The road to wellness and healing is lengthy for women who have experienced Gender-Based Violence (GBV). It requires psycho-social and therapeutic support, including trauma debriefing, individual counselling and group therapy. Most shelters have access to social workers, counsellors and staff with experience, expertise and passion but lack the space to hold psycho-social sessions in a dignified, private and aesthetically pleasing environment. Together with Saartjie Baartman Centre and Breadline Africa, the Kolisi Foundation conceptualised and created a facility to serve therapeutic needs through counselling, therapy reflection, reading and journaling. Most importantly, it is also a supportive and healing space for mothers and children to spend quality time together.

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Lungi is the founder of Siphekela-Isizwe Feeding Scheme, which runs five community kitchens across Cape Town, supporting 1000 children and elders a day with a meal as well as sports and educational programmes. Lungi was one of the first people the Kolisi Foundation partnered with in 2020. Together with our partners, we were able to gift Lungi with a new vehicle for her community projects! 

We continue to support Lungi through our Community Kitchen Support which you can read about under Current Programmes.

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In May 2020, a devastating fire destroyed the main wing of the Saartjie Baartman Center in Cape Town. The shelter, which is the largest nationally, lost 40% of its housing capacity. Women and children were required to move into the Saartjie Baartman boardroom and halls. In 2022, together with our partners we were able repair and renovate the damaged sections of the building and contribute to a new industrial washing machine for the Center. With the revamp completed, the Saartjie Baartman Center is now operating at full capacity once again, providing 70 women and 35 children with first-stage housing.

In response to the devastating KZN Floods in 2022, we raised R1 028 295.00 towards food relief for those impacted and displaced by the floods. Through the generous contributions of our key partners – the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, The Domino Foundation, KFC Add Hope, Hollywood Foundation, Feed the Nation Foundation, and members of the public – we mobilised the distribution of 155 Community Kitchen Hampers to 61 Community Halls across the city.

Many rural schools across South Africa lack sufficient infrastructure and dedicated library spaces often become re-purposed for other uses. In addition, high learner to teacher ratios mean that students don’t always receive one-on-one literacy support and teacher’s struggle to find dedicated space and time for their own work. Reading becomes formidable and few find a lifelong love for and enjoyment of reading.

Together with the Kwanda Sibiya Foundation, we transformed the Hambisanani High School library from a dark, water-damaged room filled with outdated books to a bright and colorful space filled with brand new isiZulu and English books. All of these books are either written by African authors or based on an African context, making them more relatable and enjoyable for the learners.

We also hired and upskilled a new library facilitator from the community to run a reading program within the school. The reading programme includes a minimum of one focused reading lesson per week for Grade 8 learners, where they will enjoy being read to, practice reading aloud and silently, discuss books, and play games. The programme’s aim is to develop a culture of reading for enjoyment and improve literacy levels among high school learners.

Co-founders of the Kolisi Foundation, Siya and Rachel Kolisi, are the Executive Producers of a short film released in 2021, entitled #WeAreDyingHere.

#WeAreDyingHere chronicles the journey of three soldiers forced to survive a war that they did not choose. In this war against women’s bodies, they attempt to find solace by telling their stories under the constant watch of a relentless enemy. #WeAreDyingHere is an intimate reflection on the impact of violence, harassment, abuse, rape and femicide on everyday life. While the film never depicts any violence, the psychological and emotional trauma on these soldiers is evident. It is a necessary insight into the experience of living in South Africa where names of missing or murdered women trend frequently.

Khulisa Amafama was founded by UCOOK in partnership with Abalimi Bezekhaya and the Philippi Economic Development Initiative (PEDI). The project worked directly with a group of emerging farmers in the Cape Flats area, providing market access, training, resource and infrastructure support, and helping to grow farmers’ livelihoods.

The Kolisi Foundation assisted UCOOK by monitoring the project’s success. The full learning report, as well as project plans, resources and templates, have been made available as open-source documents. Please email us on should you like a copy.

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Rachel met Grace while assisting an abused woman called ‘Sharon’ in June 2020. Grace took ‘Sharon’ into her care. Grace regularly takes women who have experienced gender-based violence and at-risk children in her community under her wing. During 2021, Grace received training and skills development to equip and empower her further in her community work. It enabled her to understand the system, engage with community leaders and build relationships to support mothers and at-risk children.

In 2021, Grace moved into a new apartment to continue serving her community. Since then she has started her own community kitchen from her home as well as women’s empowerment engagements in her community. We continue to support Grace through our Community Kitchen Support which you can read about under Current Programmes.

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To increase access to crucial Gender-Based Violence (GBV) helplines and numbers, we created print-ready and digital posters for distribution.  These were included in our Power2You Pack Resource Journals, made downloadable on our website, printed in business card size for your wallet, shared on our social media platforms and distributed in public spaces. Access to these valuable helplines should be made accessible wherever women are – everwhere!

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At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Roche, the Kolisi Foundation, One-By-One Target Covid Campaign and Transnet launched a children’s book, “Keto and Zuri Learn about COVID-19,” to help parents and caregivers across Africa explain COVID-19 to children by sharing scientific facts in age-appropriate language.

The book was made available to download for free on the Kolisi Foundation’s website, and we distributed 23,000 free printed copies to our partners, in multiple languages: English, Afrikaans, Zulu, and Xhosa.

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To respond to the increased levels of food insecurity especially during the outbreak of the Covid-19 in South Africa, the Kolisi Foundation, Nelson Mandela Foundation and Imbumba Foundation partnered on an initiative called #Each1Feed1.

The initiative supported thousands of families around the country for a minimum of 3 months to combat food insecurity during the pandemic.

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A request for community support was received from Chief Livhuwani Matsila, Founder and Director of the Matsila Community Development Trust in the Vhembe District Limpopo.

The Kolisi Foundation, together with the Imbumba Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, assisted the Makhado Village with a borehole to address the water shortage the community was facing.

The area is one of the most vulnerable in Limpopo with families unable to purchase protective amenities, let alone manage to provide sufficient food. The donation of boreholes as a means of increasing water supply in communities serves as a great relief as absent, inadequate, or inappropriately managed water exposes individuals to preventable health risks