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Throughout the years, Khulisa has gained valuable experiences in the field of mentoring and with the Global Give Back Circle as one of our mentorship programmes, we focus mainly on young girls because we have realied that this can have an incredibly positive impact in their lives. The Global Give Back Circle exists to enable disadvantaged girls to continue their education, find employment and experience the joys of global citizenship by embracing a give back ethos. This is accomplished through a 5 year mentoring and empowerment process. Whilst in high school, each girl is assigned a dedicated mentor who will write to her, encourage her in her studies, help her explore possibilities and realize her dreams.

Apart from that, Khulisa has realized that there is a need for victim empowerment programmes considering that many women are still being victimized and suffer from negative psychological consequences due to their traumatization. Most women feel ashamed or guilty and fear to speak about these experiences and remain silent for years. A huge amount of studies have shown that it is not only helpful but necessary to speak about traumatic experiences to be able to heal and move on. The main goal of the “Daring to Dream” Programme was to create an atmosphere that will encourage the women to speak about their past and offer sufficient social support on their way towards a brighter future that is no longer dominated by their victimization, violence or pain.

The SHINE Victim Protection Programme has now been introduced throughout South Africa and continues to have far reaching impact amongst all those who have participated in the process. SHINE is a group therapy programme that helps women to speak about their trauma and receive enough support to eventually grow and leave these negative memories behind. The participants in the programme support each other which is incredibly valuable to heal and move on. During December 2013 SHINE peer educators, in partnership with SAPS, were trained with a group of some 30 women in Tembisa. This gives some women that have been traumatized themselves a chance to grow personally by healing someone else. This programme also assists the women to improve their skills, such as public speaking or conducting workshops and the first graduation ceremony took place at the end of March 2014.

A very challenging element of the programme is the victim impact panels where women speak to offenders and share their personal story full of pain, obstacles but also friendship, healing and hope. Khulisa evaluated the programme and it became clear that the SHINE peer educators have a positive impact on the rest of the group and significantly change their lives – but these young women shine so much as a result of this positive transformation process that no research could ever fully grasps the importance of such a programme.