South Africa Hub update

Restless Development has closed its South Africa Trust and will no longer have a physical office in South Africa.

This decision has not been taken lightly, and it has been based on a lot of hard work over the last 12 months.

When we set up our office in East London, South Africa, in 1997 we were in a unique position to roll out a youth-led response to raise awareness and prevent HIV&AIDS. Today, South Africa is a middle-income country, which has made securing funding for our national programmes more difficult.

But the closure of our physical office does not spell the end of our work in South Africa. Restless Development still has a commitment to young people and youth civil society in South Africa.

Over the last couple of years our attention has focused on strengthening Youth Civil Society organisations that exist in South Africa – we believe these organisations offer the best chance of tackling key problems facing the country and creating change that lasts. In December 2019 we launched research to help spotlight youth civil society and what it needs to thrive ‘Beyond Funding: The Strengths and Needs of Civil Society in South Africa’.

Our aim now is to continue supporting national youth and civil society organisations that are leading the way in South Africa. Together we will support young people with opportunities to connect and lead change, especially in light of COVID-19 as we find young people’s leadership is needed now more than ever.

We’re grateful for everyone that’s joined us on the journey to date; volunteers, staff, supporters and global colleagues who have made it possible. Since 1997, young leaders working with Restless Development in South Africa have achieved so much, from tackling gender based violence and youth unemployment, to strengthening youth civil society, and improving sexual health services for young people.

Read: Lebo’s story – empowering youth civil society voices.

Stay connected.

You can stay connected to Restless Development in a number of ways.

If you represent a youth group, organisation or network join the Youth Collective and you will have bespoke opportunities to connect and thrive.

If you’re a young person please:

Sign up for our newsletter for the latest opportunities and stories of youth-led change

Visit and sign up to our ‘WeAreRestless’ blog. We welcome your stories and content, or simply read and be inspired by others.

Join the Youth Power Facebook community to connect and network with other young people around the world.

Get in touch.

If you have any questions, please email

Restless Development works with young people in 74 countries around the world. We do so with partners and through nine Hubs spread across Africa, Asia, the USA and UK.

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