Annual Report 2016











5 2015-2016 STATISTICS



I took over as Chairperson from Sandy Prosalendis on 17 March 2016, so she was chairperson through most of the 2015/2016 financial year. It was a very difficult year for Empilweni. Our Director, Mhongwe, left at the end of March 2015 and we could not afford to replace her. We are very grateful to Sandy for taking over a lot of the Director’s responsibilities for the remainder of the year and up until very recently and to the staff, students and Stephen for taking over the rest, on top of their existing work.

The full Board met twice during the year, in addition to the AGM, and there were three special Board meetings, mainly in response to the financial crisis which occurred when funding applications to two former major donors were unsuccessful. We had to consider closing Empilweni, but then we managed to continue by curtailing activities and cutting costs drastically. We terminated our services in Mfuleni, and we kept one social worker and one auxiliary social worker post vacant and reduced the sessions of the clinical psychologist supervisor. We sold one of our cars. Sadly, staff salaries were also affected because we could not afford to pay full salaries for several months. Although we have now paid back the deficit, we had to make another difficult decision not to return all salaries to their former level. The Board and I wish to express our admiration and appreciation for the way in which the staff continued to provide a dedicated service throughout what was a very stressful time for them

At the beginning of 2016 we requested an urgent meeting with the Department of Social Development to discuss ways in which they might be able to assist us. We are very grateful to Charles Jordan, the Chief Director, and his staff for the sympathetic hearing they gave us. He was willing to consider funding us under a different programme so that funds could be allocated in a way which would meet our needs better, and we were encouraged to apply for bail out funding, which has just recently been granted

With our backs to the wall, we decided to use the little money we had left to appoint a part time Director to fundraise for us. We also terminated our contract with our accounting company, and have saved money by appointing a part time bookkeeper instead. To add to our woes, our remaining car broke down recently and was irreparable, and we haven’t been able to replace it, so we have been without transport for a few months. This has a negative impact on our work with many clients, for whom home visits and school visits are essential

Regarding personnel, one of our auxiliary social workers, Nwabisa, resigned during the year, and about the same time we welcomed Thembela back into a social work post – she had been with us before. As usual we have had a number of auxiliary social work students from local Universities and Colleges doing their practical work with us, but we also had a Canadian student, Stephen, who is studying for his doctorate in Anthropology. One of our Board members, Lulu Mazamisa, resigned earlier in the year, and Sandy Prosalendis, our former Chairperson, resigned from the Board altogether as of the end of last month. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff and all our Board members for their dedicated and loyal service to Empilweni throughout what has probably been the most difficult time since we opened in 1994. It is this dedication and loyalty which makes Empilweni a very special organisation

Last but not least I would like to thank our donors, large and small, for their support in the 2015/2016 year without which Empilweni could not continue to offer its unique and valuable service to the children and families of Khayelitsha. Special thanks are due to our major funder and partner, the Department of Social Development. And in closing, I would like also to show appreciation for the support we receive from the local community – from our clients and their families, from our partner NGOs, and from the various service providers we depend upon. The details of donors will be provided later on in this meeting.

Thank you for coming today and showing your support for Empilweni. Let us hope that the coming year is a better one.

Brian Robertson



Director’s Report

Empilweni was enduring a serious financial crisis when I began working here in April of 2016, and everyone was, understandably, concerned and stressed about this. But somehow we managed to continue, all working hard, and taking it one day at a time.

DSD was happy with the work Empilweni carried out within the community, and it is quite impressive to see how much good work can be done on a shoe-string budget, with a minimum of staff. Seeing the children, parents and youth who arrive here every day, makes one realize the importance of Empilweni continuing to operate in Khayelitsha, and the impact we have on the community and its people.

I often watch clients leave here with a smile on their faces, knowing that our dedicated staff has made a real difference in their lives.

Reading through the Summary Activity Statistics for 2015/16 may give you an idea of the difference Empilweni has made in the lives of the clients we work with in the past year, but the true effect can never really be measured, as the change we make in one child, or one parent’s life, affects so many others around them.

Besides the one-to-one counseling, Empilweni also run Support Groups. For most of the young people and parents who attend these sessions, this is the first time that they experience the support and empathy of group therapy. They tell us that it changes their lives, and many of them will open up and speak about past events and traumas that they have never spoken about before to anyone.

Empilweni is unique, as it treats the root cause of the problem that brings the client here, and we work in a holistic way. Home visits continue to play an important role in the work with our clients, and we keep in contact with the schools, to make sure our clients doing well in all aspects of their lives.

None of this would be possible without the team of dedicated staff that Empilweni has on board, and I would like to end off by naming each of them; Lulama (also known as Donald), Thembela, Liso (also known as Bukeka) and Thandeka, you make Empilweni what it is – A Place of Healing.

I also have to thank the Board, and, as I’ve said many times since working here; I have never worked with such a caring and supportive board before, in all my years of working in Non Profits, not just in South Africa, but in the UK as well.

My gratitude goes out to Sandy, my predecessor, who has worked tirelessly on keeping Empilweni afloat, particularly at a time when things were at their worst.

Last, but not least, our intern Stephen, from Canada. Stephen was also here through the most difficult of times. I cannot imagine how we could have managed without his selfless support, and his absolute belief in Empilweni.

I look forward to the new year with much positivity. Empilweni has endured great challenges in this past year, but this has only strengthened our resolve to continue being the Place of Healing in Khayelitsha.

Melinda Bechus





Empilweni is a registered non-profit organisation with the objective of providing child-centred and community-based mental health support and counselling to children, adolescents and their families in Khayelitsha. 

Financial Strategy

As a board, we pursue a prudent financial policy in order to ensure the sustainability of the services that Empilweni offers the Khayelitsha community. The Board met regularly over the past year during which the financial situation was closely monitored.

Annual Financial Statements

The Annual Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2016 are currently with BDV Platinum, Empilweni’s independent auditors. The audited results will be available in December 2016. Copies can be made available, when ready, to all interested parties. This report contains the unaudited Income Statement compiled by Empilweni’s bookkeepers, Trinity Bookkeeping, that was approved and submitted for audit. We are confident that the auditor’s report will find that these financial statements fairly represent the financial position of the organisation as at the end of the past financial year.

In summary, the unaudited Income Statement indicates:

  • Our total income for 2015/16 was approx. R 896 000.
  • Our total expenditure for 2015/16 was approx. R 855 000
  • This resulted in a surplus of approx. R 41 000.


The past financial year was again a challenging year due to the scarcity of funding available. Our primary funding was from the Department of Social Development (DSD), with kind donations from other organisations and individuals. All donations are very much appreciated. However, we do realise that it is very important for the sustainability of Empilweni that we not only retain the support of donors, but that we are able to attract new donors in order to extend our services to meet the needs of an even broader community.

Being an organisation providing mental health counselling, our primary expense was staff remuneration. Related to this was the cost for therapy support costs (clinical supervision), a critical component required to provide an effective mental health service. Other significant costs relate to rent for our premises and to telephone and travel costs (both required for delivery of the counselling services via telephone calls and home visits). Due to our financial situation, certain cost containment exercises were implemented to ensure that we were able to maintain our services into the future. Some services/donations, received in kind, were also key in allowing Empilweni to maintain its services over the past financial year.

Current financial year – year to date

The current financial year has been similar to the previous year.  DSD continues to be our primary funder, and they have also recently undertaken to provide Empilweni with a one-off additional funding amount of R244 000. Requests for funding have also been submitted to other parties and we are hopeful that we will be successful in attracting additional funders. Should additional funds be raised, they will be utilised to consolidate the provision of services to our existing community. Any growth in services will be done very cautiously taking into account the sustainability of the funding source. If possible, some funds will also be set aside to provide a reserve for any possible future funding requirements.

Warren Daly, Treasurer


Service Manager’s Report

We managed to reach the area of Mfuleni throughout the schools as the initiative was to invite all Primary school and the organization operating in the area as to do presentations of services. The Nyameko Primary managed to identify about 30 of their student with challenging behavior as they were stuck with; it took us a week being at this school to Screen and assessing these families and I should say it went well and they really has problems and affected at their homes.

Empilweni Khayelitsha managed to facilitate about 30 parents as to equip them with necessary skills like self-awareness, issues of mental health assertiveness, Punishment and discipline and they find it as productive as we are using the knowledge from the training from parent Centre and Social Development. On our Second quarter with the DSD report we managed to report about 82 families on our family preservation programme suggested by the Fund, 08 teen and first mother as this programme is a challenging one because it is not easy to find these Teens at all. It was a shock to meet with 12yr old girl who was already at five months pregnant.

Community liaison we are part of child protection forum as hosted by Umthawelanga organization for all those organization including Police, Nurses and School Social workers etc. it is a group of these stakeholder who formed to discuss issues that affect children and to support and advice each other on plan of action to be placed. We were invited also by the School Zenzeleni where the teacher noticed that the school learners start to form relationships and they were worried about the practice of sex and unsafe sex as they notice that their learners are writing love letters to each other. Our work was also recognized by the school social worker who formed a group of teacher and School Governing body members as to assist them with skills on how to manage challenging issues form the learners. 

The number of substance use in schools is rising and the help is not so effective as we notice now that organizations who are specializing to this challenge are only there to test and nothing is provided after that, most of our children are using the substances called Marijuana and Tik and it is fast on addiction and causes our children to misbehave, and also has a huge impact in their life.

We don’t have enough space especially when it comes to groups, home visits and other process that are affected by the issue of transport.

Prepared by Lulama Mfuniselwa


Summary of Child Counseling Statistics Empilweni – 2015/16


 No. of children/cases: 272

High level demographic info:

  • Youngest was 4, oldest was 20
  • 55% female
  • Majority of females from ages 14 – 18 (65% of cases)
  • Majority of males from ages 10 – 16 (70% of cases)

Risk factors (most common)

  • 21% – child or family affected by HIV/AIDS
  • 15% – teen parent
  • 11% – physical abuse of child
  • 11% – neglect of child
  • 11% – substance abuse in family
  • 7% – sexual abuse or rape of the child

Of the no. of cases:

  • 48% had a successful outcome
  • 17% were referred to another organisation
    • 50% of these to DSD
    • 10% to CFU
    • 10% to “Clinic”
    • Rest to Lentegeur, Matrix and others
  • 8% are still active
  • Others:
    • 14% did not engage with project
    • 9% were terminated by the client
    • 4% moved from Khayelitsha


Counselling provided

  • 608 individual sessions
  • 393 family sessions
  • 333 participants in group therapy
  • 236 home visits
  • 80 school visits
  • 666 phone calls