Program.  GPA is very interested in the holistic approach to youth development Ekupholeni takes in the community where they are working.  Few organizations use mental health and transition programs to serve youth and mentor them through a critical time in their lives.

Centre for Family Health Initiative: Youth received training and microloans to develop business ventures

Nigeria – GPA provided a $5000 grant to the Centre For Family Health Initive MICSEP program in July, 2015. The center worked with local organizations to identify 44 youth to participate in entrepreneurship training. 26 youth were chosen to receive $125 in loans to begin operations in baking, grinding foodstuffs and selling popcorn. As a condition of funding, all youth worked with mentors and had guarantors for repayment of funds. By August, 2016 25 youth had started viable businesses that supported their families basic needs and most had expanded operations to other, related ventures. 81% of all funds have been repaid and the program will use these funds to support another cohort of youth in 2017.

Ithohannonsose Charity Foundation (ICF): Training physically disabled youth shoe-making skills

Kenya – In December, 2014 GPA awarded $5000 to ICF to train 75 physically disabled and educationally disadvantaged youth in a remote Nigerian village. No government programs or assistance are offered to the physically disadvantaged and many must beg for sustenance. Youth were trained in shoe making, bead making, clothes and mat weaving.

GPA awarded a second grant in the amount of $10,000 in June, 2015 to develop organizational sustainability and expand ICF’s programs to the community.

Take a moment to view their training video and meet these incredible young social entrepreneurs!



CEADER: Dressmaking and tailoring program for former commercial sex workers living in slums

Nigeria – CEADER received $5000 grant from GPA to implement a skills training program for commerical sex workers in the slums of Nigeria.

Excerpt from CEADER final report to GPA dated November, 2013:

Participant Ebere Ofofe: “Ahh the training has done a lot in my life. I know that with it, I can train my own children, I can take care of myself.”

CEADER has successfully enrolled 12 youth girls for two 2 skills acquisition training programs,hair dressing and tailoring. Of the twelve project beneficiaries, 4 of them are sex workers who have shown uncommon commitment to securing a skill to help them live a more secure life. The trainees have remained very enthusiastic about their participation in the training and are already excitedly making plans for their transition to becoming economically independent once they complete the training. The sex workers have reported that they are no longer under desperate pressure to earn an income as they have already started receiving tips from customers (client) that they help serve in their different places of training. CEADER staff are especially delighted about the outcome of this project. The trainees’ excitement has been quite infectious and encouraging to CEADER staff.

Specifically, the implementation of this project has resulted in the establishment, for the first time in the target slum community, Ijora Badia, a group of youth girls who have committed to influencing other youths in entrepreneurship development. For the sex workers who are participating in the training who have shown unusual interest and ability to learn really fast, they keep reiterating the immense benefits to their future the training provides. There are obvious indications that this project will indeed contribute to combating the p prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Ijora Badiya with sex workers being economically empowered.

The project has helped foster a mutually beneficial relationship between trainers in the target community and the youth- it has awakened a consciousness of the economic deprivation suffered by youth as a result of lack of skills. People in the community had simply assumed that the youth were not interested in making anything of their lives. There is now a definite commitment to ensuring that opportunities are sought to ensure increased entrepreneurship opportunities for the poor youth in target community. We have come to the conclusion that this is a project that should be replicated in slums across the global south.

The trainers have also shown unprecedented commitment to ensuring that project objectives are achieved. On noticing that 2 friends who were enrolled in her salon were always chatting with one another and not paying much attention to the training, their trainer decided to separate them by transferring one of the 2 trainees as well as the fee paid by CEADER to a near by salon.
We thank GPA for supporting this project which has strengthened CEADER’s work with youth girls slums. We will certainly replicate this project in order slum and encourage other groups in Nigeria as well outside Nigeria to introduce similar project activities that especially target youth girls in poor slum communities because of their peculiar circumstances and challenges.

Okwango: Youth preserving the environment and building peace through agribusiness

Nigeria – GPA funded an agribusiness project in the Okwangwo villages of Nigeria.  63 youth were taught beekeeping, snail farming, cultivating fruit trees and farm development practices with the goal of reducing poverty, teaching entrepreneurship skills, microenterprise, conservation education, computer training and providing much needed food security.

“The project does not only provide opportunity for selected youth to generate income and manage this profitable enterprise but also contribute to the development of the target villages. Aside from beneficiaries, some person had short term employment as they were engage in construction of snail pens and bee hives. In addition, the grant proves to the management of CRNP that there is always alternative to every problem. A peace meeting was held and issue about use of resources in the park by youths was discussed and this grant showed a way to the park management to contribute to the development of enclave villages”  Louis Nkonyu, Director

“On behalf the beneficiaries and my communities, I sincerely want to thank the GPA for this support. It really wonderful to know that without known our problems previously you were able to judge our proposal to be worthwhile and provided this funds which has not only benefited the selected youth but also serve as roadmap for conflict reduction over the use of forest resource between the protected area authority and local people.”  Louis Nkonyu, Director

In October, 2014 GPA awarded a second grant in the amount of $9794 to support and expand this project. TOCS social entrepreneurs began their expansion by processing the byproducts of harvested honey creating candles and wax goods. Youth developed better processes for growing mango seedlings shortening their growth time and maturation process yielding more product in the marketplace. The group introduced new species of snails to their operations. 40 additional youth were trained and the program continues to thrive. Moreover, the development of business enterprises eliminated ongoing conflict with the Cross River National Park Government officials over use of the natural resources bringing peace and sustainability to the region.

Constructing Bee Hives


Harvesting Honey

Morning Star Humanitarian Services: Trains young girls and widows employable marketplace skills

Nigeria – Morning Star creates a nurturing environment that fosters awareness of health issues faced by the youth, including knowledge and awareness of HIV/AIDS.  They provide vocational training skills to youth, provide youth with access to information on ways to improve their economic status, and empower youth to jump-start their independent entrepreneurial activities.  Morning Star works with local community members, civil organizations, other youth oriented organizations, as well as members of the local and federal government to advocate for the development of large-scale sustainable programs that focus on improving the health and economic status of youth in Nigeria.


  • June 2010, $5,000 – Project Enrich.  In the summer of 2010, Morning Star held Project Enrich-Youth Empowerment Project. Although the project was initiated solely for the youth in Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos, they noticed that there was a need to address the plight of widows who live in the area as many of them are in need of ways to jump-start entrepreneurial activities. So in conjunction to a Youth Empowerment program, Morning Star also hosted a Widow’s Empowerment Project during the summer of 2010. For six weeks and with support from GPA, Morning Star was able to train 60 people between the ages of 18-55 in the following skills: computer training, tie and dye, bead making, catering, interior and exterior decorating, screen printing, and fashion designing. The workshops were free for all participants and all the materials needed were provided with no cost to them. This program is the only free Youth and Widows project ever carried out in the local government area that didn’t impose any registration or program fee to participants. As a result, many of our participants were delighted to have an opportunity to gain skills that ultimately enhances their livelihood. This program also increased awareness on plight of youths and widows in the community in terms of their lack of resources, to the extent that local government office has challenged Morning Star to continue with our program as they believe that we are on track to equipping youths and widows with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to attain a sustainable livelihood.
  • May, 2014, $5000-Project Sustain. GPA awarded grant funds to further develop Morning Star’s program. Project Sustain trained 120 youth in income producing skills. This program is the only program in the region that offers free training.

Dr. Patricia Awelomar (foreground) President of Morning Star with a youth Project Sustain participant

Hope Interactive: Established a community training center to teach youth agribusiness skills

Hope Interactive

Nigeria – Hope Interactive works to promote a healthy, fair and sustainable future for all the people of Nigeria by eradicating poverty and improving the quality of life through capacity building in various spheres of human development.  Hope interactive is committed to the promotion of innovative approach to positive human development, and behavior pattern through interaction and exchange of values and ideas.

The purpose of the project is to establish a community training center to empower youth through capacity building in agriculture (crop cultivation, fish farming, poultry and small animal/ruminant raising).  Empowering the youth will give them a positive and sustainable means of livelihood, thereby alleviating poverty in the community.


  • December 2009 – $4,940 to equip youth with agricultural skills and business loans to enable them to become self sufficient.  GPA is excited about partnering with Hope Interactive to equip youth with valuable skills and the capital needed to start their own businesses.