A world in which every single person contributes, has their own purpose,
and lives a life of meaning. We believe in a world of youth with sustainable

“Universal education is not only a moral imperative but an economic necessity...”

– Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Who are we

ATF was born out of the Artisan Training Institute’s (ATI) highly successful donor-funded programme which has worked in partnership with funding organisations, both national and international over the past ten years. ATI is the technical skills training provider in the Gauteng – Regional Centre of Expertise, officially recognised by the United Nations University, and its donor funded programmes have seen partnerships with funders such as the Mastercard Foundation, Harambee Youth Accelerator, Tiso Foundation, Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation, Afrika Tikkun, Aveng, Bell Equipment and many more.

Headed by seasoned leaders in the technical skills training space, the growth of the programmes has been so extensive that a decision was taken by ATI to create the Artisan Training Foundation (ATF) NPC.

ATF is a specialised non-profit organisation that channels funds to the training of youth for quality vocational occupations. The Foundation is able to provide Section 18 Certificates, when required, to funders for funds donated.

ATF is a future-building foundation. It believes in making a real impact on sustainable livelihoods for the youth.

ATF is determined that young people win, not just survive. Having assumed the responsibility of the ATI donor funded programmes, it is determined to make a meaningful impact and to grow the legacy.  

Study Loans

If you want to start studying immediately and you, your parents or a sponsor is eligible to apply for a study loan at great preferential rates click below.

Funding Options

If you don’t mind waiting, let us assist you in raising funding for your course on our public crowdfunding platform. If you are interested, please click the button below.


Building futures is achievable only with completely new ways of thinking and relentless, resolute approaches to doing. It begins with putting money where it should be and ends with helping young people make their world – and the world – better.

ATF is forging a broad network of relationships in order to secure increased funding for quality vocational training for those trades where there is actual industry demand.

Young people can win, not just survive. We connect the youth with gainful opportunities based on matching quality training with real-world needs, and giving them the skills that they need to build winning futures.

We do this innovatively, transparently, cost-effectively, and sustainably.


The Foundation propels sustainable livelihoods for the youth.

Donors, partners, affiliates, staff, stakeholders and beneficiaries trust that the Foundation will relentlessly work, alongside young people, to help them to rise out of poverty and inequality.

The Foundation offers the ultimate way to ‘pay it forward’ in ways that help you see every element, every cent, every impact.



Effect powerful changes.

Sustainable youth livelihoods affect every element of socio-economic life, everywhere. We need to act resolutely, in ways both big and small, to drive young people to make their world, and the world, better.


Doing good, in action.

Ours is a commitment to active care and compassion for those in need; to making real contributions in ways that uplift young people tangibly and improve their lives significantly.


Never, ever hold back.

We are steadfast in our resolve to help young people to rise out of poverty and inequality, into a world of unlimited potential. We cannot wait. We must have impact, now.


All boxes ticked. Always.

Fund-raising, to be done right, carried out transparently, cost-effectively, and sustainably. Part of this is attentiveness; another part is innovation. Neither time nor resources can be wasted, for this will cost another generation.


Not for today. For tomorrow.

A threat to any worthwhile cause is insular, narrow thinking. No plan can work without the future tense. That’s why we think about tomorrow, today. Every action we take is about sustainability and endurance, and rooted in trust and partnership.


Mandisa Sowazi - CEO

Mandisa acquired her Cambridge O’ Level certificate from St Theresa’s Girls High School in
Manzini Swaziland, where after she studied in the United States at Midway College in Kentucky. There she completed an Associate’s Degree in Education and Psychology.
She went on to complete her BA Ed Degree at Carthage College in Milwaukee, USA.
After teaching for several years in Swaziland, she moved to Johannesburg where she worked in the Medical Aid sector at Fedsure Health as the Marketing Coordinator and later for PSG Health as the Programs Manager. She then joined HLGC (Home Loan Guarantee Company) where she managed the Direct Aids Intervention Program.
In 2007, she got into partnership with Sean Jones, and they bought and developed the Artisan Training Institute (ATI) where she remains the majority shareholder and operates as the Executive Director.

Richard Lewis - Director

Richard has been retained by the Artisan Training Institute (ATI) since 2008 heading up Strategy and growing donor-funding. After majoring in Comparative African Government and Administration, he initially trained towards becoming an advocate. However, after having completed his legal studies in South Africa, Richard went on to lecture in Germany and study further in Business Administration and Jurisprudence. He later returned and specialised in labour law for over 20 years.

He has also served as chairman and non-executive director of several companies (including a listed Company), and provided leadership and consulted to some of South Africa’s leading social development NGOs.

Richard served for over fourteen years and was, until September 2016, Chairperson of the Board of WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of SA), one of the oldest and largest membership based environmental organizations of its kind on the African continent. He is also Patron of NACSSA – National Association of Conservancies and Stewardships of South Africa. Richard was an Enviropaedia Eco Logic Award finalist 2017.

Andre Steyn - Financial Director

Andre has been the Financial Director at the Artisan Training Institute (ATI) since 2010. Apart from heading up the finance and administration functions, he has also, with his digital and mobile content knowledge, headed up the ATI Learner Management System (LMS) project to bring artisan training on line to the African continent. He is a Chartered Accountant with 15 years commercial and managerial experience. He has also qualified as a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).

He completed his articles as an audit manager at PKF Chartered Accountants (David Strachan & Taylor); worked his way through the steel, pharmaceutical, mobile network content sectors, as well as the dairy industry with DeLaval (Pty) Ltd, part of the TetraLaval Group. 

Andre also has a deep passion for the environment and has served as the Non-Executive National Finance Director of WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) since 2013, where he also, for several years, chaired the Finance and Risk Committee of which he remains a member.

Contact US


ATF is registered in South Africa as a Non Profit Corporation Reg. No. 2018/261622/08

“If you are going to be compassionate, be prepared for action.”

– Archbishop Desmond Tutu