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This article explores how young people experienced a holistic approach to personal transformation by participating in a three month residential pro-gramme for youth not in employment, education or training. The study deployed an ecological perspective that served to illuminate the influence of relationships and contexts on the development of youth. A phenomenological approach was used to understand young peoples’ perceptions and experiences of a holistic approach. The methodological framework leaned on narrative enquiry to explore the views of five youth respondents. The data was analysed using thematic content analysis. The findings illustrated that a holistic approach as one particular philosophical and developmental approach to personal transformation, has the potential to enhance the psychological capital of young people, facilitate connection with self and family and provide the impetus for them to remain on a positive developmental trajectory. As 7.5 million youth in South Africa are not in employment, education or training, a status with the propensity to foster disengagement and disconnection from self, family and social, economic, political and cultural activities, the findings offer hope that credible and innovative strategies do exist to disrupt the current NEET crisis.
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