Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Building a better me, Creators of Peace, Alexandra, Johannesburg

With only a short time before national elections, South Africa is experiencing many community shut downs with demands for basic services and needs for housing, electricity, water, sanitation, jobs and anxiously hoping for new leadership.

The Creators of Peace (CoP) team had to postpone their visit to the Alexandra community because the streets were closed and the vandalising of cars and buildings was taking place.  However, between 10th - 12th April we finally had the time in the midst of violence in some areas and heavy rains, to facilitate a group of 32 men and women in a Creators of Peace Circle at the community library in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg. 

A number of expectations from the participants could not be met as we had to leave the venue before completing the PC.  However a follow-up is planned for May 9th.  

Nompumemelo, one of the participants, mentioned that she is learning how to control her temper and that she does not feel as angry as she used to, because she had space to share the hurt that she has been carrying.  She also said that the theme on what build and destroys peace really opened her eyes to what contribution she was making in destroying her own peace and relationships with loved ones.  Another participant, Sanele, said, “I have learnt how to communicate better with my friends in order for us not to have conflicts any more.”

“For me,” Cleo said, “as I facilitated these huge groups that run parallel, I felt a growing commitment coming from community members, to learn more about themselves instead of thinking only that material gains can help them better themselves. I am growing as I pass on the benefits of my own healing journey which has opened up a lot of change in me and given me a spark of hope for my nation.  Secondly, I am growing as a team leader and a facilitator coach. The team is gaining wisdom in how to tackle challenges on the ground and deal with people’s reactions.  We are developing the skill to listen to God to guide us in how to better ourselves and our nation. Change starts with me.” 

                                                                                                                                                                                                           Reported by Cleo Mohlaodi and Lucel Snyers