National Youth Resilience Initiative

The Department of Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD), in partnership with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), supported by the German Development Cooperation through the GIZ Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention Programme (VCP) , recognize the serious and adverse socio-economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on young people and the urgent need for interventions to support them in coping with these effects. The partners have been collaborating to support and promote the psychosocial well being and resilience of youth in South Africa through the National Youth Resilience Initiative (NYRI). The strategic framework for the NYRI was developed after the online NYR Dialogue which was hosted on the 13 July 2020 and in which a youth led agenda for interventions was identified by South African youth participants with the objectives of the NYRI being defined as:


“The NYRI will highlight the issue of the psychosocial well-being and resilience of young people during and in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and facilitate access to quality, evidence-based psychosocial support programmes and services (including, for example, life skills programmes, counselling, leadership development programmes, active citizenship and volunteering programmes).” [National Youth Resilience Task Team paper “Promoting the psychosocial well- being and resilience of young people in South Africa in response to the COVID 19 pandemic – Establishing a NYRI Network of Youth Ambassadors for Resilience” Multi-stakeholder working group

WESSA, in collaboration with Activate Change Drivers, is implementing pathway one of the NYRI strategy which is the creation of the Youth Ambassador Network.


Strategic Activities of the Ambassador Network


50 youth ambassadors representing South Africa’s 9 provinces are being capacitated as young, resilient, proactive leaders who engage and amplify their local youth communities to enable a stronger voice in the agenda setting and delivery of the country’s youth agenda. The Training and Education Plan sets out to build the network’s identity as a youth led process to shape their vision for impact. Nine virtual workshops will culminate in a National Youth Dialogue and call to action for a more sustainable, just and resilient environment for South Africa’s youth. Recognising the importance and relationship between resilience and digital competencies, the implementing team is focussed, through workshops, task team projects, action tasks, coaching and mentoring, on enabling youth to engage in an increasingly virtual working world that delivers tangible and meaningful outputs to local youth communities.


The first cohort of ambassadors will graduate in November of 2021.
To find out more, contact Mike Denison mike.denison@wessa.co.za