City Year commits to expanding City Year South Africa (CYSoA) by 50%. In 2006, CYSoA will train and deploy more than 165 young leaders in a year of full-time citizen service focused on addressing critical issues facing their country and will place more than 70% of them in jobs, apprenticeships and higher education following their year of service.
City Year South Africa is the direct result of a request from President Nelson Mandela to President William J. Clinton to assist South Africa in developing a large scale citizen service initiative. In 2001, President Mandela invited President Clinton to South Africa to give a speech on civil society. To demonstrate the vital role that young people and citizen service play in supporting and building civil society, President Clinton invited a delegation of board members, alumni and staff from City Year to join him on the trip. During that visit, President Mandela asked City Year Chairman Eli Segal to commit to providing assistance to South Africa by developing and expanding opportunities for young people to serve. City Year South Africa was launched in February 2005 and the inaugural corps completed its first year of service in November 2005.