East London, South Africa

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Community Initiative

In February 2018, Johnson & Johnson in partnership with ITEC, Unathi Senior Secondary School, the Buffalo City Municipal Government, the Department of Education, TVET College, and the University of Fort Hare launched a new Bridge to Employment program in the East London, South Africa community.

Targeting 65 tenth grade learners enrolled at Unathi Senior Secondary School in school year 2018, the three-year program will provide a variety of academic enrichment, career exploration, and higher education preparation opportunities in order to increase the number of students enrolling in higher education and pursuing health careers.

Key program activities include.

  • Academic Enrichment. Team-based activities, workshops, and a book club aimed at improving students’ study skills and building competence reading, speaking, and writing English.
  • Career Coaching. Monthly sessions with Johnson & Johnson Motivators to orient learners to various career paths, opportunities, and skills required  in the health / STEM fields.
  • Careers Exhibitions aimed at helping BTE participants strengthen career awareness and knowledge.
  • Community Service. BTE participants work with, provide academic support, and share experiences with non-BTE learners from Unathi Senior Secondary School.
  • Learner Showcase. A team-based learning project that culminates with an oral presentation.
  • Motivational Speakers. Guest lectures and motivational talks from professionals of various professions.
  • Peer-to-Peer Learning. Pairings with students currently enrolled at various institutions of higher education who provide motivational support and guidance.
  • Person Portfolio. The compilation of a personal Portfolio of Evidence.
  • Team Building. Activities that build a sense of ‘ubuntu’ (interconnectedness) among BTE participants.
  • Tours & Outings. To orient learners to competencies required and opportunities for higher education


See below video of one of our East London students reflecting on the BTE program and how she has been coping during the COVID-19 pandemic



At the conclusion of the BTE-East London, South Africa program (December 2020), partners anticipate achieving the following End-of-Grant outcomes:

  • All BTE participants pass Grade 12, enabling access to higher education.
  • 100% of BTE participants submit competent applications to at least 2 higher education studies (occupational, vocational or academic)
  • An increased number of BTE graduates register STEM or health-related subjects in higher education (50% of those taking STEM subjects).
  • BTE graduates possess key career readiness skills, including communication, team work and leadership; time management and task focus; problem-identification, analysis and solutions
  • BTE graduates use their knowledge to assist their communities.
  • BTE graduates use their knowledge to promote BTE philosophy and principles throughout the school and homes.

More Information

Site Document

Program Model: East London, South Africa

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