Khulisa NGO celebrates 25 years

From left are the Khulisa NGO team, Ronel Daniels, Cynthia Chitekeshe and Millicent Tanani.

The Khulisa Social Solutions non-governmental organisation is offering free gender-based violence sessions to corporate companies in celebration of their 25th anniversary.

Having opened in July 1997, Khulisa is celebrating their 25 years of service to the community this year and those in need of their services. The Mitchell’s Plain branch is one of five branches in the Western Cape region.

Their pro bono services for June have been extended to mid-July to corporate companies and gender-based violence will be the focus of service for this time period said Ronel Daniels, social auxiliary worker.

“Anyone can be trapped in gender-based violence and you may not know it. Sometimes emotions will trigger you, make you angry or have other thoughts by saying words you didn’t mean. We want to continue to create awareness on this,” said Ms Daniels.

They were always based in the Town Centre and have an office at Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court. They also work in schools as they do crime prevention where they offer life skills to all schools. They deal with the youth in conflict with the law as they do aftercare with them. They even host parenting workshops and gender-based violence workshops.

Ms Daniels, have been with Khulisa for over a year. “I feel honoured to be part of all those whom I’ve assisted – it feels good to be a part of their journey and to bring change to others and part of the community of Mitchell’s Plain.

Millicent Tanani, social auxiliary worker, said being in this profession is a great experience, however, it does come with a lot of responsibilities.

“I’m bringing change and a sense of belonging to a person. You have to help someone create a change.

“I love what I’m doing. I love interacting with people, helping them find their feet, it’s what I love doing the most,” she said.

They’ve had some challenging cases, even a few where they wanted to help but for various reasons could not. “It’s natural to think of clients when you get home, it happens naturally when you deal with people. You still try to help them nonetheless,” said Ms Tanani.

Ms Daniels said some of the clients are young and still have their whole future ahead of them. “It’s hard. Working with the really challenging cases, sometimes you need to allow boundaries to protect your mental state. Sometimes taking your cases home with you is hard to shut off,” she said.

Cynthia Chitekeshe, senior social worker at Khulisa, said she’s been with the NGO for over nine years.

Most of their services have been court work and they want to extend their services to the corporate world, Ms Chitekeshe said.

“Working with people has been great. It teaches you to be humble, to learn and strengthen your practice. We have been working with the community and would like to extend it into the corporate world,” said Ms Chitekeshe.

She said wherever they may be, no matter the challenges, that is where they want to help people, such as with the scourge of gender-based violence. “Violence does not have a lawyer or homeless person in mind –violence is violence, no matter what,” said Ms Chitekeshe.

Khulisa Social Solutions are open from 8am to 4.30pm, from Monday to Friday.

For more information about the NGO and their services, follow their Facebook page, or contact the Mitchell’s Plain office on 081 848 5900 or the Cape Town office on 021 465 6112.