What We Do

Successful youth mentoring has many positive outcomes:

  • Improved academic achievement and increased opportunity for employment;
  • Reduced levels of anger and alienation;
  • Reduction in substance abuse;
  • Improved social, educational and occupational functioning at later stages of development;
  • Improved positive mental health, happiness and life satisfaction; and
  • Improved self-esteem and quality of relationships with figures of authority, peers, parents and other adults.
  • Discover the positive outcomes for our programme graduates

The Transition to Independent Living (TIL) Youth Mentoring Programme fills the gap between children’s homes and independent living through a one-to-one, person-centred, strengths-based mentoring programme. The TIL programme started as a pilot project that ran for three years, from 2010-2012, which helped to finetune and improve the model.

Today the programme is expanding to serve youth in multiple children’s homes in the Cape Town metropolitan area, with the goal to cover all children’s homes by 2018. The mentors are volunteers who give an hour of their time each week for a year. Our mentors are business people, lecturers, bankers and housewives. A number of them are parents and many of them are not. Their work helps these young people avoid problem and high-risk behaviour and reintegrate into the community. Each mentor offers advice and guidance with employment opportunities, education and skills training, housing and personal development, but most importantly they are there to provide friendship.

The 9 Programme Stages:

  1. Recruitment
  2. Training
  3. Matching
  4. Self-Evaluation & Development (SED) Workshops
  5. Key Outcomes (KO) Workshops
  6. Match Support
  7. Closure
  8. Graduation
  9. Alumni Group

SA-YES works in partnership with local, national and international organisations. We are providing the TIL programme to the youth in the following children’s homes:

Download a larger version of this map here.

The Transition to Independent Living (TIL) Youth Mentoring Programme participants are young men and women who have spent part (or all) of their lives in children’s homes. These young people, who were removed from their families by the courts to ensure their safety, are supported by government funding until the age of 18. Unfortunately these government resources are severely constrained, and without support the young people are often disengaged from the children’s homes ill-equipped for independent living and subsequently fall into a life of drugs and crime.

The TIL mentoring programme is designed to support them by offering guidance, providing positive role modelling and linking them to resources that will assist them with this difficult transition to responsible, independent living.


In 2013 we established the SA-YES Ambassadors Group. Led by one of our former mentees, this group is made up of former and current programme participants. It provides peer support to our programme graduates and life-skills workshops for our current programme. This is proving to be incredibly successful.

Read more on our 2013 outcomes.

About SA-YES

SA-YES was founded in 2008 to offer much-needed support and guidance for children and young people in South Africa.

We provide youth leaving children's homes with guidance that will enable them to develop their skills, further their education and source suitable housing, in order for them to participate in society as independent, mature, responsible adults.

Learn more

Support Us With A Donation

It costs SA-YES R10,000 for one mentor - mentee match for one year. This includes the recruitment, screening, training, monthly workshops, support from our social worker and graduation of mentors and mentees. Use the currency converter to check what that means in your currency.

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"I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” -Carl Jung