An insight on our interventions

Khulisa has, over almost two decades, developed a series of programmes to meet the needs of funders and communities. In addition, we have developed programmes for government departments and international funders. Most are accepted as best practice models and our development department is available to meet ant special needs of our clients/funders. The company is accredited with the Services SETA and where appropriate , our programmes are progressively being similarly accredited

Successful interventions

Women Empowerment
Women Empowerment
Khulisa has realized that there is a need for victim empowerment programmes considering that many women are still being victimized and suffer from negative psychological consequences due to their traumatization…

Most women feel ashamed or guilty and fear to speak about these experiences and remain silent for years. A huge amount of studies have shown that it is not only helpful but necessary to speak about traumatic experiences to be able to heal and move on. The main goal of the “Daring to Dream” Programme was to create an atmosphere that will encourage the women to speak about their past and offer sufficient social support on their way towards a brighter future that is no longer dominated by their victimization, violence or pain.

The SHINE Victim Protection Programme has now been introduced throughout South Africa and continues to have far reaching impact amongst all those who have participated in the process. SHINE is a group therapy programme that helps women to speak about their trauma and receive enough support to eventually grow and leave these negative memories behind. The participants in the programme support each other which is incredibly valuable to heal and move on. During December 2013 SHINE peer educators, in partnership with SAPS, were trained with a group of some 30 women in Tembisa. This gives some women that have been traumatized themselves a chance to grow personally by healing someone else. This programme also assists the women to improve their skills, such as public speaking or conducting workshops and the first graduation ceremony took place at the end of March 2014.

A very challenging element of the programme is the victim impact panels where women speak to offenders and share their personal story full of pain, obstacles but also friendship, healing and hope. Khulisa evaluated the programme and it became clear that the SHINE peer educators have a positive impact on the rest of the group and significantly change their lives – but these young women shine so much as a result of this positive transformation process that no research could ever fully grasps the importance of such a programme
.

Bullying
Bullying
Even though bullying is not such a big problem at schools anymore, Khulisa and the teachers know that the learners still need support and guidance to become responsible adults.

The school counsellor from Nkandla, Mr. S. Mbokazi lost his wedding ring within the school premises and the matter was reported to the group who were participating in the bullying programme. The surprise arising out of the learner’s behaviour change: They found the ring because they managed to work as a team. They were praised for such behaviour. Parents’ interaction is important to produce authorative parent who argue and reason both perspectives in argument and welcome youth participation in family decisions and admit that sometimes children know better than parents.
This is an illustration on how youth behaved during the developmental stage of adolescence where they try to discover themselves in a unique approach and which fits with an individual that turns to the vilification of the right of other learners.

Khulisa started an initiative to stop bullying and other forms of abuse amongst the learners at Manqamu high school in the Umbonambi area as part of a bigger intervention in several areas.

When Khulisa started the work in this school, it became clear that some boys had a lot of influence and often dominated, bullied or harassed other learners. This created a very negative atmosphere in the classroom and the whole school making it difficult for the teachers to follow the curriculum and putting a sever burden on the affected teenagers. It was sad to see how these learners suffered and couldn’t even focus on their work at school!

However, it is important to notice that these boys who caused so much pain in the lives of others also faced several challenges in their community, at home and at school: They often had to repeat a class once or several times due to academic underperformance or their misbehaviour. Having some teenagers that are already older in a classroom often leads to new problems as they are more mature and usually become very influential. They are often respected by all other learners who tend to imitate their negative behaviour and this can be a huge challenge for the whole group dynamic. Unfortunately these older learners often start to bully younger teenagers! The teachers also noticed that the boys who matured earlier demonstrate a higher incident of conduct and behavioral disorder during adolescence and this is also suggested by research conducted by Golub et.al (2008).

There are several reasons why adolescents start bullying each other. They might have insecurities themselves and a fear to be rejection by others, sometimes they desire to be influential and dominate others and even unrelated problems can cause this negative behavior, e.g. conflicts within the family. But irrespective of any causal factors, bullying cannot be accepted as it is a form of emotional abuse that often also includes physical abuse or sexual harassment. It leads to an unimaginable pain and suffering in the lives of the affected children and interferes with their academic performance as they might be scare to attend classes or are distracted the whole time, fearing any new attacks!

When Khulisa launched the programme in the school, they faced a lot of negativity and resentment from the learners that did not want to participate in the programme. The boys that were chosen for the programme perceived it as discrimination because they felt they are scapegoats and had the impression that girls misbehave but they are favored by educators.

It was very important to clarify the idea as well as the objectives of the programme and the social workers worked hard to gain the trust from the boys. But this did not convince all of the participants of the importance of the programme and Khulisa came up with another idea: The explained to the boys that they will have the opportunity to become ambassadors and encourage other learners to stop bullying after completing the programme successfully. The prospective to become a leader and make a meaningful contribution in the school finally encouraged them to participate.

This shows how important it is to understand what participants in a programme really need: Even though bullies others often seem mean and ignorant, Khulisa understood that they actually need attention, an opportunity to speak about their problems and reflect on their behaviour as well as some future perspective. The programme allows these learners to improve their self-esteem and build positive relationships. Apart from that, it includes various activities that help the participants to understand bullying and the negative impacts it has. They also develop ideas how to prevent bullying and build a positive atmosphere in the classroom and establish an “anti-bullying” zone as responsible ambassadors.

Most of the participants shared that they gained new knowledge and became more aware why they engaged in this negative behaviour. They also developed empathy with the other learners and decided to stop bullying and rather spread a message of tolerance. The school educators confirmed this positive behavioural change and were relieved that they can now focus on teaching rather than resolving conflicts.

Community Justice
Community Justice
Violent attacks against foreign nationals, the majority from different parts of Africa, broke out in April this year following statements made by the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini that foreign nationals should return to their countries….

By George Lai Thom

31 August 2015

Violent attacks against foreign nationals, the majority from different parts of Africa, broke out in April this year following statements made by the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini that foreign nationals should return to their countries. Many took refuge in camps erected by the government. This was the worst anti-immigrant violence since 2008, when 62 people were killed and 50,000 displaced from their homes. It is thus evident the problem had not been dealt with adequately in the intervening years.

Khulisa conducted research in the informal settlements in Gauteng (Mangolongolo and Jumpers) and at the officers of NGO Glory for Shrine in Jeppestown. This research was conducted with victims. This research was followed up by interviews with community members in Umlazi and Ga-rankuwa townships in Kwa Zulu Natal All these efforts were conducted to gain an understanding of the causal factors of the violence, and left no doubt that the attacks were due to attitudes of xenophobia.

A meeting was held at the Khulisa offices May 25 attended by Khulisa staff members; founders of NGOs Glory for Shrine (Jeppestown) and Aga Sechaba (Attridgeville); foreign students and Khulisa Managing Director, Leslie Ann van Selm. This meeting determined that further work had to continue in Jeppestown, Attridgeville and Diepkloof in Soweto and a program of action to deal with Xenophobic Violence should develop as a result.

The three areas were duly visited by Khulisa RJ and Peacemaking specialist, George Lai Thom and mediators, Nkosinathi Mthembu and Clement Kunene. Dialogue circles were conducted in each area.

These dialogues were well received (Abdulrached to capture data from questionnaires).

In Jeppestown the dialogue was mainly with foreign and local performing artists although a victim shopkeeper and two persons in print media also attended; in Diepkloof with hostel dwellers and representatives of political parties {; and in Attridgeville with the local ward counsellor and ANC Youth Secretary; community members and Somali shopkeepers. The Youth secretariat played a major role in securing a 30 person attendance of local community members and Somali shopkeepers.

These dialogues confirmed desk top research conducted by Lai Thom that the xenophobic violent attacks were due to the following causal factors:

 Intense competition for jobs, commodities and housing;
 Poverty and unemployment;
 Psychological negative stereotyping and scape-goating of foreign nationals;
 South African exceptionalism, or feeling of superiority in relation to other Africans;
 Exclusive citizenship, or a form of nationalism that excludes others.
 Negative attitudes and statements made by political leaders.
 Misperceptions that foreigners “steal” jobs [11]; and engage in unfair business practice.

The research findings from all these initiatives make it evident, then, that any meaningful interventions should take into account the above factors, and a multi-disciplinary approach should be pursued, including:

 Government leaders to implement and change policy, and refrain from making unhelpful statements;
 Religious leaders to administer to the needy;
 Cultural artists to celebrate diversity;
 Educators to counteract the effects of negative stereotyping and national chauvinism;
 Media workers to publicise the positive contributions foreign nationals make to theeconomy;

 Business people to contribute material and financial aid;
 Police service to ensure law and order and administer services evenly;
 Women’s groups to encourage feminists perspective;
 Youth groups to monitor and respond to youth problems;
 Social workers to deal with victims’ social problems;
 Funders to ensure funding for projects;
 Local trained mediators, peacemakers and conflict transformation specialist to monitor and respond to tension in appropriate ways.

Project Elements Recommendation:

 Khulisa pilots one site: Attridgeville;
 Secure sufficient funds to drive a broad peacemaking programme for at least one year;
 Strengthen the capacity of Aga Sechaba in areas of administration;
 Train local stakeholders, including foreign nationals and Aga Sechaba personnel in mediation, peacemaking and conflict resolution under the coordination of Aga Sechaba;

Through Aga Sechaba:

 Set up meetings with all major stakeholders, and encourage participation;
 Continue dialogue circles with all major stakeholders as identified above, and including victims, offenders, community members and government;
 Set up Conflict Transformation team to monitor tensions and respond to these;
 Set up community forums and have regular meetings to identify challenges and respond to these;
 Set up walk-in mediation referral system and with CPF and/or Prosecutors;
 Implement educational programs to teach African history and culture to locals;
 Implement educational programs to teach foreign nationals their rights and SA local cultural and social practices;
 Implement programs to reduce prejudice;
 Implement initiatives of local entrepreneurship;
 Implement programs such as Silence the Violence and Victim impact panels;
 Implement international and Pan-African cultural events;
 Encourage media to publicise positive contributions made by foreign nationals;
 Set up monitoring and evaluation system.
The above suggested program can also be set up in the Jeppestown area driven by Glory for Shrine.

Diversion
Diversion
This is the story of a young man who was abandoned at birth and whose heart had been filled with hurt and anger. While he held an overly optimistic view of the future, his greatest fear was to spend the rest of his life alone, fending for himself.

Transformation Story: A STORY OF TRIUMPH

“I don’t have a mother, father, sister, aunt. I got people who are close to me but I don’t have my own family. I lived all my life in institutions – St Thomas, Valley View, Bergsig and School of Industries. This makes me feel sad. I have a sad background full of fights, bullies, chaos. People burnt my toes, stole from me. No one backed me up. Things were just going wild.”

This is the story of a young man who was abandoned at birth and whose heart had been filled with hurt and anger. While he held an overly optimistic view of the future, his greatest fear was to spend the rest of his life alone, fending for himself. At 16, he agreed to undergo a Khulisa Diversion Programme.

Diversion is a process whereby adult offenders are given the chance to be channelled away from the courts and the, often brutal, consequences of the criminal justice system. It is closely linked to restorative justice. When offenders acknowledge responsibility and agree to go through a diversion program, including making amends for what they have done, they are given the opportunity to avoid a criminal record, change their behaviours and learn new skills.

Three years later, he was interviewed about his experience.

“I have been a bully myself. It’s not what I wanted to become. It was what was happening around me. I also have a problem with anger. Khulisa taught me how to be responsible and get up on my own. I learnt how to control my anger. I learnt that fighting and bullying gets you nowhere. I learnt who I am and what I am. Slowly but surely Khulisa changed me. They made me feel proud and confident. They motivated me to do something. I wanted to teach children drama and dance.

When I turned 18 I had to leave School of Industries. I had no choice. I was sent to KwaMashu with some foster family. Things were bad. I was scared to be with strangers. I saw many bad things like people stealing right in front of you. Social Welfare couldn’t help me. I felt like I wanted to hang myself. I felt like the whole world was against me. By the grace of God, Pastor Richard in Newcastle arranged that I come back to Newcastle. I stayed I was very happy to see my (Khulisa) facilitator, who came to the shelter to do a programme.

I also joined an aftercare programme. This gave me hope. I felt inspired to teach children. Things at the place of shelter are really bad. I have nowhere else to go but I can trust people at Khulisa. When I talk to you, my anger goes away. To see people smiling and welcoming me is fantastic. These people know my problems and it’s better to let it out. I came to Khulisa to ask for help to make me a CV and also help me to study welding. Today I have a good job and am earning good money.

Thank You. Khulisa made me come a long way. Khulisa made a big difference to me. I not only said it, many other people said it. Khulisa also made me look inside myself to see what I did to cause the problem. I want to make a success of my life and I know I can, with a little help. I know I am not alone.”

Streetscapes
Streetscapes
LIFE SKILLS AND JOB CREATION ASSIST VAGRANTS AND STREET PEOPLE TO EARN AN INCOME AND REINTEGRATE INTO SOCIETY
“I can now go out there, work and encourage other people to find a program like this”, says John.

For 43 years, John Morley lived on the streets of Cape Town, sleeping on the pavement outside the South African parliament. His downfall began when he was stabbed, while aboard one of the deep-sea fishing boats on which he worked.

He became disabled and could no longer find employment as a fisherman. He started drinking heavily and lost contact with his family. For decades he eked out an existence by car-guarding and begging for hand-outs.

Khulisa offered John a lifeline when he joined their street cleaning pilot project for the homeless. Five months later, John had stopped drinking, moved back with his family and assumed a leadership position within the group, taking responsibility for the stock room where all the brooms, spades, clothes and bags are stored. He helped develop a set of rules and a stock register, and nothing went missing under his watch.

Having proven himself as a reliable, hard worker, with a passion for farming, John Morley will ‘graduate’ from the pilot project to start farming commercially in a city garden. Two major food retail chains have already confirmed that they will guarantee him a market by buying his produce.

Read the streetscapes media article here

In early 2015, Khulisa Social Services launched a pilot project in response to the growing problem of homelessness on Cape Town city streets.

We see increasing numbers of marginalised South Africans begging at intersections, sleeping in shop doorways and rummaging through rubbish bins for a bite to eat. While the well-intentioned give them small change, clothes and food, this is not a long-term solution. What can be done to help them break out of this cycle of despair?

“These are the people who fall through the cracks of society”, says Jesse Laitinen, Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Khulisa. “Many participants had been stuck in a cycle of petty crimes and bylaw offences like aggressive begging. With no fixed addresses, these citizens had limited access to social workers. They were constantly being arrested, placing strain on the courts and re enforcing a destructive and demoralizing cycle.”

Funded through the City of Cape Town Expanded Public Works Programme, Khulisa’s project provided vagrants with personal development programmes and opportunities to earn an income in order to help reintegrate them into society. Participants were paid a fortnightly stipend, enabling them either to return to their families with something to offer, or to pay for themselves to stay in a shelter.

Although the pilot project has now come to an end, Khulisa continues supporting group members. Khulisa is invregular contact with 80% of the group, 46% are still working 6 months later. The project as received funding from Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation and Central City Improvement District. With the support Khulisa is setting up non-profit micro-enterprises in farming, baking, recycling and composting.

Learn more about this about this project at http://khulisa.org.za/streetscapes

Early Childhood Developmemt
Early Childhood Developmemt
Zuzile loves her work because she knows that her influence on these children equips them with a strong basis to manage all challenges in life. Her biggest wish is that all infants can prosper in a safe environment to develop good skills and become independent young adults..

Originally known as ‘Little Rose’, Zuzile Duma established her crèche (situated in Tsakane, just outside Ladysmith) 12 years ago after coming into contact with Khulisa through our Make It Better (MIB) Youth Leadership Programme. It was during this time that she identified her passion for early childhood development following a community needs analysis and the subsequent development of a project to address such needs. The crèche was originally housed in a shack on the premises of a local ward councillor. It was solely through the support of the Khulisa Midlands team that she received assistance with toys, furniture, equipment and a nominal monthly stipend. After being evicted she moved from property to property until eventually a generous family member offered to build her the then known crèche as Masihlangane on their premises, but when the time came for them to build on this property, Zuzile had no choice but yet again to find another location for the crèche. The crèche was then moved to its current location in Sibisi Street, Tsakane. This property belongs to Zuzile’s mother, and she has obtained consent to run the crèche from these premises. Again, by partnering with her old ally, Khulisa in the Midlands, a solid structure has now been built on this property and despite extremely tough conditions she has now managed to grow her crèche from 15 to 47 children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. In the absence of any funding from government, due to administrative infrastructure limitations, to match government’s requirements, she does not receive any funding, with her sole source of income being R50-00 per child per month. Nevertheless she continues to serve the children of her community without ever losing hope. During 2014 Zuzile was one of the six nominees in Khulisa Midlands ‘Midlands Community Achievers Awards’. She managed to end up in the top three. Through interim fundraising events Khulisa secured Zuzile a prefab garden container to house the crèche had no choice but yet again to find another location for the crèche. The crèche’s founder, Zuzile Duma, first came into contact with Khulisa Midlands in 2003/4 when she applied to participate on the Khulisa MIB Leadership Programme. At this time, Zuzile had completed a Grade 10 and was unemployed. Despite this setback, Zuzile persevered and found another unused shack to continue her dream for a crèche in her area. This shack was on the property of a family staying in touch Khulisa Midlands, Zuzile was able to obtain a prefab container to house the crèche. However, over time this container deteriorated and the need for a sold structure became apparent. By partnering with her old ally Khulisa Midlands and other partners, a solid structure has now been built on this property. The Creche was started in 2004 in a container and continued to grow from there. In 2013, Khulisa Ladysmith built a new crèche classroom with funds that were raised by the office. Zuzile still don’t receive any government support due to administration limitations on government level and therefore she have to manage her crèche on a minimal school fee of an estimate of R50-00 per child per month.

Khulisa is passionate about Early Childhood Development. We understand how crucial this foundation phase is to allow children to prosper and become responsible members of a community in the future. We have designed several workshops that aim to assist parents and caregivers to offer guidance and support to their children.

eLollipop Creche

Guided by research around cycles of crime and violence in South Africa, tackling issues around Early Childhood Development (ECD) remain critical to positive change. Khulisa Midlands has over the last 5 years expanded its ECD projects which has adopted the Social Transformation System methodology as a means of mapping positive change. This has included multiple partners from various sectors including, Departments of Social Development, Education and Health. It has also included close partnerships with other NGOs and corporate partners. This has resulted in a variety of programmatic and infrastructural interventions. This has included rolling-out Khulisa programmes aimed education, health, parenting, financial and administrative support.
To date, Khulisa Midlands has co-ordinated the building of 5 new creche buildings and toilets. Annually, Khulisa Midlands hosts the Community Achiever Awards which recognises the stalwarts of these projects. This event will be hosted this year on 02 December. Christmas boxes are also distributed annually, and in 2014 1,600 gift boxes were distributed. To date, Khulisa Midlands has delivered 3,800 Christmas boxes.

NPC/Cimpcor Project 2015

Lollypop crèche is situated in Osizweni, a township outside of Newcastle. The area has high rates of unemployment, poverty and crime. The creche currently supports 280 children between the ages of 0-6 years old. The creche also employs 12 permanent staff members. Despite its obvious infrastructural and financial limitations, the creche is full of happy smiles and positive learning.
Since May 2013 (as indicated by the above pie chart) the creche has actively used the Social Transformation Model methodology as a way of tracking progress, finding areas of success and identifying areas for urgent and important improvement. Through this process, which involves a variety of stakeholders, the creche’s infrastructure was identified as an area for urgent attention.
Based on a long-standing relationship with the creche, NPC/Cimpcor decided to invest R220 000 to build two new classrooms and bathrooms for the2 Grade R classes at the creche. The land was donated by a local resident. In time for a Mandela Day party on 18 July 2015, the Grade Rs moved into the new buildings.

NPO Partnership
NPO Partnership
When he was released and returned to South Africa he was a “man on a mission” to make a genuine, positive difference in his community….

When he was released and returned to South Africa he was a “man on a mission” to make a genuine, positive difference in his community. Inspired by a desire to reverse his previously destructive and harmful influence, he founded an NPO called Aga Sechaba (“Build the nation”), which focuses on drug awareness campaigns. Khulisa realized how passionate he was to make a change in his community and offered him assistance and guidance that allowed him to grow his organization into a successful NPO.

Khulisa cooperated closely with Mose’s organization “Aga Sechaba” to fight xenophobic violence.

Learn more about Khulisa’s pilot project in Atteridgeville and our general effort to finally leave xenophobia behind.

Born in 1978, Lehlohonolo Mose’s Letsoalo grew up in the deprived township of Atteridgeville through 16 years of apartheid.

“I remember curfews, police breaking down doors into houses, and countless acts of violence that doubtlessly seriously affected my childhood development. With this background it seemed a natural progression for me to turn to crime, violence and drugs. At the age of 13 I was serving the first of 13 custodial sentences, and at 15 I joined the infamous prison gang 28”.

When he was 23 Moses began to work as a drug mule for a large syndicate based in Johannesburg. Making four to five trips a year, he thought he was living the high life. But when he was caught smuggling 60kg of Marijuana into Heathrow Airport in 2008, it was an experience that changed his life completely. He served two years in Her Majesty’s Prison Wormwood Scrubs, received training and accredited qualifications in Life Skills, Health and Safety in the Workplace, and furniture assembly.

“Two years in prison, away from my wife and infant daughter, having to deal with the heart-breaking experience of explaining on the phone why Daddy couldn’t come home, not even for a day, was what helped me finally begin to understand the damage I had done to other people’s lives.”

When he was released and returned to South Africa he was a “man on a mission” to make a genuine, positive difference in his community. Inspired by a desire to reverse his previously destructive and harmful influence, he founded an NPO called Aga Sechaba (“Build the nation”), which focusses on drug awareness campaigns.

“I wanted to build, rather than destroy”.

Seven years later Moses is a role model in his community. He is a national public speaker and serves on a number of committees, working in consultation with senior government officials. He runs a successful community building business enterprise and oversees the running of Aga Sechaba, which serves thousands of drug addicts in his community.

Khulisa Social Solutions provided Aga Sechaba with professional mentoring services and helped to formalize its organisational governance structures. “My relationship with Khulisa, my most trusted NPO, has provided many opportunities for my organisation to generate income, for our participants to be up-skilled, and for our profile to be heightened.”

In 2014 he was awarded Most Inspiring Person on a six-month Leadership Development course through Common Purpose (www.commonpurpose.org.za) which was hosted around South Africa in different communities. He was also selected to represent South Africa in Rajasthan, India on a Leaders Quest (www.leadersquest.com) in November 2014, where 120 leaders from around the country exchanged leadership qualities.

“I believe I am living proof that crime and drugs can be beaten against all odds.”

Khulisa is committed to co-operate with other NPOs and is especially passionate about mentoring small organizations so that they can grow and have a huge impact on their communities.

Founded in 2009, Aga Sechaba is an NPO focused on fighting the increasingly damaging effects of drugs in Moses’s hometown of Atteridgeville. The organisation provides rehabilitation and treatment programmes for both alcohol and drug abuse, as well as recreational opportunities to ensure prevention of addiction.

Aga Sechaba promotes four junior soccer teams, two netball teams and a cycling team. Community support in skills development extends to maths and science support for high school learners; a film development project; and an orphanage home that caters for 23 orphans between the ages of 1 and 16.

Aga Sechaba has received no external funding during its 5-year existence. Moses made the decision to open up his own businesses in order to provide funding streams for the NPO. This led to the founding of Aga Sechaba Trading Enterprise, a construction company, and Letsohlo Communication and Stationery Supply, which supplies corporates and government departments with office stationery and computer peripherals.

These companies not only provide Moses with the income necessary to continue to personally fund Aga Sechaba Community Projects, but have also provided paying jobs and skills development for out-of-school youths and former offenders and addicts.

At present, Letsoalo employs six permanent staff, while Aga Sechaba Trading Enterprise employs up to thirty people depending on the contract they’re working on. Today Aga Sechaba Community Projects is an accredited outpatient treatment centre for the Department of Social Development and the Department of Correctional Services. It has branches in four provinces: Gauteng (Garankuwa, Winterveld, Atteridgeville and Pretoria CBD), Northwest (Brits), Limpopo (Tzaneen and Seshego) and Mpumalanga (Kwa-ndebele).

The organisation is in partnership with SANCA (www.sancanational.org) for cross referrals of support services for young addicts.

NPO Development
NPO Development
Born in 1978, Lehlohonolo Moses Letsoalo grew up in the deprived township of Atteridgeville through 16 years of apartheid…

“I remember curfews, police breaking down doors into houses, and countless acts of violence that doubtlessly seriously affected my childhood development. With this background it seemed a natural progression for me to turn to crime, violence and drugs. At the age of 13 I was serving the first of 13 custodial sentences, and at 15 I joined the infamous prison gang…

When he was 23 Moses began to work as a drug mule for a large syndicate based in Johannesburg. Making four to five trips a year, he thought he was living the high life. But when he was caught smuggling 60kg of Marijuana into Heathrow Airport in 2008, it was an experience that changed his life completely. He served two years in Her Majesty’s Prison Wormwood Scrubs, received training and accredited qualifications in Life Skills, Health and Safety in the Workplace, and furniture

“Two years in prison, away from my wife and infant daughter, having to deal with the heart-breaking experience of explaining on the phone why Daddy couldn’t come home, not even for a day, was what helped me finally begin to understand the damage I had done to other people’s lives.”

When he was released and returned to South Africa he was a “man on a mission” to make a genuine, positive difference in his community. Inspired by a desire to reverse his previously destructive and harmful influence, he founded an NPO called Aga Sechaba (“Build the nation”), which focusses on drug awareness campaigns.

“I wanted to build, rather than destroy”. Seven years later Moses is a role model in his community. He is a national public speaker and serves on a number of committees, working in consultation with senior government officials. He runs a successful community building business enterprise and oversees the running of Aga Sechaba, which serves thousands of drug addicts in his community.

Khulisa Social Solutions provided Aga Sechaba with professional mentoring services and helped to formalize its organisational governance structures.

“My relationship with Khulisa, my most trusted NPO, has provided many opportunities for my organisation to generate income, for our participants to be up-skilled, and for our profile to be heightened.”

In 2014 he was awarded Most Inspiring Person on a six-month Leadership Development course through Common Purpose (www.commonpurpose.org.za) which was hosted around South Africa in different communities.

He was also selected to represent South Africa in Rajasthan, India on a Leaders Quest (www.leadersquest.com) in November 2014, where 120 leaders from around the country exchanged leadership qualities.

“I believe I am living proof that crime and drugs can be beaten against all odds.”

THE PROGRAMME: AGA SECHABA Founded in 2009, Aga Sechaba is an NPO focused on fighting the increasingly damaging effects of drugs in Moses’s hometown of Atteridgeville.

The organisation provides rehabilitation and treatment programmes for both alcohol and drug abuse, as well as recreational opportunities to ensure prevention of addiction.

Aga Sechaba promotes four junior soccer teams, two netball teams and a cycling team. Community support in skills development extends to Maths and Science support for high school learners; a film development project; and an orphanage home that caters for 23 orphans between the ages of 1 and Aga Sechaba has received no external funding during its 5-year existence. Moses made the decision to open up his own businesses in order to provide funding streams for the NPO. This led to the founding of Aga Sechaba Trading Enterprise, a construction company, and Letsohlo Communication and Stationery Supply, which supplies corporates and government departments with office stationery and computer peripherals.

These companies not only provide Moses with the income necessary to continue to personally fund Aga Sechaba Community Projects, but have also provided paying jobs and skills development for out-of-school youths and former offenders and addicts.

At present, Letsohlo employs six permanent staff, while Aga Sechaba Trading Enterprise employs up to thirty people depending on the contract they’re working on.

Today Aga Sechaba Community Projects is an accredited outpatient treatment centre for the Department of Social Development and the Department of Correctional Services. It has branches in four provinces: Gauteng (Garankuwa, Winterveld, Atteridgeville and Pretoria CBD), Northwest (Brits), Limpopo (Tzaneen and Seshego) and Mpumalanga (Kwa-Ndebele).

The organisation is in partnership with SANCA (www.sancanational.org) for cross referrals of support services for young addicts.

Khulisa includes professional monitoring and evaluation in all projects to report back on the achievements and constantly improve all interventions.

Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice
Khulisa designed the Justice and Restoration Project (JARP), a community-based mediation programme that was implemented in Orange Farm (Gauteng) and Mitchells Plain (Western Cape)…

“It was difficult to tell the truth, but wonderful when I did” – convicted murderer “I forgive you” – murder victim’s daughter

“Somehow I don’t feel like a victim any more” – victim of serious crime

Restorative Justice is an alternative response to crime and social disorder, through participation in resolving conflict and addressing its consequences.

Although a relatively new concept to the South African justice system, restorative justice is not a foreign concept to African indigenous methods of conflict resolution, with the traditional concept of Ubuntu as its foundation. The objective is to promote the healing of primary and secondary victims of crime, who are largely ignored by formal criminal justice systems. The restorative benefits of this process also assist in the rehabilitation of offenders, by giving them the opportunity to confront the human consequences of their actions.

Khulisa Social Services, in partnership with the Boksburg Department of Correctional Services, facilitated a highly successful pilot intervention, which mediated and promoted dialogue between victims and offenders in matters involving serious violent crimes.

An inter-disciplinary team of social workers, psychologists, community corrections officers and spiritual care workers attended a 5-day training workshop conducted by Khulisa’s RJ specialist. Only offenders who had specifically made a request to participate, were selected for the programme. Victims and their family members also agreed, despite a high degree of nervousness until the process had been explained to them.

Post-event assessment of the project has been universally positive. Prison social workers, who were initially sceptical, observed the benefits to all participants and now recommend the rollout of similar programmes nationwide.

Both offenders and victims expressed gratitude and asked that we continue with similar interventions. Many expressed the wish for more awareness of restorative justice and Victim

Offender Mediation in their communities.

“I never had an opportunity to hear what happened. It feels like a weight has dropped off my shoulders” – victim’s family member “I didn’t want him to be in prison. When he comes out I want peace. I want his younger siblings to look up to him. I want him to make a commitment to take hands and pull in the same direction as the rest of the family” – offender’s family member

Tug Of War
Tug Of War
“Today I can say that my involvement with Khulisa has allowed me to see life in a different context. It has been a long journey with uncountable obstacles that I had to overcome but I am content where I am today…

am very passionate about the work I do at Khulisa and I especially appreciate the opportunity to pass on all the knowledge and skills that I have acquired with the organization because I know how much that can change in a person’s life.”

The “Tug of War” parenting workshop is part of the diversion programme that helps young offenders to change their behavior and reintegrate into the community.

Michael is 16 years old and resides with his mother and his uncles at Umlazi F section in Durban. The family struggled to provide for Michael as all his family members were unemployed and they had to cope with a little bit of money from Michael’s father and his child grant. Michael got into conflict with the law and he was charged of using and found in possession of dagga. He was referred to Khulisa by Umlazi Magistrate court and after he acknowledged his wrongdoing, he joined Khulisa’s Positively Cool Diversion programme.

In the early stages of the programme, Michael was unable to interact with other group members. He was always very quiet and the facilitators tried to speak to him and find out why he is so withdrawn. Michael explained how difficult it is for him to interact with others because he feels ashamed that his mother is unemployed even thought she is a qualified nurse. Smoking dagga helped him to forget about his difficult situation at home, even though he knows about the dangers of smoking.

As part of the whole intervention, Michael’s mother attended a parent’s workshop and told the facilitator that MK used to go to church before he started abusing dagga. He was actually a very good gospel singer and a soccer player. His mother also realised how much Michael suffers from her unemployment and it hurts her that he always introduces his family with the words “my mother is an unemployed qualified nurse”.

To help Michael even more, the facilitator referred Michael to a mentor for counselling and additional support. His mentor engaged with the whole family and helped them to find possible solutions together. Michael showed improvements in the group and started to interact with other group members. He was even able to come up with ideas and solutions during group discussions and group activities. His mother tried hard to implement all the advice she has gained in the parent’s workshop to assist Michael and to educate him what he should do to improve his own life. After a while, she could observe a change in his behaviour. He stopped using drugs and accompanied her to church again. The two of them shared everything they had learned from Khulisa’s Diversion Programme. It was a very special moment when Michael apologised to his mother for his bad behaviour and for being in conflict with the law.

After successfully completing the diversion programme, Michael joined a soccer team and he is now one of the Khulisa’s soccer team members based at Umlazi area.

Khulisa designed the “Tug of War” workshop to assist parents who wish to raise responsible young adults and managed to implement this programme in several regions in South Africa.

No child in this world can exist in isolation and they are always influenced by their parents, other family members, teachers and their environment in general. It is important to understand that their behaviour is usually just the result of all their experiences. Unfortunately many children and adolescents in South Africa show a problematic, violent or delinquent behavior which has a negative impact on their families and communities. Throughout all the years of experiences, Khulisa has understood that it is incredibly difficult for parents to realise that their children misbehave or might even ruin their future. And they often feel helpless and don’t know how to cope with this situation or even help their children. They might even start to punish or abuse their children and this leads to a vicious circle of negative interactions and more severe behavioural problems on the side of the children. There is a huge need to support parents and caregivers and empower them to raise their children in a more positive way and live in peace within their family.

Apart from that, Khulisa has realized that it is a futile approach to offer programmes for children without changing the environment they live in. Parents and caregivers in general have a huge influence on the well-being as well as the behavior of their children.

The “Tug of War” programme aims to empower parents, care givers and significant others with basic parenting skills to assist their children with the daily challenges they encounter. It is designed for everyone who wishes to raise responsible young adults but struggles with the behavioural problems of the children. A family group conferencing session also forms part of the programme to re-connect families and find possible solutions together.

Throughout the programme, participants become more conscious of all the challenges families with adolescents encounter and learn how families, parents and adolescents are affected by external factors such as peer pressure, alcohol & drug abuse, bullying. Even though these situations often seem hopeless, the parents and caregivers are empowered to work towards a positive change in their environment. The workshop also helps them to improve their communication style and equips them with skills to avoid conflict and estranged relationships within their family.

NYDA
NYDA
“Suddenly they had the common vision to improve the lives of other communities members and gradually, they also started to get along with each other…

Khulisa has been active in various communities for many years and build strong partnerships. We knew in which organizations the volunteers will have the biggest impact.

The coordinators of the NYDA Volunteer Programme in many rural areas have noted that the programme did not only have a substantial effect on the volunteers but also changed the whole community. In one area, the coordinator reported that the volunteers, who are members of two separate gangs, started the programme with high levels of animosity and resentment towards each other. Within 10 days however, their membership within the programme began taking precedence over their membership in the gangs. It is nearly impossible to believe that they started to work together to improve the lives of other communities members and gradually they also started to get along with each other. It is needless to say that this positive development has significantly improved the safety as well as the general living conditions in this area. Khulisa has promoted a systemic approach towards community development for a long time, emphasizing the fact that we can not only focus on a small problem but we need to uplift the life of community members in general, especially the youth. If we support young people to find work or be meaningful to others, their life changes and they become responsible role models rather than criminals. This programme proofs that our approach is very promising and can successfully by implemented in various different communities!

This incredible story is not an isolated incident as many similar stories have been reported to the Khulisa Head Office on a daily basis.

Khulisa has established the Youth Development Programme with the support of the National Youth Development Agency in several areas around South Africa. Through the participation in the programme, all volunteers can improve their skills and their work in various projects has a huge impact on their community.

Khulisa is a very professional partner and we have experiences huge successes with the NYDA youth development programme. Apart from that, our approach is unique through the inclusion of our best-practice programmes that ensure the personal development of the volunteers.

The strength of the programme is that it has an incredible impact on the volunteers who are more likely to find a job after the programme and it also uplifts the community through the work of the volunteers for various projects and organisations.

Firstly, the programme aims at supporting young people who have just graduated from high school and struggle with a lack of skills, unemployment and consequently enter the vicious circle of poverty. When the volunteers enter this project, their economic situation improves immediately as they are paid a small stipend and can maintain themselves or their family. In communities that are severely affected by a lack of resources this is already a major contribution towards poverty alleviation.

Apart from that, the programme focuses on skills development and job readiness. Khulisa has co-operated with strong partners to offer a wide range of workshops focusing on capacity building, language development, literacy training, etc. The uniqueness of Khulisa as an implementation partner for the NYDA also lies in the fact that we help the volunteers to grow on a personal level by including our best-practice programmes. This ensures a holistic approach to personal development and we were satisfied to see that the volunteers show a sustainable behavioural change. Volunteers who successfully complete the programme are more likely to find employment or start their own business.

Secondly, a huge number of people within a community benefits from the work of the volunteers and it is incredibly to observe how the NYDA volunteer programme can change a whole environment. The volunteers are placed with public institutions, NPOs, the private sector and other organization and mainly work in the field of community development.

Many volunteers work in the field of social development: They assist teachers in schools, improve the service delivery in hospitals, offer the so much needed hands in under-resourced institutions, such as homes for the elderly or disabled, create awareness about HIV / AIDS or substance abuse or can pass on their newly acquired skills to help other community members to find employment.

They are also engaged in various youth project that are incredibly important to make sure that young people use their free-time wisely and effectively and don’t put themselves at risk. Volunteers of the NYDA programme run community libraries, become successful sports teachers, pass on their skills in arts and craft or even lead a choir. It is obvious that such positive interactions with children and teenagers also help them to become good role models within their community. The volunteers also take up very important duties within a community that are often neglected if people struggle to find employment or a little bit of money to feed their children: They start vegetable gardens or improve the infrastructure by building pavements and clearing dumping sites.

Women and Victim Empowerment
Women and Victim Empowerment
Lerato’s world began to turn around when she joined Khulisa’s Ubuntu Club, where she participated in the ‘Remember To Forget’ dialogue circles…

Throughout the years, Khulisa has gained valuable experiences in the field of mentoring and with the Global Give Back Circle as one of our mentorship programmes, we focus mainly on young girls because we have realied that this can have an incredibly positive impact in their lives. The Global Give Back Circle exists to enable disadvantaged girls to continue their education, find employment and experience the joys of global citizenship by embracing a give back ethos. This is accomplished through a 5 year mentoring and empowerment process. Whilst in high school, each girl is assigned a dedicated mentor who will write to her, encourage her in her studies, help her explore possibilities and realize her dreams.

Apart from that, Khulisa has realized that there is a need for victim empowerment programmes considering that many women are still being victimized and suffer from negative psychological consequences due to their traumatization. Most women feel ashamed or guilty and fear to speak about these experiences and remain silent for years. A huge amount of studies have shown that it is not only helpful but necessary to speak about traumatic experiences to be able to heal and move on. The main goal of the “Daring to Dream” Programme was to create an atmosphere that will encourage the women to speak about their past and offer sufficient social support on their way towards a brighter future that is no longer dominated by their victimization, violence or pain.

The SHINE Victim Protection Programme has now been introduced throughout South Africa and continues to have far reaching impact amongst all those who have participated in the process. SHINE is a group therapy programme that helps women to speak about their trauma and receive enough support to eventually grow and leave these negative memories behind. The participants in the programme support each other which is incredibly valuable to heal and move on. During December 2013 SHINE peer educators, in partnership with SAPS, were trained with a group of some 30 women in Tembisa. This gives some women that have been traumatized themselves a chance to grow personally by healing someone else. This programme also assists the women to improve their skills, such as public speaking or conducting workshops and the first graduation ceremony took place at the end of March 2014.

A very challenging element of the programme is the victim impact panels where women speak to offenders and share their personal story full of pain, obstacles but also friendship, healing and hope. Khulisa evaluated the programme and it became clear that the SHINE peer educators have a positive impact on the rest of the group and significantly change their lives – but these young women shine so much as a result of this positive transformation process that no research could ever fully grasps the importance of such a programme.