Summary of HMC’s current programs in Africa
9 November 2023

University Short Courses – Latest addition to HMC’s CYEP Program in Africa

On 7 February 2024, a significant milestone in the Christian Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP) was achieved with the launch of the formal Vaal University of Technology’s (VUT) short training program, tailored for CYDP / CYEP participants: Small Business Management and Community Development Program (SBMCDP).

Dignitaries from various African embassies and esteemed guests convened at the Stephanopark Conference Centre in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa for the inauguration of this transformative initiative, fostering economic growth and social cohesion across borders.

The introduction of the university education program, a collaboration between HMC and its partners Brunstad Christian Church South Africa (BCCSA), Upriver Developments and the VUT, marks a new chapter for CYEP.

From left to right: Mr Kriel (Upriver), Mr Tambe (Counsellor Cultural & Education, High Commission of Cameroon), Ms Mapadimeng (Education Attache – High Commission of Kenya), Mr Ibrahim (Education Attache – High Commission of Kenya), Mr Fourie (HMC), Mr Radebe (Mayor of Emfuleni), Me Mangai (SCC Services), Prof Slabbert (BCCSA)

About CYEP

The Christian Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP) is a youth exchange initiative where young individuals from African countries are hosted by HMC in collaboration with its partners in South Africa for one year. The program provides both soft & practical hard skill training to these individuals, and fosters strong spiritual growth through the Christian elements of the program provided by BCCSA.

While the in-service practical training continues, with a primary goal to equip participants with both hard and soft skills enabling them to thrive in various professional settings upon their return to their home countries, the formal short education courses through the VUT now offers certified training in many of the aspects needed for running small businesses. This is expected to further empower individuals to create their own businesses, thereby catalyzing economic development within their communities.

Insights from Key Addresses

Prof Wynand Grobler from the North-West University, in a recorded address, highlighted the tangible impact observed in previous CYEP cycles and emphasized the potential that these short courses have to provide participants with a competitive edge in the job market or entrepreneurial endeavors.

Prof Margaret Linington from VUT delivered a motivational speech, reframing poverty alleviation as wealth creation. Drawing inspiration from Zig Ziglar’s quote, “You don’t build a business, you build people, and people build the business,” she affirmed VUT’s commitment to the program for the next five years.

Prof Linington from VUT delivering her keynote address.

Prof Tielman Slabbert of BCCSA provided a broader perspective, stressing the significance of hands-on training and the positive influence of Christian values on work ethic. He encouraged participants to take proactive steps in their futures.

Mr Sipho Radebe, Executive Mayor of Emfuleni Municipality, endorsed the program withenthusiasm, highlighting its potential to empower participants as agents of positive economicchange within their communities.

About the Course

Prof Chengedzai Mafini,the Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciencesof the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), outlined the course and its accreditation process. The program’s development, from signing a memorandum of understanding in July 2023, creating course material to approval by university committees and finally approval by the vice chancellor, culminated in the launch of the program in February 2024.

The program, offered by VUT’s Faculty of Management Sciences, spans six modules over six months (adaptable to participants’ needs), conducted in English at Level 5 of the South African National Qualification Framework. Blended learning options are provided, combining face-to-face and online interactions with special considerations for participants from French-speaking countries.

The six modules included in the course are entrepreneurship, small business financial skills, marketing, logistics and transportation, as well as introductions to project and people management.

HMC’s program director, Leon Fourie,  exchanging formalities with Prof Mafini from VUT.

HMC is grateful for the constructive collaboration with its partners who enabled it to implement the program. The inaugural group of participants come from Malawi, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and South Africa. This initiative is a significant step in equipping participants with the knowledge and vital skills future to become business owners & entrepreneurs when they travel home after their time on CYEP.

Pictured: Partners & distinguished guests (front row); 2024 CYEP Participants (back rows, in grey shirts).