Communities of Opportunity (CoO) present solutions to socio-economic challenges

Khulisa’s Communities of Opportunity (CoO) programme is a research-based model used to create
the types of communities we all want to live in. CoO is designed to assist people to move out – and to
stay out, of poverty. It employs a comprehensive approach to community development that builds on
the existing strengths of the community, including its businesses, social services, education systems,
healthcare systems, justice systems, community-based organisations and community members
themselves to make a difference.

Community stakeholders have over the past 18 months been working on solutions to their socioeconomic
challenges – with the help of a social-tech solution being implemented by Khulisa Projects.
The Community of Opportunity model brings together the intelligence of data science together and the
embedded infrastructure and social challenges faced by marginalised communities into one framework
to identify, monitor and track interventions.
Khulisa Projects has conducted detailed and structured research in identified communities within six
provinces in South Africa, viz.:
• Meriteng (Rustenburg local municipality)
• Tembisa (Ekurhuleni metro)
• Northam (Thabazimbi local municipality)
• Kamhlushwa (Nkomazi local municipality)
• Western Cape (Winelands)
• Delportshoop (Dikgatlong local municipality)
The feedback gathered from grass-root stakeholders, albeit at an early stage, has provided solutions to
the crippling challenges these communities face.

With the assistance of our tech partner Tano AI, the data has been analysed and benchmarked
against the UN Sustainable Development Goals and is able to pinpoint specific need and the impact
of addressing that specific need, within these communities. This will ensure effective monitoring and
evaluation of social investment – including the impact on the entire value chain within that community –
and data-based reporting on return on investment.

Psychometric tests identify factors causing violence
Khulisa, in partnership with Careers Building Blocks, an organisation that specialises in developing and
conducting psychometric tests, conducted almost 100 assessments with youth at risk/in conflict with the
law, rehabilitating offenders and perpetrators of domestic violence – with particular emphasis on the
effect of the Covid-19 lockdown on these individuals.
The results of this innovative approach to proactively identify the causal factors of broken eco-systems
in South African communities were presented at a webinar in October 2020. During the webinar, CEO
of Career Building Blocks, Munei Tshiove stated: “We have captured preliminary findings which will lead
us towards the development of a Framework on Social-Emotion awareness: a cutting-edge response
to Gender-Based Violence. The data we have gathered, albeit still in its developmental stage, presents
disturbing insights into the significant percentage of participants with suicidal and homicidal ideation.”
The incorporation of the psychometric tests into Khulisa’s initiatives when working with different
demographic groups allows for scientific measurement of the growth of individuals whilst directing them
effectively towards their future career orientation and development plans.
An innovation of this kind, built on the principles of psychological well-being, is centralised around social
and emotional awareness.

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