Khulisa has adopted a systemic approach to community development. It recognises that the typical approaches of governments and NGOs compartmentalise problems and deliver programmes which tend to address single issues in a non-cooperative and unsustainable manner. In response Khulisa has developed an approach which aims to address the challenges faced by communities in a more holistic and comprehensive manner. It aims to identify the systemic challenges in the society and community, and to overcome fragmentation of policy, systems and delivery through the mobilisation of local capacity. This approach requires that Khulisa develop a thorough understanding of the policy and operational challenges in service delivery, as well as understanding the socio economic, safety and developmental challenges experienced by people living in the community. Based on this understanding, Khulisa works collaboratively with multiple stakeholders to identify key projects which would have the highest impact in the system and which would demonstrate social change.
When turning to the requirements for building safer communities, the NDP call for the development of an effective strategy that takes into account the interrelated factors contributing to lack of safety and crime. These include the underlying root causes, such as poverty, inequality, unemployment and various motivations to commit crime; lack of social cohesions, inadequate care of children and a failure to accept and internalise ‘good’ societal norms; and the need to address the factors which create a vulnerability to victimisation – such as situational crime prevention measures.
Khulisa’s strategy aims to enhance social services to children, youth and families, with an orientation towards crime reduction. Its objectives are:
Strengthening of internal and external capacity
Integrated site based service delivery
Improve cohesion within families
Khulisa aims to fulfill these objectives through the following activities:
1 National Planning Commission. (2012). National Development Commission: Vision 2030, p. 357.
2 Khulisa Social Services. (undated). Basket of Services Integrated Service Delivery, pp. 7-8.
Identifying local needs and resources
Responding speedily to the needs of individuals, families and communities
Promoting community participation and mobilisation
Coordinating action at community level
Creating awareness with regard to available services and prevention of social pathologies
Promoting grassroots participation in decision making and direct service delivery.
In addition, Khulisa has identified local areas of intervention:
Infant/ mother – Biological and physiological
Toddler / parents – Safety
Pre-school / family – Belongingness and love
School child / school , teacher, friends, neighbourhood – Esteem
Adolescent/ peers, groups, influences – Esteem
Young adult/lovers, friends, work connections – Esteem
Mid adult/children, community – Self actualisation
Late adult/society, world, life – Self actualisation
“The main aim of our work and any intervention offered by Khulisa is to bring a positive change in the community. As an organisation with more than 18 years of experience, we have realised that this is only possible if we focus on all important elements as well as people in a community. Besides, every community in South Africa is unique facing specific challenges and problems. They can only be understood by listening to the community members and allowing them to identify their needs and opportunities on a grassroots level. Based on the Khulisa Information Management System, we guide the community to design a suitable solution that is most promising in improving the lives in this community.”
Every community intervention consists of several important elements:
Firstly, Khulisa has developed several intervention tools in form of internationally acclaimed best practices programmes addressing different needs, such as Crime Prevention, Victim Empowerment or Social Entrepreneurship. For every intervention, we choose the most suitable programmes that will complement each other to increase the impact in a community.
Secondly, sustainable solutions need to be build around strong and promising partnerships and have a sufficient support base. Khulisa follows a systemic approach and enables a meaningful change by engaging all relevant stakeholders in the public, private or NPO sector.
Thirdly, every intervention needs to be accepted by the beneficiaries and depends on promising leaders that work towards a positive change. Therefore Khulisa identifies future leaders in the community and works with local staff members and facilitators. They receive guidance and mentoring through Khulisa to grow on a personal level and improve their skills to be able to take responsibility and contribute to the success of all interventions.