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Youth Education
Youth Education


Where more than
3 million young people

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are not in education,
employment or training.



Where young people who do not
continue studying after high school

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have a 2 in 3 chance of unemployment.



Where 80% of underperfoming schools

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are in impoverished communities.


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This is South Africa.
Where together, we can give young people a truly amazing gift - a real start in life.

We have taken our passion for working with disadvantaged young people at the heart of impoverished communities and turned it into a unique programme that is making a huge difference.

We focus on helping young people to change their lives, set out on the path to a successful career and become positive role-models.

It makes perfect sense. Lower youth unemployment, fewer people living in poverty and a brighter future for generations to come. This isn't just a quick fix either; these positive effects are here to stay.

Now you've read a bit about what we do, why not see our programme in action too.

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Every organisation has to start somewhere. For RealStart, this was in the mind of founder Jonathan Stanton-Humphreys.

Being involved in youth work gave him a front-row seat to a growing crisis. After seeing the reality facing young people leaving school in impoverished communities, he knew that something needed to be done.

In August 2010, Jonathan decided that RealStart was the answer to this problem and in January 2011 the journey began.

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Since then, we have been working with young people from impoverished communities around George and, more recently, Johannesburg.

But we don't want to just stop there. We want to continue growing the programme into the rest of South Africa too, establishing a national footprint.

We are a registered Non-Profit Organisation (099-459) and Public Benefit Organisation (930037555) with 18A status.

We like everyone involved with RealStart to be singing from the same hymn sheet.

To make sure this happens, we have a clear Vision, Mission and Ethos. They set out what we want to achieve through our work with young people and most importantly the beliefs that guide us.

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Enabled youth,
Changed nation.
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We are proud to say we are Christian organisation; one that genuinely cares for young people and values them as individuals.

We love young people enough to share our faith with them,
but we also love them enough to support their right
to choose what they will believe in.

Whether they choose to follow God or not,
they still remain as valuable in our eyes
as they do in God's.

At the heart of everything we do at
RealStart is the following statement -

'To love God and love others'.

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To passionately care about the future
of marginalised youth, and use
the best possible means to:

Build into their lives
Help their education
Enable their vocational course
Encourage them to become positive
role-models and change-agents
within their nation.

We like to think of RealStart as one big, happy family.

Take the time to find out more about the people that make us tick by clicking on the individual images.

Let's not forget our fantastic partners too, as without them we wouldn't be able to do any of this.

Peter Brodrick

I am passionate about…
Finding real, practical solutions to life’s challenges, the great outdoors, and a closer walk with my Heavenly Father.

I would describe myself as…
Principles-based, open and committed. I also love a bit of adrenaline and interacting with people.

I would like to make the world…
See and know greater Truth, for greater freedom. We have a job to do in this regard.

Andy Young
Communications and Marketing Director

I am passionate about…
Exploring the world and experiencing different cultures. I’m also passionate about using my skills to try and make a difference, no matter how small.

I would describe myself as…
Someone who lives life to the full. I believe that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. I am outgoing and always like to meet new people. You definitely won’t find me stood in the corner at a party.

I would like to make the world…
A place where people are accepted for who they are and given the best possible chance to become everything they want to be.

Jonathan Stanton-Humphreys

I am passionate about…
Seeing impoverished young people set free to be all they can be, as well as creating a fun, vibrant and collaborative organisation that achieves this.

I would describe myself as…
Contrarian and maverick in nature. I believe it is important to challenge the status quo and see what could be rather than what is. This same spirit longs for adventure and individualistic sports. I’ve discovered, however, that what I enjoy most is living life with my wife and two fantastic kids.

I would like to make the world…
A place where people are cared for, not because of what can be gained from them, but because of who and what they are. I follow deeply the call to ‘love God and love others’.

Grethe Mattheus
Project Manager – Small Business Incubation

I am passionate about…
People, books, good food and bad jokes.

I would describe myself as…
An idealist.

I would like to make the world…
Slow down.

Lisa Christie
Board Member

Lisa has a strong sales and marketing background, with more than 16 years experience of successfully running and expanding businesses. She demonstrated her entrepreneurial spirit from an early age too, as she took up her first job at the age of 11.

After graduating from high school and spending a period of time traveling overseas, she started to build her reputation as a businesswoman. Firstly, she worked alongside her husband, Henri, to grow South Cape Sales, before establishing her own business in 2004. Since then, Roof Handler has become one of the leading distributors of roofing products in the Garden Route.

Lisa currently lives in George with Henri and they have two sons.

Marius van Coller
Board Member

With 15 years technical and management experience as a consultant in the engineering field, Marius’ strength lies in the effective leadership of multidisciplinary teams. His leadership style centres on the development and empowerment of team members and his approach to business is focussed on sustainability and innovative thinking.

Currently based in George, Marius is involved in structural engineering projects and project management on a national level.

He is married to Liesel and together they have two children.

Cobus Goosen
Advisory Board Member

Cobus is a qualified chartered accountant with extensive audit, tax and advisory experience. However, his greatest joy is developing innovative financial solutions to help business owners assess the position of their business at a glance.

He is currently a director at Grant Thornton’s Southern Cape branch. The organisation is the fifth largest auditing, tax, outsourcing and advisory firm in South Africa.

Away from the office, Cobus is a keen mountain biker and loves to travel. He is married to Ineke and they have three children.

Liandi Franzsen
Career Enablement

I am passionate about…
Knowing the Lord and making Him known, living out God’s purpose and seeing people reach there destiny and potential in Him, and always enjoying the simple moments of life.

I would describe myself as…
Adventurous, fun, and stubborn. I enjoy anything that’s active, outdoors and with people.

I would like to make the world…
A place where people know and accept God’s love. If every person in this world fully understood and believed the love that Father God has for them earth would be heaven; a perfect place. The goodness of the Lord leads us to repentance.

Donald Coetzee
Board Member

Donald studied Medical Technology and Strategic Management in Gauteng, before working in a number of Sales and Marketing positions in the medical field. Through these positions, he developed business opportunities all over Africa.

After a number of years out of the medical field pursuing different ventures, Donald was recently appointed as a Country Manager for Abbott Molecular.

When he is not travelling for work, Donald enjoys spending time in George where he lives with his wife and twin teenage sons.

Jack Stolk
Board Member

After completing his education in KwaZulu-Natal, Jack started a career in retail that lasted more than 15 years. During this time, he developed his own retail outlet that included a bakery, butchery and delicatessen.

Jack also has experience of running his own farm and he has served on various farming committees. He also acted as Chairman on the Conflict Resolution Forum for the Midlands area and helped to establish some of the first commercial farms owned by black people in South Africa.

Currently, he works for Global Roofing Solutions in the company’s Zambia office.

Jack and his wife Liesl have three lovely daughters, Chanelle, Jamie and Sarah.

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When it comes to our finances we like to follow a straightforward rule of thumb: Any money we receive is spent effectively, so it has the biggest impact.

It is also important that our supporters can see just how their donations are making a difference. That is why we are always honest and open about where we spend our money.
At the end of every financial year, we are externally audited.

If you would like to see a copy of our Financial Reports, please just get in touch and we would be happy to share them with you.

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Want to learn even more about RealStart? Then you've come to the right place.

Here you can find some useful documents
and additional information about us.

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Introduction to RealStart
An overview of our Youth Development Programme.
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A visual illustration of the youth crisis in South Africa and the ways in which we are providing a solution.
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Success Stories
Read how our programme has transformed the lives of five young people.
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Annual Report 2015
A review of 2015
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Section 51 Manual
How to request access to information held by RealStart.
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As you read this, there are

more than 3 million young people (15 - 24)

in South Africa facing a future

of unemployment, poverty and hopelessness.

It is a growing crisis. It is not the future we want for them. It is time to act.

This is where our unique youth development programme comes in. We are committed to bringing hope to disadvantaged young people from impoverished communities and offering them a way out of this trap.

At RealStart, this happens in three steps. First, we help our students to change their lives. Then we support them to start out on their future career path, before finally enabling them to become positive role models for years to come.

Exactly how we take them through these steps, though, is what makes us a little bit different.

Our youth development programme is split into two main parts...

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We believe that you can only change the lives of young people in the long-term through effective holistic development.

That is why we focus on some of the following areas with our students during the first six months of the programme:

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Spiritual Development

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We help our students to build a relationship with God, and teach them to love God and love others.
It is important that all of the young people we work with understand their unique personalities, who they are meant to be and how to interact with others.
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Community Work
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We also want our students to learn that it is important for them to give something back. Each student becomes actively involved in various community projects where they can care for those less fortunate than themselves.
Practical Lifeskills

This is all about teaching our students valuable skills that they can use in day to day life. These skills include budgeting, public speaking and time management.

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We like to walk hand-in-hand with our students as they move towards a life of success and significance. So we work closely with a fantastic team of mentors, who dedicate their time to building into the lives of the students and providing a guiding light at times of need.
Broadening Horizons
We want all of our students to have the opportunity to experience new things and express their creativity. That's why we arrange adventure activities, creative sessions and swimming lessons for the group throughout the first 6 months.
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Career Preparation
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At the end of our programme, our students need to be prepared for starting a successful career. We give them an introduction to the working world, help them learn how to prepare for a job interview and teach them about working well with colleagues.
Emotional Healing
Many of our students will have experienced a personal trauma in their lives. We help them to learn how to deal with these traumas, both past and present.
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The second part of our youth development programme is all about helping the students to start out on their path to a successful career.

We use professional assessments and psychometric testing to make sure that they know their personal strengths and the career options that would be best for them.

Once we have all of this information, we stream them
into one of the following options:

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This is where we match a student to a Placement Partner, creating an opportunity for them to develop skills in a particular field and secure a permanent job.

We continue to mentor students throughout their apprenticeship and keep in regular contact with the business to check their progress.

Further Education

Any students interested in continuing their education are given support to apply for the right course for their chosen career.

We also help these students to access funding and teach them valuable life skills so they are ready for the challenges of further education and living independently away from home. Youth Education
Micro-Business Development
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If one of our students shows that they have the potential to be the next Richard Branson or Bill Gates, we can help them on their way to success.

We do this by supporting them to develop their business idea and find funding to get it off the ground.

We don't just want to tell you about what our programme involves.
We also want to show you just how much of a difference it is making.
Since RealStart was launched, 82 young people have graduated from the programme. With these graduates, we have:

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Achieved a 90% success rate.

This means that nearly every young person who has
completed our youth development programme has
gone on to take their first step towards a career
that matches their skills and interests.

Read a few of our success stories by clicking here.

"RealStart has meant a lot to me. A home away from home, a family, friends and unconditional love. They don't care about where you come from, who your family is or what your past looks like. They are more interested in what is inside of you, your ability, your character, who you can be."

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- RealStart Student

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Seen a positive change in the lives of each student.

All of the students we have worked with will be able to tell you just how much RealStart has changed their lives for the better. These changes include building more positive relationships with their family and friends, improvements in their mental wellbeing and increased confidence.

"RealStart has been one of the best experiences in my life. It has helped me deal with everything that we face daily and made me realise that you can overcome anything with perseverance."

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- RealStart Student

You won't find us putting our feet up and taking it easy at RealStart HQ. We are always thinking of new ways to help us achieve our vision.

Tackling the issues facing young people in South Africa today means working at the heart of marginalised communities and starting from an even earlier age.

That is why we are planning to work more with school pupils to provide professional career guidance and life skills training. This will enable us to directly tackle the issues stemming from the pupils' circumstances before they begin to have a greater impact on their lives.

To increase the reach of our existing programme, we are also exploring ways in which we can role out a condensed version (RealStart Lite) in partnership with churches and other organisations already working in the field of youth development.

If you would like to find out more about these projects and how you can get involved, please contact us by email -

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Student Applications

We love working with young people. Especially young people who have a desire to make something of their lives, but maybe don't have the support or resources to make it a reality.

If we have just described you and you are aged 17 to 21, why not apply to join our free youth development programme in George.

Through the one-year programme, you will develop personally, learn practical lifeskills and be supported to take the first step towards a successful career.

This first step could mean taking up a meaningful apprenticeship, entering further education or even starting your own small business.

To apply:

- Download a copy of our application pack

- Complete the forms by hand and return them to your local branch.

Once we have looked over your forms, you will be invited for an interview. We will then let you know whether you have been accepted into the programme.

We are now accepting applications for our 2016 programme.

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Application Pack
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It's amazing what a difference you can make in the lives of our students.

We are always looking for people to share their skills and experience with us. You might only be able to spend one hour with our students, but the impression you leave could last a lifetime.

Whether you are passionate about business or just want to teach the students a fun new life skill, the opportunities are endless for you to get involved.

Some of our current volunteers have taught students how to swim, or given them the opportunity to get creative with weekly art classes.

If you would like to join our growing family of volunteers, please fill out the form to the right, or give us a call on +27 (0)74 728 5334.

Yes! I'd like to volunteer with RealStart, please send me more information!


I'd like to volunteer my time to...



"In our creative sessions, being witness to their personal battles of either not believing they can create something or have never been exposed to being creative, it's truly humbling and inspiring. As a Volunteer with RealStart for the past two years, I have received more than I have given."

-RealStart Volunteer


Support our students on their journey through the programme and guide them as they prepare to take their next step into a career. By becoming a mentor, you have the potential to play a huge role in the personal development of one or more of our students.

Our mentorship programme is split into two parts:

  • one-on-one mentoring
  • group mentoring

As a one-on-one mentor, we would pair you with a student at the start of the year. Then, you meet with them once a week at a venue of your choice and build a close friendship. You will be there to listen, encourage, and support.

Our group mentors are responsible for leading a small number of students and meeting with them once a month. This part of the mentorship programme focuses more on discipleship and the students’ spiritual development.

I'd like to get involved as a mentor!





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Help us to spread the word about our ongoing work with impoverished youth.

We want raise awareness of the harsh realities that young people are currently facing in South Africa and what we are doing to make a difference. The more people we can reach, the greater the chance we have of creating long-lasting change.

As an Ambassador, you could simply just tell your friends and family about us or even host an awareness evening at your home.

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Placement Partners

From bakeries to banks and from hospitality to HR, we are always looking to build relationships with businesses that are searching for talented young people with a passion to learn and work hard.

If this sounds like you, then why not become an Placement Partner. As a partner, you could have the chance to teach one of our students about what it takes to be successful in your industry.

We would work with you to find a student that is right for your business and continue to mentor them throughout the apprenticeship.

We want to join the RealStart family!





"So many people do not realize that they actually have something worthwhile to offer others. It's so rewarding to make a difference in a young person's life and to watch them grow."

-RealStart Placement Partner


Invest in the future of our country's future business leaders, social workers and chefs, by providing a scholarship.

For some of our students, further education is the key to helping them achieve their career dreams. We encourage every academically gifted student on our programme to continue studying and realise their full potential.

However, for this to happen we need the backing of businesses, colleges and universities. With the cost of university in South Africa being well out of reach for our students, we need your help to make their dreams a reality.

If you would like to provide a full scholarship for one of our students to study further, please fill out the contact form below and we will get back in touch with you.

We would like to fund a student from the RealStart family!





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Feeder Partners

Change the course of a young person’s life today by referring them to us.

If you work directly with young people, and know someone who could benefit from our youth development programme, tell them to get in touch with their nearest branch.

We are here to give young people a helping hand out of the void, and you can be the ones to guide them onto this path.

If they join our programme, we promise to keep you up to date on their progress.

We would like to become a Feeder Partner!





Contact Us
If you are interested in becoming part of the RealStart family or just want to find out more about our work, please contact us in one of the following ways:

Address: Office 20, Shamrock Place, 97 York Street, George

Telephone: +27 (0)74 728 5334


You can also continue to follow our journey online: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube