How to Help: Youth Empowerment

Today’s How to Help story is about a charity that was started two years ago by Victoria Ward, principle of Merchants’ (a Dimension Data company) CSI program, who saw an opportunity to take the company’s CSI initiatives to a new level.

Instead of simply sponsoring a charity or initiative she decided to “get her hands dirty” by getting involved with a NGO called Columba Leadership. The program instated by Ward and Columba aims to give the youth better futures through employment opportunities. Together they have helped shaped the futures of over 700 young South Africans.

“When it comes to community spirit, we are committed to active engagement to enable effective youth development and empowerment through youth employment,” says Ward. “Research shows that if first time workers are permanently employed for a full year,” she continues, “They have a better chance of sustained employment and enhanced career opportunities.”

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“We are committed to finding creative solutions that bridge the wider issues of sustainable business through youth employment and development,” she says, “By working in partnership with Columba Leadership we have been able to connect with the youth of South Africa and have a clearer view of the challenges faced by a young workforce, and an invaluable insight into the design of HR incentives, policies and procedures”.

The work being done not only empowers the participants by increasing their self confidence but also enables relationship building and a change in perception about their futures and others.

Active in Gauteng, Kwazulu Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Western and Eastern Capes, Columba and Merchants are making a tangible difference across South Africa.

This is Victoria Ward and Columba Leadership’s story of help. If you would like to find out How to Help please visit this website:

To read more stories like these, visit

Do you help a charity or know of a person that is making a difference in South Africa? Please do share their stories in the comments below or send me the details and I might just feature them in my How to Help series!


Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

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