Youth empowerment is a process where young people are encouraged to take charge of their lives. They do this by addressing their situation and then take action in order to improve their access to resources. In this regard, Hizmet institutions in South Africa aim to improve quality of life for the South African youth through capacity building by providing education as and youth empowerment programs. We believe that youth development is centred on creating greater community change relying on the development of individuals’ capacity.

Among many platforms that we work on, Turquoise Harmony Institute cooperates with other institutions two of which are “Time to Care” solidarity and aid foundation and Horizon Educational Trust. All of these institutions, inspired by Hizmet movement’s principles and values, focus on a wide range of community projects and social development and cohesion programmes by bringing youth from all walks of life to promote a sense of unity, solidarity and cultural exchange. These institutions search new ways to empower youth to enable them actively and responsibly take part in social and economic life in South Africa. This starts with ensuring that all youth not only enjoy their basic rights, regardless of their background and circumstances are, but that this process is transformative and empowering, leading to positive and sustainable change in their lives, communities and nations.

Marking the target date for achieving the United Nations’ internationally agreed sustainable development goals, the year 2015 presents an historic opportunity to place youth development and empowerment as well as gender equality at the centre of the development agenda for the next 15 years. The crucial importance of promoting equality and empowering youth in general and girls in specific has been continuously stressed by United Nations as well as NGOs all over the world. Despite significant progress over the past 5 years towards these goals in multiple fields worldwide, access to basic rights for the youth and empowering them to be a part of decision making remains entrenched in terms of leadership, education, vocational opportunities.

The aim of this event is to discuss how Hizmet Movement Institutions have been making a contribution towards realizing the 4th, 5th, 16th and 17th Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations towards quality education, achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, peace justice and strong institutions as well as partnerships for the goals by discussing how we, for the empowerment of the youth of different backgrounds, can work hand in hand, both within Hizmet institutions and schools in South Africa and with other NGOs striving for the same purpose, to achieve these goals in South Africa, a naturally diverse country.

So, this panel will remind us that our focus should be on transforming the larger community by empowering the youth as well as encouraging them to think critically, take action, volunteer, and  be attentive and active citizens. Accordingly, the topics that we would like to raise and discuss in this panel are as below:

  1. What are some of the challenges (education and skill development, social cohesion and solidarity) in youth empowerment in South Africa, and how do Hizmet institutions work towards sustainable solutions to these challenges?
  2. How does Hizmet institutions and schools in South Africa contribute to social transformation while inspiring youth to actively partake in it?


  • The programme will be moderated by Dr. Raj Govender, Social Cohesion Advocate, who will be directing the discussion around the questions above.
  • We will ask Honourable Minister to enlighten the audience about the current challenges of effective youth empowerment in South Africa from different angles such as education, solidarity and social cohesion.
  • Youth representatives of all three Hizmet institutions will be speaking about their experiences at their institutions and how they guide them in a right way to reach goals and to be a concerned, active citizen about the problems of youth and communities. This will enable us to know more about how these institutions contribute to sustainable solutions for the challenges that Minister mentioned. These representatives will be the graduates of Horizon Educational Trust schools, Time to Care Youth Club Leader, and young members of Turquoise Harmony Institute Trustees.