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Lefika La Phodiso celebrates its Pearl anniversary

In 2024 Lefika La Phodiso celebrates its Pearl anniversary. 30 years of recovery and growth. 30 years of art and counselling. A safe space for adults and children who are otherwise ill-equipped to process the trauma and hardships of life. A guiding light to those who would take the skills gained at Lefika La Phodiso and share their knowledge and abilities with their own communities. A haven. A home.
Notably corresponding with the 30-year anniversary of democracy in South Africa, this also highlights the reality that although there have been major advancements in access to education, there are still so many obstacles standing in the way of equal and indiscriminate access for all.
Lefika La Phodiso was brought into being in 1994 by Hayley Berman, an accomplished art psychotherapist who saw a unique opportunity to bring the joy and healing of art and creative self-expression to Gauteng. Since then, the organisation has grown and developed into an educational institution that embodies healing, safety, transformation, creativity, expression and belonging. The vision? To provide safe spaces in which creativity and containment nourish emotional development and strengthen relationships.
In 2023 Lefika La Phodiso was awarded as a beneficiary of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme 4 (PESP 4) and has consequently embarked on a journey telling the story of the organisation, its contributors, its legacy, and its “family”. These pages hold the stories of some of the lives that the team and contributors of Lefika La Phodiso have shaped over the last 30 years. The project serves to showcase the important work that Lefika La Phodiso has done and continues to do in its feeder communities.
Through the use of art-based counselling and training, Lefika La Phodiso has the ability to transcend cultural, linguistic and educational boundaries. The importance of mental health awareness, community support and education is at the heart of the work. In 1994 and subsequently, in the newly democratic South Africa, the need for education and mental health support has been immense. Among the many challenges faced in bringing the organisation along this 30-year journey, the consistent and ever-present need for funding and financial support continues to be the largest obstacle. This publication and the supplementary activity books, proposed exhibitions and by-products serve as a beacon of encouragement to potential funders and supporters, with the aim of expanding this essential outreach.

Download the book here.

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