Trailblazer Program

enke's Trailblazer Program inspires and supports young people to take action on the most pressing social issues in their communities.
2009South Africa

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

Location Data

Gauteng, Western Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West Province, Kwazulu Natal, Free State and Eastern CapeJohannesburg and Cape TownPeri-Urban, Rural, Urban

The Trailblazer Program is a nine-month program for grade 10 and 11 high school students. It provides students an opportunity to learn essential skills in leadership and personal development, connect with like-minded youth from across the country, and learn how to lead social change in their communities. Training occurs in centralized hubs in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Bloemfontein, with participants coming from every province in the country. Intakes are funded through South African CSR initiatives and international donor organizations. 

The Trailblazer Program has three key components: 

  1. Training at the enke: Forum: The program kicks off with a week of residential training called the enke: Forum. Content covers personal leadership development and a guided process through which each participant develops a Community Action Project (CAP) to address a social issue that affects their community. Forum is delivered by tertiary students form enke's complementary Ignition Program. 
  2. Action and support: The CAP each participant designs at Forum is the main focus of the program. A CAP is entirely designed, owned, and executed by the participant, and they carry it out over the nine months of the program in their chosen community, addressing a social challenge they are passionate about. enke has full-time staff to support all participants nationally, from its Johannesburg offices. Support includes a trouble-shooting hotline, social media connection and community building, monthly reports, and site visits. 
  3. Celebration: The program concludes with a one-day celebration event in which participants can reconnect with their peers, reflect on their experience, and be recognized for their effort. Trailblazers also receive letters and certificates of recognition and completion for their work. 
Focus on bridging inequality; focus on social and emotional skills; focus on social action as a mechanism for building entrepreneurial mindsets; driven by research, measurement, and evaluation. Funding: the program's unique approach makes it difficult for donors to understand where it fits into their mandate. Recruitment: a key component is socio-economic diversity, but recruiting wealthier youth is difficult, as they have many other options.

Who we work with: