Khulisa Social Solutions
Khulisa, an international non-profit organisation established in 2007, employs over 250 staff and operates 26 offices around South Africa with a current and increasing annual budget equivalent to approximately US$7million.
They work with a variety of role-players including governments, foundations, NGOs and businesses to maximise initiatives and processes that transform fragile and vulnerable communities.
During their last financial year, they reached in excess of 300,000 people through 250+ national capacity-building projects, which range from, for example, violence reduction in schools to restorative justice programs for ex-offenders who were previously on death row.
Their proven, award-winning programmes provide the intellectual, moral and emotional development that is absent in the lives of many. These interventions effectively break the cycle of violence and crime and result in reinvented individuals becoming part of a ‘pay-it-forward’ social enterprise or community development initiative. Local leadership thus emerges as a valuable and necessary resource in local transformation.
Khulisa has evolved beyond appealing to altruism through demonstrating by our systemic approach to service delivery how all stakeholders/investors can play a part, make a difference and ultimately benefit from their involvement. It is their intention to influence business practices, building corporate, business and philanthropic relationships and develop earned-income ventures.
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
Creating Shared Value
The CEO and Founder of Khulisa, Lesley Ann van Selm, has been an Ashoka Fellow for 9 years and both she and the organisation have won multiple awards in the area of community development and social enterprise. She is South Africa’s current Woman of the Year in this category.
The majority of Khulisa’s funding in SA comes from government departments such as Social Development, Justice, Education and Health. International donors include the European Union, the Danish, Finnish, American and British governments, the Open Society Foundation, UNODC and USAID. Local companies within SA supporting Khulisa include: AngloAmerican, Harmony Gold, Goldfields, BHP Billiton, Liberty Life, Investec Bank…to mention just a few.
Khulisa’s services are broken down into 3 inter-connected business units that focus on: crime prevention and access to justice (Unit 1), community and leadership development (Unit 2) and business skills and enterprise development (Unit 3). By targeting all three areas, Khulisa reinforces behaviour change, primarily by the youth, with opportunities for self-reliance, sustainability and an improved community environment.
The entry point to all Khulisa’s programmes is restoration, focusing initially on introducing therapeutic and scientifically measured personal development programmes that have been adapted to suit a wide variety of needs for vulnerable audiences, including those at risk and in conflict with the law. Personal development leads to a number of restorative processes, introduced in community settings through multiple interventions, working on a collaborative basis, including but not limited to restorative justice, community outreach programmes, a variety of developmental programmes, the development of leadership and entrepreneurs. Graduates from Khulisa’s programmes who have demonstrated the relevant aptitude are assisted in setting up their micro-enterprise opportunities, which are researched and developed in partnership with Khulisa or other NGOs specialising in this particular field.
Through Khulisa’s internationally acclaimed and locally awarded best practice model in the area of restorative justice, we are now working in close partnership with the Department of Justice and the National Prosecuting Authority in developing policies linked specifically to restorative justice, a philosophy which has now been embraced by multiple government departments as part of the restorative justice policy recently launched in SA. As the forerunners in this particular service we are the first to pioneer the establishment of mediation centres in rural, peri-urban and urban settings throughout KwaZulu-Natal, in partnership with local courts and probation officers.
The scientific measurement tools integrated into our delivery mechanisms allow us to profile communities, assess attitudinal shifts, individual development, victim satisfaction, as well as the effect that our various processes have had on recidivism. In this regard we have linked up with multiple local and international research agents.