November 04, 2010 | Posted in: NewsAdvocacy

Opportunity of a Lifetime for Unemployed Students

(Johannesburg, South Africa)- The Ubuntu Institute, a Social Enterprise NGO based in Johannesburg, offers unemployed South African candidates the opportunity of a lifetime. In November and December 2010, Two hundred and fifty two ( 252 ) unemployed candidates will depart to North America and Canada to experience invaluable career opportunities.

H.R.H Prince Cedza Dlamini, CEO and founder of the Ubuntu Institute, says that the idea behind the Ubuntu program is simple. “We have high unemployment rates of over 25% in South Africa and our program seeks to place young unemployed graduates in decent jobs abroad. The focus of our program is in serving underprivileged graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds, particularly in the tourism and hospitality sector, for 6-12 month internships.” The internships provide much needed working experience, exposure to different cultures and competitive salaries - all of which enable fellows to come home and kick-start their careers. Students can either start their own business when they return to South Africa or receive job placement with the help of the National Department of Tourism. 

The Ubuntu program remains successful in its mission thanks to partnerships with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Group (USA), Whistler Blackcomb Group (Canada), The SA National Department of Tourism, Services Seta and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Group is globally recognized as the number one hotel brand in the world with regards to customer service excellence and has won numerous gold standard awards as a luxury lifestyle brand globally, with 70 hotels in 24 countries. The Whistler Blackcomb Group is located in British Columbia, Canada and internationally recognized as the number one ski resort in North America with superior service standards.  Gugu Cele, a 2009 participant and beneficiary of the program states that “The internship abroad gave me invaluable exposure to global high standards of customer service excellence and I hope to bring those skills back home.” Prince Cedza adds, “Programs such as ours which send disadvantaged students abroad are rarely available to young people from poor backgrounds. This is mostly because they cannot afford them. This program had a vision to support these students from disadvantaged communities and also support governments vision to grow a service-oriented and world class tourism destination (South Africa).”

Gugu Cele says that this program has given her the opportunity to gain valuable skills, improve her CV and earn money that allowed her to support her family back home. The Ubuntu Institute was formed to respond to job creation challenges in South Africa, support education and skills development, promote healthcare (in particular HIV/AIDS), support rural development and reduce crime through getting young people out of the streets (into jobs). To date, Prince Cedza states that “we have sent over 100 fellow in the last year, and this year are sending over two hundred and fifty (250 fellows) and we intend to send at least 450 young south Africans next year through the support of various partners from the public sector, private sector and individuals who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of young people.

The Ubuntu Institute will be sending 252 fellows in November and December 2010 and will host a cocktail party to officially launch the program together with its partners where they will also get a chance to bid farewell to some of the fellows. This event will be at the Emoyeni Conference Centre in Parktown, Johannesburg, on the 9th of November (1830h). The function is by invitation only and CSI practitioners, donors, students, government officials, media and educational/skills development practitioners are invited. For more information, please visit, e-mail or phone 011 566 6813. The Ubuntu Institute is looking for further support to send more fellows in the 2011 period and is open to partnerships.