There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children
- Nelson Mandela

Event details

25 August 2017

08:00 - 15:30

Claremont Congregational Church Hall

Buyelekhaya, Khayelitsha and Romance Academy, Gugulethu

Mind, Body, Spirit

In celebration of Women’s Day 2017, Sisanda wanted to deliver a special day for a group of young women that would empower, strengthen and inspire.

Mind, Body & Spirit became the main focus of our FunDay this month with the aim not only to deliver a fun day out for a group of young women, but to make a bigger impact on their lives by inspiring them to take ownership of the choices they make.

We combined 2 beneficiary groups for our August FunDay, to allow our message to spread through different communities and to give the young women a chance to interact with new people and develop new relationships with their peers.

Here is a little information about our 2 beneficiary groups:


Buyelekhaya began with a lady called Vuyo, originally from the Eastern Cape who came to Cape Town in 1998 with her Stepmother.

The name, Buyelekhaya, means “to return to your roots”. For Vuyo, this name is at the very core of what she does with the children. She said that many children do not know about their culture, or that they forget, and that it is important to preserve and teach the youth near her about it. Through indigenous dance, Vuyo feels like she can best reach the children and the culture, marrying the two in a fun way, a positive way and a way that the children can thrive and reteach.

The group meets after school in Vuyo’s home to practice, and each weekend they perform and busk in town. Vuyo’s home is very much a home for the children as well. The group is there for more than just dance; they support each other through everything, with Vuyo as their example and their leader. There is such a sense of warmth felt in her home and within witnessing her relationship with each and every one of the youth she teaches.

Vuyo said that while the premise of Buyelekhaya is dance, it is far more than that for the youth, and the community. She provides a safe environment and engages the youth inactivity, promoting a safe and healthy life. In particular for the teenagers, she wants to ensure they have a safe place to be and have things to participate in. Providing them with opportunities and environment that was lacking for her as a youth and in the community. For the younger children, she feels that she can teach them the right ways from an early age, and instill positivity from the start of their adolescence.

Romance Academy

Romance academy is a new project that was established to tackle tough issues around teenagers and relationships.
The project aims to assist young people to build and maintain healthy relationships, to help parents and leaders to understand and be able to support young people by promoting a structure of healthy relationships.

The aim of the project is not just to encourage young people to delay sexual activity or to point them in the direction of contraception. But also to give young people the tools to make intelligent choices around relationships and sex.

We address the underlying causes of risk in youth behaviour such as poor self esteem, low aspirations, and lack of positive family /community life by promoting the value of healthy/stable relationships.

Sessions Include:
• Increasing self-esteem
• Building safe & healthy relationships
• Conflict, confidence & problem solving skills
• Personal boundaries, self -control & responsibilities
• STI’s, pregnancy & parenting
• Communication techniques
• Love languages & romance
• Pornography & sexual violence
• Drugs & alcohol
• Body image (self image)
• Touch & intimacy
• Coping with peer pressure
• Benefits of delaying sex
• Importance of education

Our Women’s Day celebration took place at Claremont Congregational Church Hall with 16 volunteers supporting 32 young women from Buyelekhaya and Romance Academy.

We began our day with an absolutely mind blowing self defence session led by Mike and his team at CJA Jiu Jitsu Academy. Our group was split in half, where we had an indoor session focused on grappling and Jiu Jitsu techniques, whilst the other group was outside exploring defence techniques whilst under attack. The skills we learnt as a group were completely invaluable and have certainly given everyone a refreshed sense of awareness, and the knowledge & confidence to escape from an attack. Mike and Alex were such inspirational leaders who approached some rather sensitive subjects with a real sense of fun.

After a very physical start to the day with some strong messages to take home, Busi delivered a wonderful discussion around sexual health and relationships. Again, we are so lucky to have access to such inspirational leaders, allowing real conversations to take place in a fun and approachable way.

We had some very special guests join us for the morning including Robyn and Dale from CoreFit Centre, Katia from SMAK deli and Ramona from Mimi Women, who all came to assist us with the distribution of our goodie bags. Due to funds raised by CoreFit Centre we were able to send each girl home with a 6-month supply of Mimi women sanitary pads!

Our goodies bags were an absolute hit with donations from one of our volunteers - Carmen plus local and international friends of Sisanda: Des, Hayley, Alexandra, Jane, Katy, Tiggy, Jill and LMS Events.

Once the goodie bags were handed out, we felt this was a good time of the day to have some reflection and down time, so we were joined by our friend Tanya to lead us in a relaxing yoga class. After all the excitement of the morning, this session was really needed to unwind and have some space to release the mind and body.

As you can imagine, everyone was needing to refuel after an extremely busy morning working the mind, body and spirit, so we headed to visit Nadia and her wonderful team at Rodeo Spur in Claremont for lunch. As always, we filled our tummies with a nutritious meal and were looked after by a friendly team of waiters.

Our FunDay was sponsored by Health Insite, thank you so much to Hayley and her husband for very generously covering our costs and allowing us to deliver everything we had planned for our FunDay.

Thank you to Mike at CJA Jiu Jitsu and Tanya for donating their precious time for free and delivering some beautiful workshops that will be treasured in our hearts.

Thank you to CoreFit Centre and their clients for raising funds to buy sanitary pads for the FunDay…we still have a few boxes left over to donate to our beneficiaries!

Thank you to Future Life for donating boxes of energy to power up our girls and give them a nutritious start to each day.

Thank you to Claremont Congregational Church for generously donating their safe and beautiful space for us to work in.

Thank you to our incredible on-going sponsors:

HCI Foundation – for providing us with transport to access the beneficiary groups in their communities

The Spur Foundation – for providing us with a nutritious meal and allowing us the opportunity to sit around a table and enjoy a happy family restaurant

Truworths – for providing us with beautifully bright coloured t-shirts, to safely identify our group and for the girls to take home as a memory of their experience with Sisanda

Pictures from the day