Yoga4Alex helps young people gain a sense of their own self-worth and develops an understanding that they are responsible for their own success and happiness. Students leave the program with a yoga teacher’s qualification, basic computer skills certificate as well as qualifications in teaching English speaking and reading, and conscious communications. These certifications are complemented with essential skills such as accountability, punctuality, teamwork and preparation.
During the year, students gain experience in being a paired reader with grade 2 and great 8 learners at schools in Alexandra, Johannesburg and teach 10 yoga classes during the year. Along with the computer skills they learn, most students save up to buy themselves a computer during the year. The program foregrounds teaching initiative: the students are allowed to make mistakes and supported in coming up with plan b, if plan a doesn’t work out. This instils creativity and lateral thinking.
The yoga training course is an ideal way to achieve a crucial mindset shift in these marginalised young people. All the youth are shifting their internal narrative and are taking the initiative to have a plan in place for further work or study when their contract comes to an end.
Being part of the Yoga4Alex program has been a great experience. I am happy that I did not deny myself the opportunity to learn through it. I am one person who used to procrastinate with everything and say I still have time… Thanks to the program I learned the importance of every second. Now I know I don’t have to wait for the right time, I have to do what time does… Keep moving. Life hasn’t been easy as a child of a single parent, a mother of two and unemployed and with a blurry vision. I learnt that if I allow everything to interrupt me, if anything that comes my way I allow it to be a stopper, I’ll go nowhere. I have learnt to set my goals and be my goals. I learnt to take responsibility for everything I do and set milestones, avoid distraction so I can be able to organise and prioritise.
- Mahlatse Mojapelo
This job has changed how I see myself. In 2017 I became pregnant during my matric year. I thought this is it for me, I’m stuck. Now I know that I want to be a qualified teacher and a make-up artist. I will work so hard to reach that goal.
- Gcinile Vilakazi
Via YES, we hire eight unemployed youth on a 12-month fixed term contract, paying them a salary each month as they complete the career readiness training program at Yoga4Alex. 2019 was the first year we partnered with Yoga4Alex and Yes4Youth, and we plan to support these organisations into the future.