South Africa

South Africa

Clowns Without Borders

Organization: Clowns Without Borders South Africa
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Target group: Children and families in crises


Clowns Without Borders South Africa (CWBSA) is a non-profit organization based in Cape Town, South Africa. Together with the Mikhulu Trust, it works to develop and spread Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH), an initiative led by individuals from the WHO, UNICEF and several universities. PLH comprises three parental programs aimed at parents with children of various ages, with the principal objective of preventing violence against children. The parental programs are evidence-based and have been implemented in several countries in Africa. In addition to working with PLH, CWBSA also has clowns and performers who make special appearances to provide psychosocial support to children and families affected by crises, such as those in refugee camps or in poor areas that are subject to violence.

The project aims to develop a model for how to spread the parental programs and help make grassroots organizations and vulnerable areas self-sufficient when it comes to continuing to train group leaders, while also providing guidance to make it possible to reach as many children and families as possible.  Another of Childhood’s partner organizations in South Africa, the Seven Passes Initiative, is already working with PLH’s parental programs.

More info: cwbsa.org


Contact person at Childhood:
Ulrikah Reihs
ulrikah.reihs@childhood.org

Children’s Institute

Organization: Children’s Institute
Location: Kapstaden, Sydafrika
Target group: Children who are victims of abuse


Children’s Institute is a research unit that is part of the University of Cape Town. Its mission is to conduct child-centered research, teaching and development aimed at improving the lives of children. Work by the unit contributes to policies, legislation and measures that promote equality, and improvements to conditions and the realization of rights for all children in South Africa.
The overall objective of the project is to improve services for children who are the victims of abuse and to stop re-traumatization by developing a multidisciplinary model. The project will initially focus on finding the Barnahus children’s house model that is best suited for implementation and will offer the best results in South Africa and the system in place there. During the second phase of the project, the plan is to offer specialist training to all police officers, social workers and healthcare staff who work with child abuse in order to start a pilot model in two test districts. The pilot project will then run for 18 months.

The target group for the project is children who are victims of sexual abuse. A national study from 2016 found that one in three children in South Africa has been the victim of some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18.


Contact person at Childhood:
Ulrikah Reihs
ulrikah.reihs@childhood.org

Waves for Change

Organization: Waves for Change
Location: Kapstaden, Sydafrika
Target group: At risk children


Children who grow up in vulnerable areas often experience several traumas, as violence is so prevalent in their everyday lives. Through Waves for Change, children can take part in a surf club, where they not only learn to master the waves but are also provided with tools to cope with their feelings and build healthy relationships. The aim of the surfing program is to attract independent young people at risk, who would otherwise be difficult to reach, and to use surfing to teach the children to feel connected to their bodies, which can help to reduce symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. The project combines surfing with additional psychosocial components and also includes home and school visits, parent education and mentorship.

More info: waves-for-change.org


Contact person at Childhood:
Ulrikah Reihs
ulrikah.reihs@childhood.org

Seven Passes

Organization: Seven Passes
Location: George, South Africa
Target group: At risk families


The Seven Passes Initiative was founded in 2008 in Touwsranten, a small town in South Africa’s Western Cape Province. The organization grew from shared concerns about the increasingly aggressive behavior among the community’s adolescents, high levels of school absenteeism and drop-out rates, and a desire to turn this trend around.  The initiative acts to reduce poverty in the long term by raising the level of education in the community. The organization offers help with homework and other educational activities, including sports, music and drama.

The project offers four different parental support programs: for newborns, children aged up to two, children aged two to nine and for teenagers. The program focuses on five key areas to support children’s development and well-being: social skills, building relationships, learning how to handle emotions and self-control, learning appropriate behavior and boundaries as well as cognitive skills, such as language and reasoning. The objective of the project is to achieve a change to warmer, more positive and more consistent parenting among the population of Touwsranten, and to thereby reduce the risk of child abuse in the community. This is being achieved through a parenting program in combination with a social activity group, which encourages residents of the community to prepare small projects to improve the area, primarily in terms of child safety and related in various ways to the prevention of violence. The project’s target group includes all adults with custody of one or more children in Touwsranten along with their children (304 families with 570 children). The project is being followed up and evaluated by the University of Cape Town and the Institute for Security Studies.

More info: sevenpasses.org


Contact person at Childhood:
Ulrikah Reihs
ulrikah.reihs@childhood.org

Etafeni Children’s Project

Organization: Etafeni
Location: Nyanga, South Africa
Target group: Children and families in crises


Nyanga is one of Cape Town’s poorest and most violent areas. Etafeni Centre operates a preschool and after-school care program, and has worked with HIV prevention for many years. Childhood finances the organization’s Children’s Safety Project, which provides support in the form of trauma debriefing and counseling, home visits and court preparation for children who are victims of sexual abuse in Nyanga. The project also focuses on preventive activities, offering training for teachers in how to identify and talk to children who they suspect have been subjected to violence or abuse and speaking to students about children’s rights, sexual abuse and what to do if they are ever a victim themselves. Many students have later spoken with their teachers about what they have gone through and have been able to receive additional help and protection.

More info: etafeni.org


Contact person at Childhood:
Ulrikah Reihs
ulrikah.reihs@childhood.org

Philisa Abafazi Bethu

Organization: Philisa Abafazi Bethu
Location: Lavender Hill, South Africa
Target group: At risk families


Philisa Abafazi Bethu is located in Lavender Hill, one of Cape Town’s most violent neighborhoods. For a long time, gang wars have made the area unsafe. Philisa Abafazi Bethu offers a safe refuge for women and children in Lavender Hill. Children learn about their rights, can participate in music therapy and take part in excursions, camps, support groups and counseling. Parents are involved through workshops, focus groups and parent meetings.

Philisa Abafazi Bethu also operates an emergency safe house for abused women and their children. Childhood’s ongoing project with Philisa Abafazi Bethu also focuses on training and supporting a number of mothers who are on call to take care of children who have been abandoned or taken into care, until such time as the social services can take over responsibility. Philisa will also conduct a one-year project focused on working holistically and intensively with ten families to break the cycle of violence and to improve the circumstances of the children and their families.

More info: philisaabafazi.org


Contact person at Childhood:
Ulrikah Reihs
ulrikah.reihs@childhood.org