The dream/vision to start the organisation,  Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development was held by a small group of women activists and allies who wanted to give back and pay it forward. The organisation was launched in March 1994, with assistance from the Frauen-Anstiftung (FAS). One of the founding members, Dr. Zubeda Dangor still serves as the Executive Director of the organisation.

The overall aim of the WVL project is to provide safe and secure accommodation, counselling, healing and skills development to women and their children when their lives are endangered by intimate partner violence, so that they may be empowered to live lives free of violence and discrimination.

The shelter targets women and their children whose lives are endangered by their abusive partners or perpetrators of violence against women. Women of all races and religions are accommodated. Nisaa does not accept minors on their own. They need to be accompanied by their mothers or guardians. Nisaa also accepts beneficiaries from all provinces across South Africa.