Just Grace: Empowering Youth through Barista Skills!

Sunday, 3 September, 2023

Just Grace: Empowering Youth Through Barista Training, Brewing Skills, Confidence, and Opportunities

By Ayanda Dlamini

The journey from coffee novice to a skilled barista is more than just technical training, it’s a path of personal growth. Personally, the demanding nature of this job has taught me resilience, adaptability, and the ability to thrive in fast-paced environments, equipping me with life skills that extend beyond the coffee counter. So in my recent discovery of Just Grace, I found their story to not only be inspiring, but it resonated deeply with my own experience. 

Located in Langa Township, Cape Town. Just Grace is a non-profit organisation that stands as a testament to the transformative power of Barista Training, and its ability to empower the youth. Their mission is to uplift vulnerable youth and guide them towards realising their full potential. Just Grace is redefining possibilities and illuminating lives in the community. 

Their mission to empower the Langa community through evidence-based programmes include: Qhubeka ! Youth Development Programme and Phakama ! Youth Activation Programme (and more!). This is where their Barista Training program comes in, it serves as a significant part of their Phakama programme “targeting unemployed youth aged 17 to 35 and offers them opportunities for personal and professional growth”. 

My favourite part about these programmes are the fact that they acknowledge recurring socio-political issues in townships. Historically, schools in township South Africa have long endured inequities, which continue to persist through generations. Just Grace acknowledges these issues and strategies on how to empower low-income communities, that face a web of complex challenges, such as poverty, unemployment, and limited access. 

Just Grace's Barista Training Programme has had a phenomenal impact on the Langa Township community. Their impact extends beyond the individual, creating a network of support that will uplift families too. I believe that this is just the beginning for Just Grace, already stories of their transformation are emerging as the heart of their success 

But just wait, there’s more ! 

Just when you think Just Grace has soared high enough, with their deep rooted passion to empower disadvantaged communities. They also have their very own coffee brand: Cela Coffee, which is roasted locally in Langa. 

Their blend, Indalo is 100% Arabica beans composed of Brazilian, Ethiopian, Burundian, and Honduran beans. Indalo also means nature. Which figuratively symbolises the lands of which their coffee comes from. Purchasing Cela coffee will not only fulfill your coffee needs, it is also one of the ways in which, us who are left inspired by their story, can support their non profit organization as well as their Barista Training Programme. 

Just Grace stands as a radiant example of what can be achieved when compassion meets action. In the heart of Langa Township, this non-profit organization is reshaping the narrative for vulnerable youth, empowering them to embrace their potential and create pathways to success. Through education, life skills, and holistic support. 

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