Our history

The history of Lefika La Phodiso

1994     The Art Therapy Centre was established by Dr Hayley Berman. While the founding of the centre was a direct response to the violence and trauma associated with the country’s history of Apartheid, the focus of the work has shifted to managing the effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, as well as dealing with the effects of poverty, crime and violence.

1996     Dr Berman was asked to facilitate art therapy groups with teachers from schools in Katlehong, a site of much turbulence and violence at the time. Over three years the work evolved from a therapy group to a training group and became the foundation for Lefika’s Community Art Counselling training.

2004      The Art Therapy Centre officially became a non-government organisation.

2007      The organisation changed its name to Lefika La Phodiso and moved to the Children’s Memorial Institute in Hillbrow. Here it shares a space with approximately thirty other organisations that provide services for children with special needs. These include Child Line; Autism South Africa and the Teddy Bear Clinic.

2008    Lefika  La Phodiso worked with 900 refugees displaced by xenophobia in a refugee camp in Wadeville and Boksburg on the East rand.

2010     The organisation has been running school holiday programmes for vulnerable children.

2014     The Open Studio was established at Lefika. Here inner city children come for afternoon activities and holiday programmes.

2016    Dr Berman relocated to the United Kingdom to head the Department of Art Therapy at the University of Herdfortshire and appointed Phumzile Rakosa as the Executive Director of Lefika La Phodiso, while she remained serving as the founder member in the Lefika La Phodiso board.

2016     Phumzile Rakosa was appointed Executive Director

2017     Lefika La Phodiso was chosen by the National Department of Women to facilitate National Dialogues on Violence Against Women & Children, which included the participation of 4600 community members from communities in the Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and North West provinces.

2018    Lefika La Phodiso- The Art Therapy Centre changed its name to Lefika La Phodiso Community Art Counselling and Training Institute

Dr Hayley Berman

Hayley is an Art Psychotherapist, social activist, practicing artist and the Founding Director of Lefika La Phodiso, an NGO in the inner city Johannesburg training Community Art Counsellors. In addition, she has a private practice working with individuals and couples . Hayley completed her BAFA (Hons) at Wits University in 1990 and trained in the U.K. at St Albans in 1991 as an Art Therapist. In 2012 she completed her PhD degree in psycho-social studies at The University of Western England, Bristol. Hayley is currently the programme director at the University of Hertfordshire.

She is affiliated to the South African Psychoanalytic Confederation and the Institute of Child Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in South Africa. She has presented at several local and International conferences and published articles in both the UK and South Africa. She is a registered member of the Health Professions Council of South Africa and of the British Association of Art Therapists.

Luke Lamprecht

Luke Lamprecht is the director at Fight with Insight. He was a facilitator and board member at Lefika La Phodiso and played a pivotal role in the organisation. He is a long standing advocate for child protection and as such is a convenor for the Johannesburg Child Advocacy Forum, legal advocacy spokesperson for Women and Men Against Child Abuse and Development officer for the Shaken and Abused Baby Initiative as part of the Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children. He supervises for the South African Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse organisation.

In his influential career he has held the position of Executive Director of the Johannesburg Parent and Child Counselling Centre, the Bigshoes Foundation, who provided medical management of abandoned babies as well as paediatric palliative care. He acted as the Project Manager for Child Abuse and Neglect Protocol at RAU University and the Department of Social Development.

He began his career as a Crisis Counsellor and Place of Safety Project Manager for Childline and Child and Youth Care Worker for Johannesburg Child Welfare Society. He is currently a MSc Candidate in Neurodevelopment at Wits Medical School completing his research on child murders in the Johannesburg area and runs a small consultancy.