Phola Holds Annual General Meeting in Zandspruit

Phola Board and Secretariat duly convened a successful second Annual General Meeting in Zandspruit on 19 November 2021.The Annual General Meetings are within the framework of Department of Social Development (DSD), which requires nonprofit organizations to have their Annual General Meetings regularly.

The delegates to the Phola General Meeting were mostly from Diepsloot, Cosmo city and Zandspruit and other surrounding areas. We appreciated the presence and participation of four officers from Honeydew Police station and attendance of Community Policing Forum members.

The Phola Board Chairperson Mr Mutsubi Ngwenya flanked by his counterpart Immaculate Shembe a fellow Board Member addressed the meeting. Few Board Members were unable to grace the occasion, they gave apologies. Meanwhile The Chairperson Mr Ngwenya is his wide-ranging speech thanked everyone who attended the Phola Annual General Meeting. He explained that Phola was a community driven organisation with culturally sensitive methodologies responsive to community needs.

Honeydew Police officers

Phola Director Ncazelo Mlilo’s report read on her behalf by Judith Mthombeni (Programmes Coordinator). She spoke on the vision, mission, and accomplishments of the organisation during covid -19 pandemic. She gave an overview of the organisation from its formation in 2016. Phola addresses psychosocial and mental health problems associated with violence, crime, substance abuse, child abuse, gender-based violence, hardships, and trauma.

At the core of Phola work is the development and dissemination of home grown culturally sensitive therapies to provide meaningful, effective, and appropriate psychological counselling services to people who have experienced hardships and trauma. The programmes target children, youth, women, men and their families and communities.

Phola social workers and psychologists use both the traditional intervention strategies and these culturally sensitive methodologies to have more positive impact. They do not just provide counselling but make thorough assessment of all clients who come for services, with their consent and participation we measure stress levels pre and post intervention. This is an indicator to see the impact of our services.


In conclusion the Director implored the communities to join hands with Phola to make communities safe places to live in and reduce Gender-based Violence (GBV) and other forms of abuses that result in traumatic experiences.

Phola in its journey with clients focuses on how thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, feelings, and behavior interact, sets goals and teaches better coping skills.

In his vote of thanks Tamsanqa Mlilo (Director for Partnership Development and Communications) thanked the stakeholders, community leaders, community policing forum, and all visitors for attending the Annual General Meeting. The feedback sessions were helpful, timely and enriched Phola. It was an opportunity to thank Emthonjeni Centre for providing Phola with a venue and excellent facilities.

Phola Director’s Speech at Department of Social Development (DSD) Vehicle Handover Event

The Executive Director of Phola, Ncazelo Mlilo officially spoke on behalf of nonprofit organizations in Gauteng during Social Development MEC Morokane Mosuyoe official handover of purchased vehicles.

Ncazelo Mlilo Speaking

The event took place on 27 October at Wembley Stadium. A substantial portion of the stadium was used by participating organizations to display their branded cars, courtesy of DSD grants. The Phola vehicle was selected as the “best branded car” was on the main display pad.  Among the audience were senior government officials and various stakeholders.

Two staff members were with the Phola Director at the vehicle handover ceremony. In her speech the Phola Director Ncazelo Mlilo applauded the Department of Social Development’s gesture of allocating vehicles to nonprofit organizations collaborating with various communities and providing critical services which ranged from victim empowerment, substance abuse, and psycho-social support and poverty alleviation interventions.

Phola Vehicle on display

Below is her address to the audience:

“On behalf of NPOs that have received support from DSD, with the provision of vehicles, we want to say a BIG THANK YOU.

We collaborate with vulnerable communities and groups that we need to reach consistently. Our work requires that we travel to and from the communities that we serve.

Before we got DSD vehicle, Phola had an old bus that constantly broke down. This meant high maintenance, lost man hours and disruption in service delivery. Thanks to DSD and national government, we now move around with great confidence and ease without any apprehensions or unnecessary delays. We use our immaculate Avanza (proudly donated by DSD) to transport our mobile counselling trailer to different sites in Diepsloot, Cosmo city and Zandspruit. We are also able to transport clients from point A to B.

It has increased access to services for our clients. For this we are grateful to government, particularly DSD.

Other NGOs in Partnership with DSD

I would also like to mention that our partnership with DSD has been an amazing and fulfilling experience. You supported, nurtured, encouraged, capacitated, mentored, guided, resourced, and helped us to realize our dreams and vision to compliment efforts of the government in provision of mental health services, psycho-social support and other ancillary services needed by vulnerable communities.

Gauteng MEC Handing Vehicle keys to Phola

The provision of these vehicles is a testimony to all this. We cried out for help you heard us. It is in our hands now to be the best that we can be. In our work and interactions with communities that we serve. The feedback and support that we receive propels us forward and enables us to be effective foot soldiers.

Once more thank you DSD for your leadership and wise counsel. We appreciate your great care and consideration of vulnerable people and groups that we work with and among.”

She concluded her speech by remarking, “On behalf of all nonprofit organizations assembled here and witnessing this momentous occasion I appreciate the strong and smart partnership existing between DSD and nonprofit organizations doing sterling community work for the needy, vulnerable, and marginalized amongst us. Hopefully, this bond will endure forever.”                                

Phola Receives Prestigious Award

On 8 March 2021 Phola was among organizations honoured in a glamorous function organized by Gender-Links. The event was for organizations partnering with Gender-Links in its outreach programmes. 

2021 WVL Awards

In her keynote address a senior gender expert spoke about the Mexico Generation Equality Forum. The 2021 Generation Equality Forum was a major global inflection point for gender equality. The Forum took place at a critical moment. COVID-19 has exacerbated existing gender inequities, with reports of rising violence against women.

At the awards ceremony Phola was the overall winner in The Youth Empowerment Category with the following citation: ‘In Recognition of Your Outstanding Contribution in Promotion of Gender Equality.’

Women’s Voice Leadership – Phola Youth Empowerment Award

The event was not only for Johannesburg based organizations, but it included the entire country from Durban and Cape Town. Those who could not attend, joined virtually. 

The participating organizations are registered with the Department of Social Development and mandated to provide specific services to needy communities in South Africa. Phola in collaboration with Gender-Links promotes the empowerment of women advocating and fighting the scourge of gender-based violence. The partnership is on issues of similar synergies namely gender issues, children’s rights, Gender-Based Violence and women rights and psychosocial support services. Phola works in the following communities; Diepsloot, Zandspruit, Cosmo City and surrounding areas.

The financial injection from Gender-Links helps Phola to facilitate COURRAGE sessions for women in different communities within and outside Johannesburg. Ncazelo Mlilo, a renowned psychologist developed The COURRAGE Methodology. She is a trainer with a global footprint. She is also the Founder and Director of Phola a psychosocial organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

COURRAGE is a collective narrative therapy methodology developed to privilege the second or alternative stories of people have faced hardships and trauma. It seeks to honour the strengths and skills people show and use in the face of pain, discrimination, and abuse.

It is a psychosocial support programme aimed at providing a culturally sensitive space for individuals to feel comfortable expressing their entire identity in an atmosphere of acceptance.

Sikhonzile Malinga (Psychologist at Phola) holding the Award

Sikhonzile Malinga received the award on behalf of Phola.


The Department of Social Development recently facilitated two workshops for senior management and Board Members of Non-Profit Organisations funded by the Gauteng Department of Social Development. The workshops were on NGO Capacity Building and Leadership Development and Fundraising Skills Training, respectively. Phola appreciated the opportunity to participate in the two workshops.

DSD workshop on Governance and Fundraising Efforts

We learnt a great deal on Organisational Governance, and that it is an inherent part of any organisation. Governance is a process by which organisations are held to account. Governance involves authority, accountability, leadership, direction and control in an organisation. It keeps organizations and communities functioning effectively.

There are two components of governance i.e. Performance and Compliance. Performance is a series of events that starts with planning, goes through a series of reporting, and culminates in feedback. Whilst Compliance refers to fulfilling requirements of legislation, contracts, taxation, insurance, and pension.

The modules investigated the critical role of management, organizational leadership, mentoring and coaching.

Implementing Good Corporate Governance

Corporate governance is the term used to describe the balance among participants in the corporate structure who have an interest in the way in which the corporation is running, such as executive staff, shareholders, and members of the community. Corporate governance directly impacts the profits and reputation of the company and having poor policies can expose the company to lawsuits, fines, reputational damage, and loss of capital investment.

Presentation on approaches to governance

We also investigated the Labor Act Provisions.

The Act reinforces the following rights entrenched in the Constitution:

  • The right to fair labor practices
  • The right to form and join trade unions and employer organizations
  • The right to organize and bargain collectively
  • The right to strike and (recourse to) lockout

The training on Fundraising Skills Training investigated The Present Patterns of CSO Resources;

  • An organisation (small) dependent and vulnerable to time limited project funding, which brings to zero after project grant is exhausted.
  • An organisation with over seventy percent of its funds from one source and thirty percent from a short-term restricted and fixed contract.
  • An organisation whose dependence on foreign funding increase over time, and the proportion of whose other funding, while it remains steady in absolute terms, decreases relative to foreign funding. It may decrease in absolute terms.

Important Links to increase fundraising efforts

– Crowd Funding

– GoFundMe

– Mighty Cause

– FundRazr

– Indiegogo

– First Giving – Fundly