Andile Carelse

Ashoka Fellow
South Africa
Fellow Since 2004


This profile was prepared when Andile Carelse was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Sexual abuse is so prevalent in South Africa that the country has become known as the rape capital of the world. One in four women is likely to be raped during her lifetime. So staggering is this statistic that Andile decided something had to be done to confront the problem definitively and openly—using methods that are clear to everyone—rather than condemning abused individuals to suffer alone with their terrible secret.
Discouraged by the lack of options for victims of abuse, Andile launched the Open Disclosure Tour. She draws in high-profile celebrity performers to participate in in-school programs that blend performance and frank discussion about sexual abuse. These tours are the first step to far-reaching societal change. They deliver a powerful message to children in the audience, prompting many to seek treatment through programs that Andile and her diverse team of teachers, counselors, and police have developed. The effort allows abused children to get past the shame, fear, and isolation they feel—and steps toward treatment and healing. The program’s success prompted Andile to found the Open Disclosure Center, the first long-term treatment center for young victims of sexual abuse in South Africa.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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