The Upstart Youth Development Project was established in 2008 as a subproject of Grocott’s Mail. Today 114 young people in Grahamstown, ranging in age from between 13 to 19 years old, form part of this multi-disciplinary project aimed at providing educational and artistic opportunities through which they can grow in confidence, develop personally and increase their ability to become agents of change, both for themselves and their communities.
Upstart was initially piloted as a youth newspaper conceptualised, written and compiled entirely by the youth members as a way of improving their reading, writing and communication skills.
In a province where there is an estimated unemployment rate of more than 37% amongst the youth, the importance of a project such as Upstart lies not only in the experience and opportunities it provides for its members, but the intangible benefits they gain, including independence, a sense of accomplishment and freedom.
To provide scaffolds for life for Eastern Cape Youth through the delivery of experiences and opportunities that develop their skills to make them become active citizens.
Through the various multi-disciplinary projects the Upstart programme offers to develop skills which enable and empower Eastern Cape youth to positively implement change in their lives and those of their communities.