Friday, December 10, 2021

Men embarking on forgiveness and inner healing 


Men A Creators of Peace Circle and Inner Healing workshop was delivered to 21 men between the ages of 26 and 60 years from the Diepkloof area and organisations such as Sonke Gender Justice, Mas’phephe, Barona Child and care support, MMBF and CPDP/PWP. This took place in Soweto from 25-29 November 2021. Coincidently, the workshop started when South Africa began 16 days of activism against women and children abuse.


Some of the expectations the group set for themselves:  Being honest with oneself: discerning what is anger and what is hurt; growing inner peace; sustaining peace; healing from historical wounds;  improving communication skills, learning how to resolve your anger. 


Ground rules were set together  to insure a safe space. Confidentiality was emphasised. At first, some of the participants found it hard to freely express themselves.  The facilitators shared their own personal stories to help create a safe space for all to share.  All participants then mentioned that the program gave them the space to share from their lives for the first time. During the 'Qualities of a Peace Creator' gathering point, participants assessed themselves on qualities/values they believed they have.  One participant said, “With me, my values are being changed by situations and circumstances. These are based on what is happening around me.  Sometimes I find myself not being able to be truthful.” Cleo clarified that values are not to be shaken by situations.  One sticks to one's values despite the situations around one. Tshepo said, “I have found peace in writing a letter to myself.  The activity helped me to self-reflect and find answers I’ve been looking for in my life.” Bennett, a trainee facilitator said,I was impacted by the manner in which the participants responded to the 'Inner Peace' gathering point. They identified that they lack inner peace because they allow other people to destroy their inner peace.


Most of the group’s challenges were family related and during the 'Circles of Concern' gathering point, one participant said,  “The way my family (relatives) is so disunited, I have even decided to ‘divorce’ from them and be with my immediate family only.” Later, this same participant realised that he would like to do something to help his family become a united and loving family. “There is a lot of hunger in my family but there is a plenty of food.  My family is hungry for love, and I realise now that something can be done for us to love each other”. Brian applauded the Circle and said.  “It is like you facilitators are having a camera in my bag for every time I’m having a question, then the following gathering point will help me get answers to my questions.” Jabu said, “I have been to too many workshops and I’ve been telling myself that I know everything, but attending this workshop has proved me wrong. This workshop is so special and I wish you can continue doing the good job you are doing. Lots of people need this inner healing.” 

We completed the circle with 13 participants and the follow up session and Family Trustbuilding dialogue was scheduled for the 9th December 2021.


We would like to thank Sonke Gender Justice and City of Jo'burg for the support they offered to the program.


                                                                                                                                                                                                        Report by Cleo Mohalodi