PHOLA is the brainchild of Ncazelo Ncube- Mlilo an internationally renowned Narrative Therapist and Psychosocial Specialist who has spent much of her career years focusing on developing local, culturally appropriate psychosocial healing practices and methodologies.
Ncazelo has worked extensively with children, youth, women and families and communities in the context of HIV and AIDS, poverty and conflict. She felt challenged by the increase of violent crimes committed by children in South Africa and severe incidences of bullying in schools that have sometimes resulted in deaths of learners as well as the increase of teenage pregnancies and violence against women and girls.
Extensive research has shown that unresolved childhood trauma is a serious mental health risk for children and a source of violence, Ncazelo felt pushed to contribute to improving the psychosocial and mental health of children, and their families. The voices of children who attend the Annual Nelson Mandela Children’s Parliament confirmed her concerns as they have continued to call for school and community based psychosocial and mental health services particularly in the remote hard to reach rural communities of South Africa.