Chrysalis Academy - Life skills training for young people | Western Cape Government

Chrysalis Academy - Life skills training for young people


Chrysalis AcademyThe Department of Community Safety through its partnership with the Chrysalis Academy offers a 3-month holistic leadership development programme for young people from disadvantaged communities throughout the Western Cape.

Who are we?

The Chrysalis Academy is a leadership development organisation as well as a social crime prevention initiative, that works creatively with young people enabling them to take responsibility for their personal growth and deepen their resilience. The Academy provides them with the necessary life skills, tools and practices to become self-confident, economically productive and positive role models within their communities. Participation is entirely voluntary and free, except for a non-refundable fee of R450 on the day of intake.  The programme is sponsored by the Western Cape Government's Department of Community Safety and is available to all youth who meet the criteria.

What are we offering?

A 3-month residential programme on our beautiful campus set in the peaceful surrounding of the Tokai forest, followed by a 1 year paid internship and aftercare support for 5 years.

Students undergo 4 different stages:

During the 3-month residential programme, students participate in the following phases: Orientation Phase, Outdoor Phase, Skills Phase and the Community and Exit Phase. During each phase, the students are exposed to physical activities, team building interventions, and a range of learning areas including wiser communication and mindfulness training to build skills of personal mastery and enhance their confidence and self-esteem. They acquire social values, environmental awareness, work readiness training and peer support. Throughout the programme, the students have access to individual counselling and life coaching based on individual assessments. In addition, all students are provided with therapeutic care such as Yoga and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) to assist them to release stress, tension and anxiety.

1. Orientation Phase

As a foundation for our programme, a daily routine is established where discipline, neatness and personal hygiene are emphasised. The following life skills are offered:

  • Personal Mastery  
  • Leadership
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Goal setting
  • Conflict management
  • Diversity
  • Basic health and nutrition
  • HIV/Aids awareness
  • Gender awareness
  • First aid (level 1)
  • Environmental awareness
  • Camp Craft

2. Outdoor Phase

Students head to the great outdoors to test their personal limits, discover their strengths and weaknesses, develop teamwork skills and experience the power of nature by hiking across the Cape Peninsula. Students also experience the powerful Circle of Life process and a 24-hour solo in nature. Almost all students speak of the transformative power of the solo experience.

After this phase, the students will be allowed visitors for the first time since leaving home. The family visitation is a celebration of the student’s achievements.

3. Skills Phase

According to the needs in the job market, the students will be exposed to different technical skills and career guidance. Some of the skills offered are:

  • Hairdressing and grooming
  • Welding
  • Basic cookery
  • Office Administration and Digital literacy
  • Child and Youth Care
  • Youth Development
  • Peace Officer Training
  • Electrical Circuitry
  • Sports Coaching

4. Community Phase

Students are prepared for their life back in the ‘real’ world by focusing on work readiness and how to sustain the change when they're back home. Students are encouraged to ‘give back to society’ by connecting with schools and community organisations and doing positive community work like sports coaching in schools, helping at Old Age Homes or marshalling at events.

In order for the Chrysalis Academy to work with the entire ecosystem, parents and guardians are invited to 3 parent workshops aimed at raising awareness of effective parenting strategies and understanding the young adult brain. Two family visits are organised per 3-month course.

Who can apply?

Young motivated people who want to deepen their resilience, cultivate positive lifestyles and contribute to society.  They should be:

  • 18 to 25 years old.
  • Have passed Grade 9 (Standard 7).
  • Not in employment, education or training.
  • Have no criminal record.
  • Be a resident of the Western Cape.
How to Apply:

Interested young people can apply online by downloading the application form or by contacting the Academy for the application.

All applicants who meet the criteria will be invited for an interview at the Academy. A physical assessment will also be conducted before they can be considered for selection for the 3-month training. All applicants would have to be vetted before acceptance onto the programme.

The application form specifies which documents must accompany each application.

Successful candidates are required to pay a non-refundable fee of R450 on the day of intake.

Take the First Step! Apply TODAY!

Course Dates

Click here for 2023/2024 course dates 

You can also visit or contact the Chrysalis Academy at:

Porter Reform Estate, Tokai Road, Cape Town,
Tel: 021 712 1023
Fax: 021 712 1075

For more information, please visit Chrysalis Academy  

Provided by:
Government Body: (Western Cape Government)
The content on this page was last updated on 14 February 2023