In 2019, Phumulani received funds from the Bush Foundation’s first Bush Community Innovation Fund, which allowed the organization to reach out to over 2,250 community members at the peak of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Phumulani’s Healing Circle project in 2019 recognized domestic violence activists who work with African Immigrant communities, including Somalia, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Eritrea, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Sudan, Mali, Guinea, Liberia, Morocco, and East and Central as well as West African countries. We successfully recruited and trained facilitators with key characteristics above all others, compassion, empathy, compelling, communication skills, and experience working with domestic violence survivors.
Phumulani’s Healing Circles’ program saw a remarkable 89% graduation rate with all participants, while also spurring a call from community members for more Healing Circles that are expanded both men and women, as well as youth. The organization also had some participants who reported de-escalation of suicide ideation and substance use, due to the feeling of community, and to date, they have over a dozen core women’s groups that have continued to gather due to this initial project.
This past year, Phulumani made funding available to women and young girls for approximately 151 individual women ($1,800 a month per woman) and 75 women and children ($1,900 a month). The organization also provided access to a full range of social services for women and families transitioning into stable housing before, during, and after the transition. Phumulani has successfully advocated for Domestic Violence Housing First. We continue to advocate on behalf of those who due to the endemic nature of structural racism, have challenges accessing housing.
Phumulani believes in the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go further, go as a community”, and we value our working collaborative partnerships to leverage the highest level of impact. Community Partners, include: the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS); the Minnesota African Women Association (MAWA); the African Minnesota Women Awareness Group (AMWAG); Voice of East African Women; Minnesota Humanities Center; Cultural Wellness Center; Standpoint; Youth link Minnesota: From Homeless to Hopeful; Sexual Violence Center; WISE; and Oromo Community Center. They are also a member program of national and local Domestic Violence prevention coalition (Violence Free Minnesota, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault).