About

Our vision is a South Africa where all grieving children and adolescents have access to support and opportunities for healing.

 

Our mission is to build the resilience of children, adolescents and their caregivers by equipping them with tools to process their experiences of loss and death. Through a holistic approach, we aim to create responsive and compassionate environments that enable grieving children to heal.

Khululeka Grief Support is a Non-Profit Organisation based in Cape Town. Our goal is to create a supportive environment to help children deal with their grief and loss. We work mainly among children and community child care workers in poor communities, and also provide support to teachers, nurses, social workers and other professionals working with children.

Khululeka’s Director is Deborah R Diedericks. “I joined Khululeka in May 2010 and I have a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Sociology and Master’s degree in Adult Education and Development (UCT) 2009. My work experience includes teaching, training, and materials and programme development and management. I am passionate about creating contexts where children are helped to deal with their hurts and losses in order that they may become emotionally healthy adults.”
Khululeka’s Programme Manager is Lira Greef. “I am a qualified Social worker with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (Stellenbosch) and hold a Diploma in Business Management (Varsity College). I have been working in the field of Children and Families for 19 years and am constantly reminded that children going through grief and loss do not get the support they need when they are at their most vulnerable.  The Khululeka support group model, training and direct services to children has given me the opportunity to share my knowledge and pursue my passion.”
Khululeka’s Finance Manager is Alison Bohlmann. “I joined Khululeka in July 2016. I have worked in finance administration and management in the non-profit sector since 2005. Choosing to utilise my skills and experience in the non-profit sector is incredibly rewarding personally. At Khululeka, I am grateful to know I am part of a team that provides such a valuable service to children and youth who have experienced grief and loss. Within a Finance role, I am grateful to play a valuable role in supporting the organisation towards its mission.”
Khululeka’s Office Administrator is Marion Le Fleur. “I have 14 years of work experience in the non-profit sector. My skills base include administration, public relations and project management. My qualifications are National Diploma (Marketing; CPUT) and Advanced Certificate (Project Management; UNISA). I have always enjoyed working in the non-profit sector. Khululeka Grief Support offers a fundamental service in supporting the process of the inevitable, being grief and loss. I am so pleased and honoured to serve in this organisation.”
Zodwa Mabusela is Khululeka’s Senior Child and Youth Care Worker. “I obtained my Senior Child and Youth Care Worker qualifications from the Durban University of Technology in 2006. I joined Khululeka in July 2016 and bring extensive experience in working with children and young people, as well as families from different backgrounds. My passion is in reaching out to families and communities with a quest of ensuring that the children and young people’s needs are understood and met. I aim to use Khululeka as a springboard to address the challenges in the communities that I serve.”
Helen Barnard: “I am a social worker with more than 20 years’ experience in child protection, family reconstruction and training. I started training for Khululeka in July 2009 and I enjoy my role as a trainer at Khululeka. I value the commitment to vulnerable children, and the attention to detail in the development of programmes for children.”

Zanele Banisa: “I have been working as a counsellor for more than 12 years. My primary experience has been with the Community Art Therapy Programme (CATH). I work with children of all ages in schools in the Nyanga, Philippi and Gugulethu areas including a school for children with special needs. I love working with children and started working with Khululeka in 2012.”
Rekai Mutumi: “I am an experienced trainer and support group facilitator with formal qualifications in family therapy, PMTCT programmes and child counselling. I became involved with Khululeka in March 2011. My main objective is to champion the emotional needs of families, through advocating for positive emotional coping strategies.”
Caroline Wills is Khululeka’s Chairperson since May 2012; she joined Khululeka as a board member in October 2009. Caroline is a social worker and has a Master’s degree in Public Health (UCT) 2007. She is a public health consultant, providing technical support to NGOs, tertiary institutions and government to strengthen their HIV, AIDS and TB programmes, across southern Africa. She is passionate about ensuring that grieving children, most in need of emotional support, are able to access the help they need through Khululeka’s work.
Nicola Graham has served as Vice-Chairperson since May 2012; she joined Khululeka as a board member in September 2010. Nicola is a medical doctor, MBChB (UCT) 2004, and completed a Master’s degree in Palliative Medicine in 2009. She works in the field of end-of-life care, with a focus on the psychosocial aspects of loss and transition. She is passionate about the potential to grow the organisation and expand the reach of Khululeka’s work into communities that most need grief support.
Wisdom Mkandawire joined the board of Kululeka as Treasurer in December 2015. He is a chartered management accountant and a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) with extensive finance and operations management experience in microfinance, economic and health development sectors attained from several international NGOs in Malawi, South Africa and Afghanistan as well as other African countries. Wisdom has been engaging with boards and senior management teams in strategic analysis, decision making and planning. He is passionate about make a difference in the lives of children and doing so efficiently and in a sustainable way.
Bobbie Graham has served as Board Secretary since March 2012. “I became involved with Khululeka to help with fundraising, policy development and non-profit statutory requirements. I have been involved in organisational administration and management at a senior level during the past 16 years in educational and community-based NGO’s in the Eastern Cape. I firmly believe that Khululeka is providing a valuable service to children who have been traumatised by grief and loss.”
Rozalle Singh serves as a Board Member with a specific focus on organisational effectiveness. Rozalle is a Management Consultant and works for a global consultancy. She joined Khululeka as a board member in August 2015, seeking to leverage her technical expertise and personal passion to bring about positive change in the lives of children and hopes that through her service on the board of Khululeka, she can move closer to realising this dream.
Deborah Diedericks, in her capacity as Director, also serves as a board member.

Khululeka was started in February 2005 by six women, namely, Heather Ferris, Rosemary Frith, Brendah Gaine, Lucille Lückhoff, Nontobeko Moni and Gail Smith. These women collectively brought their experiences from social work, child psychology, palliative care, community child care work, nursing and education.

They developed bereavement training in response to the needs of caregivers and teachers caring for and working with children who had suffered from the death of a parent or sometimes multiple family members through HIV and AIDS. They also started running peer Support Groups for bereaved children and Heather Ferris wrote a storybook called Someone I Love Died to help bereaved children talk about their losses.

Since our founding Khululeka has run bereavement training workshops for people from over 150 government, non-government and non-profit organisations. We have worked across multiple sectors in various provinces, e.g. special needs teachers in the Free State, child carers in a rural area in KwaZulu-Natal, and social workers, community based child workers, nurses, and pre-school teachers in the Western Cape.

We provide post-workshop mentoring to caregivers we have trained. We have also continued to run peer support groups for bereaved children.

In terms of our organisational development, Khululeka has received support from the Community Development Resource Association and independent organisational development practitioner, Anne Heslop. This has ensured sustained, strategic and sustainable organisational development over the last few years. Khululeka are also grateful for the pro bono legal expertise of Patrick Cox.