Sunday, August 12, 2018

Emotional healing is the start of personal growth, Creators of Peace Diepkloof, Johannesburg, South Africa


In South Africa, the Creators of Peace team’s vision is to ‘heal our nation through story sharing’. The mission is to embrace and nurture a continuing journey of inner healing in different communities to impact our nation positively and responsibly. From the 23rd to 25th May 2018, a group of eighteen young women from Diepkloof, spent the three days together at the Comprehensive Centre, east of Soweto, Johannesburg.


Diepkloof is one of the older communities that form part of the greater Soweto. Like any other underprivileged communities, they face challenges of substance abuse, a high rate of unemployment, orphans, migration, lack of skills or qualifications and deep anxiety from past pain are keenly felt.


During the three days we shared fun, painful experiences, our hopes, dreams and laughter in exploring the journey of peace, restoration, changing perspectives and hope. Peace for this group was defined as hope, freedom of expression and reconciliation with family members.


A participant shared, ‘I lost my parents when I was young and to escape my relatives’ hate towards me, I was forced to be married at a young age - an abusive marriage. In the process I lost who I am and I thought I should endure the abuse for the sake of the children. Today my understanding has changed and I am ready to find ‘me’ and live the life I want to live. I believe God will guide me out of pain to my happiness.”


One of the co-facilitators, Lucel Snyers, reflected that, “I need you, you need me. We are all a part of God's body and it’s important to listen to each other attentively. I experienced listening to a stranger at a place foreign to me and thereafter the stranger's life completely transformed. I now know that listening is a gift no money can buy or replace.” The group realised that when one listens attentively, the other feels cared for and important.


The group appreciated an opportunity to reflect for the first time about their lives. Some of the outcomes from the introspections were to forgive self and the other; move on to a positive future; readiness for a new journey of hope giving; self healing and restoration. The next step that the group took was to be a network of encouragement and support to each other. Two business ideas were shared and how it was planned to implement them.


The group was inspired and eager to ‘walk their change’ as they went through the Creators of Peace Circle.


Thank you to Initiatives of Change, City of Johannesburg and Aulicious food and decor.