Tackling Youth Unemployment One Cappuccino at a Time


The Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust (HACT) recently celebrated the first birthday of its latest project, the “Ubuntu Ground Café”, a social enterprise which has been specifically set-up to tackle youth unemployment one cappuccino at a time as HACT’s CEO, Candace Davidson explains, “Ubuntu Ground is not your average coffee shop, it’s a force for positive change and youth empowerment. With the help of Container World and the Old Mutual Foundation, our corporate B-BBEE partners, Ubuntu is giving local unemployed young people the confidence, skills and training they need to secure meaningful employment. This café’s story really does mean so much more than excellent coffee!”

23 year-old, NokuKhanya Shange is one of five trainees who have just successfully completed the project’s first round of 12-month work experience placements says the past year has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her; “This time last year before I started at Ubuntu Ground, I was just sitting at home with no job and no hope for my future, my life has changed and I have learnt so much since then…”

In addition to  offering local youth practical skills development and intensive mentorship through its barista and hospitality training programme, the project is helping to generate sustainable income for HACT’s 24-bed Respite Unit which provides free medical care and treatment to children and adults suffering from advanced stages of AIDS or terminal cancer. Sandy Watt, Container World’s CSI Manager says for them, the project is a win-win; “The Ubuntu Ground Café initiative is providing relevant and realistic training directly to young people in our neighbourhoods. We are delighted to be supporting this innovative initiative and would like to congratulate the HACT team for their continued insight and determination during these challenging”

The project will soon be welcoming its new 2021 trainees who will begin their placement with an intensive 5-day barista training course with the project’s business mentor, World Barista Champ and owner of Lineage Coffee, Craig Charity.

Any SA-based companies looking to improve their SED, skills spend, enterprise or supplier development components of their B-BBEE scorecards through supporting the Ubuntu Ground Café initiative can contact HACT’s Marketing & Fundraising team on 031 765 5866 / fundraising@hillaids.org.za.

Contact Info

Telephone: +27 31 765 5866

Email: info@hillaids.org.za

Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust
26 Old Main Road
Hillcrest, Kwa Zulu Natal, 3610