From TOLD to care to EXPERIENCING to care: Developing the next generation of leaders

From TOLD to care to EXPERIENCING to care: Developing the next generation of leaders

Johannesburg, South AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Khulisa's SE programme empowers learners through experiential learning; helps them find solutions to problems they face – a hand up rather than a hand out!

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Education outcomes do not mirror the investments made. Majority of South African schools do not adequately prepare the youth for further opportunities in education, jobs or as entrepreneurs. The problem is not just the classroom. In many communities, the main places of positive socialisation and developing empathy – home, school and immediate social environment – are dysfunctional. The symptoms are high levels of substance abuse, crime and a dramatically reduced capacity to learn. A deep seated culture of dependency and negative self-perceptions exacerbate and sustain youth unemployment and despair. Classrooms should more effectively address lacking of lifeskills, job readiness but also empathy.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

This Social Entrepreneurship (SE) intervention in poorly performing schools enables learners through experiential learning to engage in critical thinking, problem solving and decision making in contexts that are relevant to them. SE combines professional behavior change /life skills training with equipping them with skills to start social enterprises. SE works with learners and athe school management and teachers to train them to run the program. Success of learners’ projects is not measured in financial terms, but in outcomes such as improvements to their school, environment and community. The result is a model nurturing creativity, empathy and responsible citizenship, transferrable to schools. This not only builds the confidence and skills of learners, but also creates an enabling environment where youth find their own solutions.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The specific activities include: - Identification of 4 participating schools and 20 Grade 10 learners per school - Pre-assessments and econometric assessments are completed with all participants for baseline data - Learners participate in a 10-session behaviour change and personal development programme. Attitudes and beliefs towards violence, diversity, culture of entitlement, etc. are challenged and positively influenced. Training topics such as leadership, responsibility, empathy, communication, dispute resolution, teamwork, independence, initiative, empowerment, meaning of accountability etc. are dealt with in detail. - Social entrepreneurship training – training has 6 milestones. Learners are held accountable and evaluated through reports, presentations, and a portfolio of evidence. Gives learners, educators and school leaders the skills and opportunities to find workable solutions to social problems their school and communities face. - Taking the form of a competition between schools, this project rewards social entrepreneurs who implement practical and sustainable solutions to problems in their own schools and communities. Teams of 10 to 15 Grade 10 learners, Life Orientation educators and school leaders compete against one another for the title of Social Entrepreneurship Team of the Year - Lastly, post-assessments are completed with all participants, to measure impact. A graduation and showcasing event is held.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Few similar programmes exist in South Africa. Examples: 1) Ulana High School Garden Project – A range of organic fresh fruit and vegetables grown by members of the local community. 2) Green Pop School Trees project – focuses on ‘Greening grey areas through planting trees at schools’. Khulisa’s programme is unique through its’ ability to have learners THEMSELVES identify, manage, and implement projects, based on school and community needs; driven by teamwork and a Social Enterprise competition; thus embedding empathy and accountability. Learners go through a scientifically proven emotional, social development programme, which prepares them to act as “changemakers” in their communities.
About You
Khulisa Social Solutions
About You
First Name

Lesley Ann

Last Name

Van Selm

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Khulisa Social Solutions

Organization Country

, GT, Johannesburg

Country where this project is creating social impact

, GT, Johannesburg

Your role in Education


The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with

Public (tuition-free)

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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How long has your solution been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

Khulisa empowers learners via experiential learning; helps them find solutions to problems they face – a hand up rather than a hand out!

Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

Evaluations show mindset change in learners & sustainable results. Learners believe they are agents of change, translating into action.

Social Impact
What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Qualitative impact: Independent evaluation shows that learners have moved from an attitude of entitlement to that of enablement. The learners listen and act with empathy and tolerance. In the words of one of the participating learners “Social entrepreneurship has opened my eyes to the problems around us and made me realise that we have the power to solve them without help from others”. Individual team projects undertaken in the overall Social Enterprise project have helped to solve some of the school-communities’ specific socio-economic problems; e.g. a cleaner school has improved the learning environment, jobs were created for unemployed, unskilled parents, increased recycling around the school. Quantitative impact: direct beneficiaries include 60 learners and 20 teachers. Indirect beneficiaries include 120 project stakeholders/parents/community members, and 120 learners.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

In 1 year the project would have been successfully completed in 4 sites. In 3 years the project would have been up-scaled to 6 additional sites, impacting directly on 120 learners, 30 teachers and 6 schools. The outcome would be improvement in learning outcomes, capacity and skill of at least 250 learners translating into increased ownership and care for the community and school. Each group would have designed and implemented a socially meaningful project benefitting a number of fellow learners/parents/community members. Importantly new role models would have emerged and a culture of taking responsibility and action – with practical results.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Risk factors: Developing a sense of “hunger” by learner participants to work/commit/succeed; Lack of awareness of projects and produced goods or services; Interruption or pressure on teaching hours; Lack of interest of teachers and parents; Lack of funding for sustainability. Solutions: Personal development to create ownership and commitment; Ongoing mentoring and assistance, and project completion; Offering project over school holidays; Teacher and parent sessions with learners; Joint fundraising initiatives for social enterprise projects.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Econometric assessment show change in skill and aptitude of 120 learners, making them ready to start designing social projects

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Behaviour change programmes with learners; challenge attitudes and behaviour; building empathy and accountability

Task 2

Social entrepreneurship training in schools gives learners the skill and understanding to plan and implement social projects

Task 3

School management and Life Orientation teachers have included social entrepreneurship training in school Life Skills Curriculum

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Powerful group of youth leaders/role models has emerged; making a difference by addressing a key problem in school/society

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Mentoring the youth group (&teachers) in process of how to identify fundraising opportunities & generate income for the project

Task 2

Mentoring youth (&teachers) to identify a social challenge in their school/community, plan & implement projects addressing it

Task 3

Produce the necessary learning and teaching materials for the school to continue with the model the following year

Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]

A learner said “I went from TAVERN to TALENT!” Our youth are faced with violence, alcohol abuse, poverty and crime. Despite this, youth have enormous potential! We realised learners themselves can deal with the social ills in their communities, as “changemakers”. Learners needed a hand up not a hand out! The solution became clear: Empowering learners and youth to realise what they’re capable of and assisting them to direct such capabilities to doing good, solving real-world problems, rather than wasting this talent on anti-social, deconstructive behaviour. Equipping learners not only as entrepreneurs, but SOCIAL entrepreneurs, earning sustainable income, but also uplift their communities, thus taking responsibility and having empathy for each other. Youth have enormous potential to be agents of change in their own communities!

Tell us about your partnerships

Khulisa works in diverse environments ranging from child and youth care centres and schools to large-scale community-based projects that we engage with using a systemic approach. This enables different role-players to work effectively and collaboratively. Khulisa encourages and is actively working collaboratively both formally and informally with numerous role-players, networks, stakeholders and partners.

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]

The team for this project generally include a Project Manager, Social Enterprise trainer and facilitator, Behaviour Change trainer and facilitator, and 1 Youth Mentor. In addition, a project stakeholder forum is established, with the main purpose to provide support to the learners on a systemic level, including parents, volunteers, government officials, community members, and teachers.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list