Lalela Project, Cape Town

Lalela provides educational arts for at-risk youth to spark creative thinking and awaken the entrepreneurial spirit.

Through Lalela’s arts curriculum and critical messaging component, they ignite imagination and teach children how to map and manifest their dreams and goals, launching the possibility of a different future for themselves and their communities.

LALELA Core Values

  • Always inspire with creativity
  • Reimagine challenge as opportunity
  • Trust we can be the trailblazers of change

Their primary communities of operation are Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg in Hout Bay, Masiphumelele near Fish Hoek in the Western Cape, and Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg in Gauteng.

They grow their arts programme through strategic partnerships with other youth development organisations that do not expose their youth to the arts. Their programmatic partners allow them to position themselves at the forefront of arts education in South Africa and enhance our ability to advocate the critical contribution that the arts make to academic achievement, socio-economic change and innovation.



Heart Maps were designed to connect two people on a meaningful heart to heart artful journey. Heart Maps have been shown to cross demographic and psychographic lines including barriers of culture, xenophobia, gender, race and economics. They have connected people with meaningful dialogue and the benefits of empowerment, mentoring, and self and mutual respect. Heart Maps have created an appreciation of human commonalities and a celebration of human differences. Heart Maps often identify complimentary personalities and skills that once connected, can create deeper bonds and a better future.

Heart Maps are used to break down barriers based on differences of people along the lines of race, class, culture, gender or any other grouping against which people have been discriminated, connecting two people from different backgrounds on a deeper level of understanding and respect.

The process Heart Map takes place between two individuals, where they ask each other a series of simple questions, in an interview format that is themed to the four quadrants of the heart. The intention is to take a tour of each other’s heart, as the interview questions are metaphorically mapped to the four chambers of the heart.

  • Chamber 1: questions that ask, “Where do you come from? What did you come into this earth with? What is your cultural background, your heritage, your home?
  • Chamber 2: What are your passions, talents and what are you learning now?
  • Chamber 3: What are your challenges, your fears that you hope to overcome?
  • Chamber 4: What are your dreams, your purpose, your gifts and gratitude that you wish to share?
  • The questions are then sketched as doodles, words and icons that are mapped to the four chambers of the heart. There are often additional questions that help add colour and context and safely explore quiet curiosities.
  • Once the dialogue and questions are completed, these rough sketches can then be transposed through a variety of artistic mediums.


Once the artists are satisfied with the work, they present each other with each other’s heart. It is in the process of creating the art and in the dialogue that follows, that allows for many moments of quiet reflection, to draw what they see as beautiful, challenging and aspirational. The dialogue and art naturally draw links to common goals and dreams. As they talk about what fears and challenges they need to overcome, they are often drawn to support each other. The dialogue and art is presented as a personal gift that they exchange, creating a deeper level of honesty, understanding and trust.

Heart Maps sessions can be arranged online, email Lalela at [email protected]