The Khulisa programme was developed to address issues of inequality and injustice in the area of education. It responds to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all (SDG 4); and the National Development Plan’s Chapter 9 which focuses on improving education, training and innovation.
The programme encompasses a variety of initiatives meant to empower young people, and particularly the girl-child. The objectives of the programme is to promote youth and women empowerment by equipping candidates with skills, exposure and access to opportunities that help further their careers. Our aim is to emulate the ideals of Dr Mandela, who believed and insisted that education continues to be the most effective escape from poverty.
Our programme is developed to address institutionalized inequalities such as disproportionate development in rural communities, and working with those communities to effect change and development. We want to empower the youth by working with them, exposing them to various opportunities and skills that they can use to improve their lives and their communities.
Girl-child Leadership Development
The initiative is a response to the need to reduce the gender equality gap by identifying leaders amongst young girls and exposing them to leadership experiences. The initiative is an important tool for developing leadership amongst young girls.
The programme is intended to equip the young learners with the skills that can take them further in life. By exposing them to different careers they learn the opportunities available to them, by assisting them establish their own community projects they learn skills and also develop their self-esteem.
The initiative adopts learners from different schools and they become Khulisa Ambassadors. Their activities include establishing a community or school project of no less than ten members, meeting at least twice monthly to advance a particular agenda.
Project leaders oversee the running of the initiative, assisting ambassadors developing their individual projects. Every month, the ambassadors are taken to different workplace to expose them to that particular industry and careers available. They are given a tour of the facilities and engage with representatives from the institution. This culminates in a discussion session with the learners where they share lessons learnt.
Ambassadors are also exposed to other opportunities that help them develop their leadership skills and career prospects, including bursary sourcing for higher education and similar activities. Ambassadors generate quarterly reports on their learning and project progress. Ambassadors communicate regularly among each other through social media platforms and develop a joint report at the end of the year detailing their experiences and advice for new ambassadors.
HERITAGE AND CULTURAL INITIATIVES
Amabizo Indigenous Languages Spelling Bee
Amabizo Indigenous Languages Spelling Bee is a spelling competition created for young learners between the ages of five to fifteen. The objective of the competition is to encourage learners to learn more about their indigenous languages and find value in understanding the meaning and contextualization of common and rare indigenous words.
The competition involves a stages of the competition that lead up to the day when finalists compete against each other for the top prize. Schools participate in the completion by initially hosting the first leg of the competition within the school body. Spelling bees are known to instil confidence and discipline among participants, which are important traits for future leaders to have.
Schools are able to register and have their learners participate in the competition. Schools may follow this link to register for the competition once it is open.
Open Week Expedition
The Open Week Expedition initiative is held every year in September, in line with national heritage month. South African National Parks (SANParks) offers free access to its network of national parks for a week, and during this week we take a group made up of the youth from nearby communities, some of whom have never visited a national park, to experience and learn about our biodiversity and wildlife. This experience includes a lecture or presentation by SANParks staff on careers in the sector.
Story-telling is an age old African tradition that was used to disseminate wisdom, culture and history between young and old people. This sacred tradition was a reliable form of education that is still applied to this day.
Story-telling can be observed in music and motion-picture, and the more vivid the story-teller is; the more engaged and receptive the audience. The importance of story-telling in imparting life lessons that cannot be taught in a typical classroom. Story-telling is more relatable than most forms of knowledge sharing.
Our Stories events are hosted a number of times a year, in partnership with stakeholders including sponsors and speakers who have important lessons to share. The sessions are documented in story format where the speaker intentionally relates a life lesson they have personal experience of in story format. The sessions are intimate affairs, normally before a limited audience.
In particular, speakers are from disadvantaged backgrounds and their stories are premised on overcoming obstacles to achieve a form of success. Someone once said, continue sharing stories of black success because it is hard to become what you cannot see.
The purpose of this initiative is to document and share stories that young people can be inspired by and learn from. Stories of adversity, risk and determination; messages that one can use to motivate themselves to achieve more. The sessions are hosted in intimate settings and can be viewed online as video.
Khulisa Magazine is a digital magazine that covers the lifestyle, socio-economic, cultural, scientific, academic and other related youth topics occuring locally and internationally.
The purpose of the magazine is to offer an opportunity to young journalism and communications students and graduates to have a platform to try their skills, as it matches these candidates with experienced editors who guide and train them throughout the six-month programmes.
The initiative further seeks to promote socio-economic issues that are most pertinent in our society and initiatives across the world that advance the cause of the youth. This initiative matches young undergraduate and postgraduate individuals with a professional editorial outfit and a project that they can contribute towards for six months. Each published issue is curated and approved by a professional editor. The magazine is distributed online and limited printed copies.
When you finish telling a tale in isiZulu, you say “cosi-cosi yaphela…” which loosely translates into “the end”. We promote the idea of a reading nation, and our reading clubs hold regular meetings in different areas, for our members. You can become a member by registering here.