Sixtyonethree was founded in 2010 in order to provide proper therapeutic interventions to children who are victims of abuse and to other vulnerable children in Cape Town, South Africa. South Africa has among the highest incidences of reported sexual abuse in the world and there is a huge need for innovative, culturally appropriate interventions for traumatized children as an alternative or complement to traditional therapy in South Africa. World Childhood Foundation has been the major donor of Sixtyonthree Trust since 2013.
Sixtyonethree collaborates with residential care centres for abused and traumatized children and with a primary school for children in need of specialized education due to trauma. It provides non-invasive therapy to 200 children in residential care and psycho-educational support to 69 school children. Online training and workshops in non-invasive therapies is offered for other professionals working with traumatized children.
Sixtyonethree has specialized in non-invasive therapies where animal assisted therapy, art-, music-therapy and psychodrama is used in a playful way to establish trust between the child and therapist; to give the child a safe environment to interact with others in a non-threatening way without feeling intimidated and victimized and to give children a chance to learn to apply non-verbal communication, regain trust and also be more assertive. African drums are used as a means of connecting with each other, learning to share and tune in to each other as well as mastery and regulating emotions. Through art therapy, children are offered a safe, contained and supportive space in which to work through issues and concerns. For many children, it is easier to relate to the therapist through the art object, which provides a focus for discussion and analysis. Psychodrama offers the opportunity to practice new roles safely, see oneself from outside, gain insight and change.
Sixtyonethree reports significant improvements in anger management, communication skills, social relations and progress in school for participating children. They have also noticed increased sense of belonging and reduced trauma symptoms among many children.