The shelter was opened in 2011 as a home for LGBTI people in crisis. Since then we have supported over 400 individuals, including (but not limited to) people who have been kicked out of home for being gay, victims of corrective rape and people from other African countries where homosexuality is illegal. Izilimo is a project that aims to up skill, empower and assist in the healing process for our residents, ex-residents and members of the community. This is done through counselling, financial and business workshops, exercise classes, sexual health awareness classes and art workshops at the shelter.
The main objective of the campaign is to help people on their journey to self-actualisation as per Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. This includes food, shelter, health, increase in self-esteem, healthier mental and emotional health, creativity, employment, respect for oneself and others, acceptance of facts, problem solving and building self awareness.
HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED
1. Job skills and workplace development programme: CV creation, cover letter writing, job readiness and work ethics.
2. Personal development progamme: counselling (group and individual sessions), self-esteem building, boundary setting, conflict resolution, anger management.
3. Creative arts programme: Art and creative workshops
4. Health and wellness programme: Yoga/Pilates, sexual health discussions, HIV voluntary counselling and testing.
5. Financial literacy development programme: budgets, savings, debt, personal financial management.
The whole Izilimo programme is an innovation in itself. We have moved from being a shelter with a focus only on housing and food to having a more holistic view of our residents needs. Viewing our residents holistically helps tremendously with their recovery process.
Directly, the campaign will impact about 100 people a year. When we extend the programme to ex-residents and members of the community this number will increase.
The biggest challenge we face is raising enough funds to run the programme.
It is important to find out what workshops the residents will enjoy and benefit from instead of assuming what they will like. Art and creativity workshops are a very beneficial type of therapy and are very popular with the residents.