How we work

  1. Our work is rooted in the principles of feminism and social justice. We defend the full spectrum of human rights for women and girls in all their diversities.
  2. We believe in young women speaking for themselves and in the importance of feminist movement building.
  3. We believe in the importance of participatory approaches that interrogate the fundamental notions of power.
  4. We believe that the personal is political . This means “we walk our talk” and behave in our personal lives in keeping with the principles that we espouse in our working and political lives.
  5. We strive for individual and organizational excellence, accountability and rigour in the work that we do. We commit to sustaining a dynamic, cutting edge feminist organization.
  6. We are committed to building and sustaining a learning organization that innovates and improves through challenging its own and conventional wisdom.
  7. We believe in investing in diverse and different actors and in the power of collaboration to advance our feminist agenda.

The Soul City Institute has developed a social change model that combines prime time popular mass media and social media with social mobilization and policy advocacy to create an enabling environment for individual and collective approaches to realizing constitutionally guaranteed rights.  Our aim is to contribute to the goals of a peaceful society premised on the principles of equality, constitutionalism and the rule of law. Our programmes seek to build social cohesion, individual and collective agency, and resilience to achieve substantive gender equality, including in areas of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and the eradication of Gender Based Violence (GBV) within a culture of human rights.

The SCI’s programmes operate at multiple levels to influence individuals, communities and the socio-economic and political environment. We harness popular culture for social change with prime time dramas and talk shows on television and radio, combined with social media and print, social mobilisation and policy advocacy. Our social mobilisation vehicles include the Soul Buddyz Club movement for children aged 7-14 years old and the RISE Young Womxn and Girls Club movement for 15-35 year olds. The clubs bring together members to build social cohesion and social capital; to build life skills and to equip young people to make healthy life choices through an understanding of their human rights in general and their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights specifically.  The Clubs are also growing into a grassroots womxn’s movement. SCI’s Not Yet Uhuru project is a feminist digital ecosystem that is an emerging voice for the growing Womxn’s movement in South Africa.

The SCI approach is unique in that it combines multiple level strategies at scale. Over the years we have reached over 80% of South Africa through our various programmes and our brand – Soul City - is loved and trusted with two generations of South Africans having grown up with us on television and radio. At least three communities in the country have so identified themselves with our programmes that they have named themselves Soul City.

Multiple evaluations show substantial impact in key areas of health, development and gender justice.

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