About baratang

About Baratang

Our mission

Baratang Initiative focuses on building resilience and supporting traumatised learners, teachers and parents in South African schools.


Baratang Initiative's Mission

Supporting the changing face of education

The "South African education system produce some of the lowest educational outcomes in the world despite allocating larger portions of the country's annual budget to education - larger compared to the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Germany." Why is this the case and how can we support the education system to produce higher educational outcomes?

Teacher’s competency, learners’ focus and intelligence, family and social systems, influences of our technocratic age, all provide interesting answers to this question. We however, believe there is something else that needs our attention.

After working in education as therapists and teachers in various educational facilities for many years it is our opinion that we struggle to adequately teach learners because they are not ready to learn, or rather too traumatised to learn. Our complex socio political historical context and the fast paced, brutal image-laden post-modern lifestyle has unfortunately led to a severely traumatised society and as a result traumatised children.

South Africa has some of the highest violence, rape and trauma statistics in the world. It is a scientifically proven fact that children that are traumatized cannot function, learn (hear, remember, concentrate and focus) or reach their full potential (impaired brain development) and our failing educational results prove this.


In South Africa we have to acknowledge systemic trauma inflicted by Apartheid such as poverty, violence and racial discrimination, which led to cycles of abuse and addiction, broken family systems and wounded communities. It is way past time for us to redress the difficulties of our inherited trauma after Apartheid, high levels of often criminal interpersonal violence continued, fuelled by rapid urbanization and ongoing socio-economic disparities.

A new study found that 73.8% of people are prevalent to be exposed to Potential Traumatic Events (PTE), while the average person can expect to be exposed to at least 4.3 Potential Traumatic Events (PTE) occurring in his/her lifetime. These realities have led to school classrooms filled with traumatised children and educators. In this environment, teachers find it extremely difficult to cope, let alone teach. A longitudinal study by WITS found that 99% of youngsters in Soweto have been exposed to violence in their communities, homes and schools.

Baratang's Vision

Our vision is to grow healthy school communities by supporting learners, teachers and parents.

The organisation’s main objective is to change the face of education. The objective here is to support learners, teachers and parents to become ambassadors for uBuntu by creating a Safe School Initiative.

This means:

  • Providing trauma informed, healing centred drama therapy for learners presenting with behavioural difficulties
  • Creating of at least one stable, caring, and supportive relationship between a child and an adult therapist which can lead to:
  • Developing resilience and healthy coping mechanisms.
  • A sense of mastery over life circumstances.
  • Strong executive function.
  • Self-regulation skills.
  • The supportive context of affirming faith or cultural traditions.
  • Developing supportive peer groups facilitated by the therapist in order to provide long term stable support after the intervention.

Capacitating teachers to adequately support traumatised learners through:

  • Trauma Informed teacher training intervention
  • Trauma Education : Mental First Aid for Teachers

Capacitating parents to adequately support their children through:

  • Trauma informed parent lectures and workshops

Create safe school spaces by addressing trauma and building resilience through:

  • School community intervention and advocacy
  • School governing body

Advocate for ‘psycho-educational, trauma informed, healing centred’ school system with:

  • Trained educators that are able to support learners equally and create safe environments
  • Informed parental support
  • Therapeutic support for learners

The organisation’s secondary objectives are to:

  • Create networking systems in communities to adequately support children affected by traumatic incidents
  • Provide job opportunities for young professionals in school communities
  • Create a body of resources for working with children in the field of trauma

The focus of this project is to invest in our human resources by building healthy relationships and providing therapeutic intervention for traumatised learners and trauma-informed training for teachers and parents.

The Baratang Team

Nozipho Khumalo

Nozipho Khumalo

Higher Diploma in Education (Durban College of Education), Waldorf teacher, Emergency Pedagogy training

Nozipho is a qualified teacher and have been living abroad working as a flight attendant for five years. She believes in unlocking knowledge and empowering minds. She is a people’s person and have friends from all walks of life and across cultural. She is a great team player and a dynamic thinker.


Welma de Beer

BA Drama, Higher Education Diploma, BA Honn, MA Applied Theatre (UOFS) and MA in Drama Therapy (Wits).

Welma is currently a lecturer at Drama for Life – WITS, head of counselling at DFL, runs her own drama therapy practise, as well as holding a part time teaching position at Michael Mount Waldorf School. She is a founding member of the South African branch of the International Association of Emergency Pedagogy and has been recognised by the International Association of Emergency Pedagogy to train and teach in South Africa. Welma de Beer is currently busy with her PhD at Wits on the topic of addressing trauma and building resilience in South African schools.

Bandile Seleme

Bandile Seleme

National Diploma in Musical Theatre (TUT), BA Honn Drama Therapy (WITS),
MA Drama Therapy (WITS)

Bandile has been actively working as a drama therapist for Lawyers against Abuse for the last year, supporting traumatised victims of abuse and rape.

We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination

—Nelson Mandela