About Empilweni

What is the real situation?

Emotionally shattered children grow up to be dysfunctional, or worse still, destructive adults, they lead desperate adult lives, are poor parents, and put our already fragile communities at risk.

Anxiety, depression, grief, suicidal tendencies, behavioural disorders, learning difficulties and neglect are evidence of the inner catastrophe that these young people are experiencing, and with who Empilweni works.

Empilweni is primarily set up to provide professional and clinically supervised one-on-one counselling to troubled children and youth in Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, and their surrounds. It is special because it is the only project of its kind in the Khayelitsha and Mfuleni area that:

  1. Gives a series of clinically supervised individual therapy sessions to troubled children and young people
  2. Uses the home language of isiXhosa in the sessions and groups

Our team screen, assess and refer 600 children a year.

We take on 300 children and youth cases per year. Our service to our case clients includes: a series of individual counselling sessions over a three month period, visits to the home and schools of our clients, and working with their parents and teachers. Following their individual therapy our young clients are then placed in appropriate groups that run throughout the year at Empilweni.

Empilweni’s Goal Is

To improve the quality of life and witness the transformation of children, adolescents, and their families in our communities by providing culturally-appropriate, child-centered, and community-based mental health support and counselling.

Empilweni’s Aims Are 

  1. To heal children and adolescents suffering from depression, anxiety, behavioural disorders, suicidal tendencies, grief, neglect, and abuse and help these young people become functional individuals with a sense of well-being and a future.
  2. To lobby for and address (through clinical supervision) the primary, mental, and emotional health needs of children and adolescents in Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, and their surrounds using isiXhosa (the dominant home language).
  3. To reach the citizens of Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, and their surrounds and instill in them an understanding of mental and emotional health and the urgency to address these needs in children and adolescents so that they grow up to be functional adults who are able to forge functional relationships, be good parents, stay away from crime, and have a sense of well-being and purpose.
  4. To heal family relationships, caregiver relationships, peer relationships, and school relations by giving participants an insight into the underlying issues that are tearing them apart as well as ways to adjust attitudes and behaviors.
  5. The referral to secondary and tertiary mental health institutions where necessary.

Working Together & Building Networks

Empilweni works closely with the local government through the Department of Social Development. We also collaborate with other NPOs in the community, including Child Welfare, Child Line, Wola Nani, Nonceba, Illitha Labantu, Simamalene, and RAPCAN, among many others. Empilweni also works closely with primary and high schools in the Khayelitsha community by completing outreach programmes. Many schools also refer students to Empilweni.