Monday, July 23, 2018

Peaceful lifestyle is the ideal price, Creators of Peace Ivory Park


The Social Development - Young Woman Department of the Municipality of Johannesburg in the Johannesburg East of Johannesburg region called Ivory Park, welcomed the Creators of Peace team to assist them with the quest for inner healing. The group consisted of 12 women between the ages of 20 and 35 years and two toddlers.  We gathered at a community centre based in the same complex as the community Clinic named Hikhensile, which means “thank you” in Xitsonga, one of the official languages in South Africa” and the dominant language in this area.


The time spent together was meant to be from the 23rd -25th April 2018, but due to a national shut down of all business on the 25th April, organised by one of the Trade Unions,  it meant the Peace Circles had to take place in two instead of three days.


The political situation in South Africa indicates the anger, frustration and desperation that our communities face.  This is then expressed in the form of strikes, vandalisation of state assets and a culture of xenophobic attacks – a real indication for us, the team and the Creators of Peace Circles programme, that South Africa needs to go through inner healing for us to build and nurture the Rainbow Nation we are.


The two days began discussing what it is to have peace and how to behave positively around people, how to gain confidence and how to resolve conflicts especially within families.  The participants indicated how difficult it is to experience peace in a community with so much crime and domestic violence, experienced daily.


Cleo, a co-facilitator shared her life's journey on how she had to listen to that inner voice of God and how it has directed her to forgive her father and two brothers for inflicting pain in her life.  This has resulted in her walking the healing journey from hate and low self-esteem to confidence, love for the human race as well as living out her sense of calling to give hope to the hopeless.


Exploring through some activities in two gathering points named “Art of listening” and “What builds and destroys Peace, the participants realized the importance of becoming peace ambassadors, using the conflict resolution skills as well as the empathetic listening skill that was given to them during the Peace Circle. Lebohang, one of the participants said, “I didn't know how to respond (to conflict). I would just react and shut people out, but now I know what to value in a relationship.


The group shared their past experiences and at the end of their sharing, they were ready to forgive the people who have caused them pain and to ask forgiveness of those on whom they have inflicted pain. The group was very enthusiastic, eager to learn, participative, open up and start a journey of healing.  The next steps included forming a support group for them to fellowship and care for each other.  Some asked to be referred for professional assistance in issues where they need further healing.


Thanks to City of Johannesburg, Initiatives of Change South Africa and Hikhensile clinic.


Reported by: Lucel Snyers and Cleo Mohlaodi