Dream Factory Foundation is a Cape Town based youth-led non-profit organization that empowers young people (13-22 years) to actively participate in the economy through their dreams and aspirations. The concept of Dream Factory Foundation was born towards the end of 2011, when the founders, Laurian Nortje and Lusanda Gwayi were working in under-resourced schools in the Western Cape and were confronted with the realities of lack of access to quality education, high levels of unemployment, lack of exposure to sustainable livelihoods and poverty faced by young people in these schools. The two felt a deep call to impact the lives of young people positively through an educational programme titled #BeTheDream, designed to develop and enhance participants’ self-development skills, such as self-confidence and interpersonal skills; as well as offer points of connection through entrepreneurial and employability interventions at schools such as work experience placements.


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Dream Factory Foundation


Describe in detail what your Organisation does:


  • A non-profit that empowers youth-at-risk (13-25 years) to transition successfully into adulthood and make a full contribution to active society. Our Mission is to ignite, inspire and motivate hope for the future in the hearts of young people through their dreams and aspirations. Through our innovative programs, we connect young people to caring mentors, our future-focused Dream Tool-Kit and further opportunities that increase their knowledge of and access to tertiary, entrepreneurial and employment opportunities where they can actualize their dreams. Current research reveals that programs which encourage learners to develop a positive view of their future prospects, and what they must do to achieve realistic goals are important in addressing and preventing school dropouts (Hartnack 2017:15). To this end, we run three projects, namely: #BetheDream, Emergent Academy and #AdoptAclass which we further discuss below:
    – We have developed a Dream Tool Kit curriculum to aid the facilitation of our flagship program: #BetheDream. The program has been recognised by the Western Cape Department of Education as an After School Programme at targeted schools. Through a network of trained youth facilitators, our impact rate is beyond 300 learners per week. Our activities also include career-guidance, academic tutoring, job-shadowing and mentoring. We have also integrated Menstrual Hygiene Education into our program which includes learners receiving free menstrual cups donated by Intimina.
    – The Emergent Academy bridges the gap between unemployed youth to a state of being employable. During the six-month program students are trained with basic coding and digital skills; provided with tools on how to start an entrepreneurial venture and work experience as school facilitators.
    -The #AdoptAclass tutorial model has proved with time to have been a game-changer in the life of a student. The program has been crafted to provoke the imaginative eye of a learner to see beyond the current environment that perhaps contributes to his/her poor academic performance and dares the scholar to envision the possibility to become the manifestation of his or her dream through academic exceptionalism. We have collaborated with PwC to ensure the success of this program and look forward to your involvement as a corporate entity.


How long has your Organisation been operational?


  • 5 Years


In your opinion, what has been the most challenging aspect of running your Organisation?


  • the most challenging part of running an organisation is managing people mostly young people.


Describe your Nonprofit Journey in three words:


  • ignite, inspire and motivate


Do you collaborate with other Causes? If yes, would you like to mention them?


  • yes, we did a collaborate with Ikamva youth, codex, eduone.


If you had one Organisation wish, what would it be?


  • Dream Factory Foundation


In your opinion, which skills do Nonprofits in your Country lack?


  • in my opinion, science and technology skills are more need in my country


Looking back at your Cause Journey, what advice would you give a newbie Organisation?


  • the advise I would like to give to newbie organization is to follow their hearth and being authentic.


If you could change one thing about the Nonprofit Landscape, what would it be?


  • the only thing I want to change about the non-profit landscape is the lack of funding for a young organization you have to work very hard and prove yourself before someone fund you.


Which Cause achievement are you most proud of? Feel free to elaborate on why and include any links


  • we are most proud of all the workshops organize by Dream Factory Foundation especially the Emergent Business Academy. who is a Post-school beneficiaries (includes our school-going beneficiaries who have passed their grade 12 and unemployed youth) have the opportunity to participate in the EmergentCodinAcademy? This academy is a six-month program that empowers 50 (annually) high potential under-privileged youth (over 90% are of ‘black’ ethnicity and over 70% of whom are female aged 18-25) with coding, entrepreneurship and creative problem skills. Throughout the week, these young people will advance their Computer Science skills such that at the end of the academy they will be competent in working with WordPress, HTML & CSS, and javascript. They will be able to know how to develop their own website, as well as how to integrate these skills with starting their own business, problem-solving and excelling academically. The Academy also offers them first-hand job experience by posting them as part-time facilitators in schools who assist life-orientation teachers during their classroom period. This project, therefore, balance skills development and with shifting entrepreneurial mindsets. It improves access to basic services by engaging students in innovative, hands-on-technology, skills development, job creation and education; as well as reaches females thereby promoting gender equality and women empowerment and is therefore well aligned with the […] objectives.In 2016, our organization pioneered a project titled the “EmergentCodin’Academy” in partnership with Google and the US Embassy. This project targeted 50 young people (13-25 years of age) from rural and township communities which exposes them to gangsterism, drug abuse, rape, poverty, suicide and teenage pregnancy on a regular basis; as such, they are youth at risk. This means they are in a situation that is harmful or may be harmful to his/her ability to integrate into an appropriate lifestyle of studies, social life, and family and as a consequence are unlikely to be able to transition successfully into adulthood and make a full contribution to active society.


Last question, if your friends had to describe your Organisation in three words, which would they use?


  • youthful, Impactful, Faithful made

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