Founded in 2004, Light From Africa Foundation began its journey with a team of artists who were employed and trained to work in clay. Through the creation and sale of handmade ceramic candle holders, the foundation began its first project of raising funds for children affected by HIV/AIDS in Khayelitsha,Cape Town.
Today, Light From Africa Foundation has massively increased its reach to touch the lives of thousands of vulnerable children and care workers with regular therapeutic clay workshops.
Our Healing Journey
We opened our first ceramic art hub in August 2011, based within beautiful surroundings at the Constantia Nek entrance to Cecilia Forest in Cape Town. ART in the FOREST has given a permanent home to our resident artists within a beautiful studio and gallery space which is open to the public for exhibitions, workshops, classes and other art events.
Noting the instant success of this social enterprise as well as the joy of all who visited us, we began to take a deeper look into the healing attributes of working with clay. We decided to invite some of the orphans and care workers we were supporting to enjoy a day of creative clay play in our studio. None of us were sure what to expect but what we experienced in those first few sessions was overwhelming and life changing for us all! There was an instant connection to the clay and we were inspired to begin a new journey, finally able to connect our beneficiaries to the medium that had long supported them. This led us on the path to research Clay Therapy case studies in the USA and Europe, followed by a search for local art therapists, expressive arts facilitators, psychologists, life coaches and art teachers.
Making psychosocial support our primary objective, we developed a portfolio of unique outreach programmes including a series of therapeutic clay workshops and weekly classes to support our partner charities. We looked at the bigger picture to create workshops that would not only benefit the vulnerable children directly– but also their day to day support structures; the adults who mentor, supervise, teach and care for them.
Where we are today
Between ceramic studios in Johannesburg and Cape Town we are able to reach hundreds of care workers and vulnerable children with therapeutic creative healing every month. Having experienced both trauma and loss on a regular basis, we find that providing a safe and creative space allows the children and carers we support to feel alive, nurtured, playful, positive, confident, accepted, acknowledged, loved and cared for! Reaching out through these workshops also enables us to establish strong relationships with our partner charities who send their children and carers to workshops and classes throughout the year.
Read up on our outreach programme here