Why do we exist?

Usiko believe that communities take care of their young – guiding and supporting them into becoming caring and responsible adults. Our belief is that children and youth need positive ‘rites of passage’ experiences that connect them to identity of the self (personal purpose and future goals); to community (heritage, culture) and to the environment (nature). Our unique proposition is in our bottom-up solutions design, and our globally recognised Wilderness Therapy model that integrates traditional African and First Nation People’s cultural rituals together with modern psychological theory.


  • Caring
  • Nature
  • Resilience
  • Responsibility
  • Generosity

What do we aim for?

Strong, empowered communities where all members care for each other, live their purpose and know their identity. They are connected to heritage, nature and to their common humanity.

More about us

Usiko Stellenbosch is an NGO based in Jamestown, Stellenbosch, that uses a ‘rites of passage’ approach to provide guidance to at-risk young people who encounter psycho-social challenges emanating in their communities; some are on the brink of expulsion from school and others are indulging in risky behaviour and may find themselves in trouble with the law.

By using mentoring, wilderness and group activities, young people are empowered to see the value of education and work towards a hopeful future.

Our history