Youth Potential South Africa - YOUPSA
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Youth Potential South Africa - YOUPSA Youth Potential South Africa - YOUPSA

Youth Potential South Africa - YOUPSA

East London, Eastern Cape

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About Us

We help the socially disadvantaged rural youth in South Africa by bringing education alive & igniting their inner spark

More about my Cause

Youth Potential South Africa - YOUPSA is a registered Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) and Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) founded in June 2015 by Ray Schöne and Alexis Salaman. It is an education project for the socially disadvantaged rural youth in South Africa.
YOUPSA brings education alive by igniting the inner spark in youth. When children discover their “spark”, they tap into their own unique talents and interests.

Youth who have the ability to express their own personality and know what motivates them to do their best, develop into people who have a sense of purpose, empathy and social competence, who achieve higher academic performance and contribute to the well-being of their greater community.

YOUPSA works with:
6 disadvantaged Quintile 1 schools in the remote rural Chalumna area, Buffalo City Metro in the Eastern Cape Province. YOUPSA impacts over 2,000 students and their communities, 6 school principals, 85 teachers and 30 members of 6 School Governing Bodies.

YOUPSA's approach:
We help pave the way to awaken the creativity, potential and purpose in the youth of South Africa.
For young people to thrive, contribute and succeed, developing creativity and empathy is as important as math and reading. It is well-known that children need to learn not only academic subjects in school, but it is equally important to develop soft skills, e.g. learning to get along, regulate emotions, focus and plan, in order to be successful in life.
Children that do have strong social and emotional skills not only have better academic performance, but also more positive relationships and better health. Since children spend a significant amount of their time in school, this is the place to develop these qualities and skills. But in the rural South African schools this kind of learning is not integrated.
Unfortunately the teachers do not have the respective education or experience to be able to impart these skills.
YOUPSA builds relationships, enhances team-building and leadership skills, so that both youth and adults can guide and educate their peers and together accomplish wholesome and cohesive communities.
Primary school years in a child's life are key years for personal development. Yet the children at this age receive the least attention in the EC. By the time they reach High School, it is almost too late to develop these most important qualities that will enable them to live a life of quality and success. This is why YOUPSA's programmes are so essential for youth at Primary School and continuing into the High School level.

YOUPSA's main programmes:
- Creative Youth Empowerment
- Creative Teacher Empowerment
- Leadership and Team-Building Training
- Words Can Change Worlds Literacy programme
- Creating Health with Community Gardens

Sample programme description:
In weekly 'Igniting the Inner Spark' workshops for Grades 4 – 12, YOUPSA nurtures empathy, sense of community, respect, enthusiasm for learning, skills of critical thinking and active discussion. Play, creative art, experiential learning and meditation unlock the participants' talents and potential. Meditation brings increased mental and physical well-being, and improves social and academic skills. Class teachers are encouraged to be part of the workshop experience, so that they can be inspired and enhance their own teaching tools.
Igniting the Inner Spark creates a group environment where young people are comfortable with and supportive towards each other, breaking down barriers, stepping into an accepting and interactive community that gives them a powerful incentive to identify and nurture their inner potential. The group engages in educational activities that are based around a variety of themes such as healthy living, leadership and care for the environment.
For Primary School children the emphasis is on working with arts and crafts, using clay and painting, reading and making poetry, developing confidence in speaking and expressing oneself creatively.
For High School youths the emphasis is on finding one's inner spark, developing listening- and speaking skills, training in meaningful discussion and debate, correctly identifying challenges and finding solutions, taking initiative, managing conflict, developing a vision and implementing effective action plans.

YOUPSA's approach to education is unique in this province because they implement holistic techniques of developing creativity and empathy that are otherwise not available in the existing education structures. These are indispensable and as important as academic subjects for youth to unlock their potential to the fullest.

YOUPSA staff view difficulties that the marginalised experience through the lens of creative solutions. Their approach to breaking the cycle of poverty and marginalisation is nurturing development of mental qualities and skills from within. A mind that is enriched by creativity, confidence and vision, is one that can achieve anything!

Please click on the link below to see the 22nd April article published in the Daily Dispatch:


Register YOUPSA as your MySchool card beneficiary

Woolworths’ MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet is SA’s biggest fundraising programme, donating more than R4 million every month to over 10 000 charities and schools, many of them in poor areas – enabling kids to receive the education they deserve.



  • Ray Schone

    Co-founder and Director

  • Alexis Salaman

    Co-founder and Director

Contact Details


076 1233832


PO Box 3, 5264 Kidds Beach, Eastern Cape, South Africa,East London, Eastern Cape

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