Chrysalis Academy is an initiative of the Western Cape Provincial Cabinet, established in the year 2000 at Porter Estate in the suburb of Tokai. Its foundation was a response by the Provincial Government to the high crime rate in the Western Cape, which is one of the highest among the provinces in South Africa, especially due to substance abuse and an active gang culture in Cape Town’s mainlydisadvantaged communities.
The result is a holistic and sustainable 5-year youth development program based on 3-month empowerment training that focuses on the individual’s physical, emotional, mental, energetic and spiritual development, which is still unique to our knowledge. The Chrysalis Programme is a preventative initiative, as opposed to rehabilitative. It is registered as a NPO (Non Profit Organization) and mainly funded by the Western Cape Provincial Department of Community Safety.
At first the project only focused on young males aged 16 to 22 years, who were among the ‘most at risk’ to get absorbed by gangs, but since 2002 young females were also admitted. Since 2007, the age group has been expanded to 25 years, considering the deteriorating conditions of unemployed youth.
Since the project started 12 years ago, between 5,000-6,000 young people from the different communities, reflecting the demographics of the Western Cape Province, were trained to be empowered for the challenges of life. As a result, the Academy has become one of the most successful youth development organisations in South Africa.