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WELCOME to the Volmoed Youth Leadership Training Programme (VYLTP).  VYLTP is a South African ecumenical initiative aimed at nurturing and developing young leaders since 2016. It has brought together young adults in the VOLMOED Retreat and Conference Centre, situated in the Hemel-and-Aarde-Valley in Hermanus, near Cape Town.

When we decided to initiate this programme, its urgency was uppermost in our minds. Not only had similar current programmes all but disappeared: their ecumenical necessity was more evident than ever before. How else could we bring together those of the same commitment from different denominational directions? How else could we meet the urgent demand of meeting the unfulfilled challenges of 1976 in a country where more than half the population is under the age of 35?

Our vision

A vibrant, ecumenical movement of courageous young leaders that ignites and facilitates transformative justice in our countries, for our planet.

Our mission

We gather young leaders to form a safe space of learning, through courageous conversations, to foster wise leadership that empowers them to facilitate transformative justice in church and society.

How did it all begin?


Our story

In 2013, several Church leaders gathered in Johannesburg under the banner of SACLI, the South African Christian Leaders’ Initiative. Towards the end of that meeting, a group of young activists and advocates met and the idea of a new emerging Youth leadership training programme was mentioned there.

More than a year later, in August 2014, a dynamic group of young Christian leaders met in Stellenbosch under the theme of “Moving Mountains”. Madiba had passed on in December 2013 and Bishop Ivan Abrahams’ sermon at his funeral service was about “passing on the baton”. The young leaders at Moving Mountains accepted this challenge of carrying forward the legacy that has been left for them.

Rev. Edwin Arrison, ArchBishop Desmond Tutu; Prof. John de Gruchy
Rev. Edwin Arrison, Archbishop-emeritus Desmond Tutu; Prof. John de Gruchy

At the 35th anniversary of the 1985 Kairos document, it was resolved that new young leaders had to be nurtured to take forward the tradition of prophetic theology. Prof. John de Gruchy and Rev. Edwin Arrison resolved to launch a youth leaders programme at Volmoed  in 2016 as a way to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1976 youth uprising in Soweto. They live at and close to Volmoed and wanted to take responsibility for its growth. Archbishop-emeritus Tutu, who now lives in Hermanus and is the patron of Volmoed, gave this new programme his full support and blessing.

Forty years after the events of June 1976, a new generation of young leaders has arisen: this new time required new leadership. The first cohort of 14 young people started a 10 week residential programme in late May 2016.

The class of 2016 on a visit to Cape Town

VYLTP was officially launched at the Volmoed chapel on June 16, 2016.

Volmoed Chapel

Get in touch

Volmoed Youth Leadership Training Programme
Farm 11, Hemel-en-Aarde Road, Hermanus,
Western Cape, South Africa.

Direct all enquiries to the Director, Rev. Edwin Arrison.

M: +27  84 735 1835 (WhatsApp)
T: +27 28 316 1712 
E: volmoedyouthleadership@gmail.com

Send us a message


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