Driving Dreams: Volkswagen's Commitment to South African Youth


Volkswagen’s commitment to South Africa’s youth is unwavering. The Volkswagen Community Trust champions youth development, from early education to tertiary support. At the heart of their initiatives is the Ikhwezi Lomso Early Childhood Development Centre, where the Montessori curriculum nurtures young minds. With 82% of South African ten-year-olds struggling with literacy, Volkswagen launched the Legacy Literacy initiative in 2017. This program aims for every child to read and write proficiently by age ten, employing township youth as literacy ambassadors.

In partnership with LoveLife, Volkswagen offers safe havens for young individuals, providing diverse activities and training. Groundbreakers, trained peer leaders, guide their peers towards positive life choices. Volkswagen’s bursary programs, covering high school to tertiary education, aim to break inter-generational cycles of limited social mobility. Stories like Chrizney Butler’s, a bursary recipient now at Stellenbosch University, highlight Volkswagen’s transformative impact.

Volkswagen’s mission transcends car manufacturing; it’s about crafting a brighter future for South Africa’s youth.

We’re powering the future of our young people.

Watch the stories

The Stories

Story 1: Chrizney and Claire Baker

In the bustling corridors of VW, Claire, a dedicated employee of 18 years, finds more than just a job. It’s where dreams for her daughter, Chrizney, become a reality.

Chrizney, a vivacious young woman with clear ambitions, was given a golden opportunity when VW introduced their bursary program for grade eight students. Claire’s heart swelled with pride knowing that her daughter’s education, from stationery to uniforms, would be taken care of.

Now, Chrizney thrives at Stellenbosch, soaking in the university life, with VW continuing to support her journey. For Claire, it’s a testament to VW’s commitment to nurturing young talent and dreams.

Story 2: Thandazwa Tutu, Teacher at Ikhwezi Lomso Montessori ECD Centre

In the heart of a community, Dominic, the principal of IKHWEZI LOMSO, stands as a beacon of hope for early childhood development. He believes that the foundation laid during these formative years paves the way for future success.

Tendai, a teacher, speaks of the Montessori program’s magic, where children bloom into independent thinkers from a tender age. This center, a gift from VW in 2010, has become a haven for many.

Romencia, a mother, recalls the warmth she felt when she first stepped into the school with her child, Brandy. The dedication of the staff, the welcoming environment, and VW’s continuous support make IKHWEZI LOMSO more than just a school; it’s a community’s heartbeat.

Story 3: Unathi Soko, VW Literacy Ambassador

In the heart of the Eastern Cape, Unathi, a passionate Learning Ambassador, wakes up each morning with a purpose. For her, literacy is more than just words on a page; it’s the key that unlocks the potential of every child. With the support of VW’s funding, she’s part of the literacy program that focuses on ISIXHOSA literature, ensuring children from grade R to grade three have a strong foundation in their native language.

Andile, a school representative, sees the tangible impact of this program. He speaks of Ntlemeza, a student whose life has been transformed by the initiative. The joy of seeing children transition from merely reading words to understanding and internalizing knowledge is evident in his voice. He proudly states how the program ensures that learners can both read and write, a testament to its success.

For Unathi, it’s more than just a job. Every day, she’s reminded of the difference she’s making, one child at a time. The partnership between CSD, VW, and the Learning Ambassadors like her is creating a legacy of literacy for the next generation.

Story 4: Sposethu Zandile Mtana, Groundbreaker at VW lovelife Centre

In the heart of KWANOBUHLE, Zandile witnesses the challenges that constantly besiege the youth. Yet, amidst these challenges, loveLife emerges as a beacon of hope, guiding the youth to focus on self-growth and empowerment.

Themba Maseti, an advocate for peer leadership, speaks passionately about the “Groundbreakers” initiative. These young leaders, trained in various skills from facilitation to community mobilization, are not just transforming their lives but are also shaping the future of their communities.

Sihle, a beneficiary of loveLife, sees it as a pivotal stepping stone in her journey of self-discovery. The program not only opened doors for her but also instilled a belief that she could achieve anything.

For Zandile, the joy of her work lies in witnessing the transformative journey of these young individuals. She cherishes every moment she sees them make better life choices. And behind this transformative journey, the unwavering support of VW stands tall, fueling the dreams and aspirations of the youth.

Story 5: Nonkqubela Maliza, Director of Corporate and Government Affairs at Volkswagen Centre

Nonkqubela believes that young people in South Africa are grappling with significant societal challenges, foremost among them being youth unemployment. In her role at Volkswagen, she emphasizes the company’s commitment to actively contribute to the creation of a better society. She underscores the power of education as a potent tool for addressing societal issues and delivering substantial benefits to both individuals and the community as a whole.

More than three decades ago, Volkswagen established the Community Trust, which has since become the primary platform for the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. Education and youth development stand as central pillars of their philanthropic endeavors. Nonkqubela is dedicated to collaborating with suppliers, partners, and experts to tackle these critical challenges collectively.

While acknowledging that there is still much work to be done, Nonkqubela takes pride in the progress made by Volkswagen in its pursuit of meaningful contributions to resolving some of South Africa’s most pressing issues.


Themba Maseti, Provincial Programmes Operations Manager at VW lovelife Centre

Themba Maseti, Provincial Programmes Operations Manager at VW lovelife Centre

Dominic Swarts, Principal at Ikhwezi Lomso Montessori ECD Centre

Dominic Swarts, Principal at Ikhwezi Lomso Montessori ECD Centre

Romencia Jacobs, Parent of Student at Ikhwezi Lomso Montessori ECD Centre

Romencia Jacobs, Parent of Student at Ikhwezi Lomso Montessori ECD Centre

Claire Butler, VW Employee and Bursary parent

Claire Butler, VW Employee and Bursary parent

Andile Fumani, Principal at Ntlemeza Primary School, with Unathi Soko, VW Literacy Ambassador

Andile Fumani, Principal at Ntlemeza Primary School, with Unathi Soko, VW Literacy Ambassador

Siphesihle Goqwana, Youth Developer at VW lovelife Centre

Siphesihle Goqwana, Youth Developer at VW lovelife Centre


If you want more of this inspiring content, join our newsletter. We promise not to spam you!

Explore more stories on VW Community Trust on our Regency Global YouTube channel.