Monday, April 29, 2019

Support incubates stength Outcomes of the Creators of Peace in Durban Deep, Roodepoort, Johannesburg

From 12th ­to 14th March, 2019, Creators of Peace (CoP) visited a community in Durban Deep, a former mining area east of Johannesburg.  Thirty-two women and one man entered into the process of the Peace Circle (PC) coming from as far afield as Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Free State and Mpumalanga. CoP had the help of a social worker from the Department of Social Development and she offered to assist with referrals for professional counselling and mentoring should there be a need. This is within the partnership of the city of Jo'burg and Creators of Peace initiative

The group had several expectations from this workshop:  to be empowered to find peace; learn how to forgive; to discover what inner healing means; learn how to deal with anger and conflict and how to communicate. One of the participants mentioned that she was abused and had lost her personal values. She could not even walk on the streets because she felt the community would see her shame. She was also not comfortable playing with other kids, until she had dealt with the abuse through counselling and slowly regained her values as a woman.

The values that the participants were expecting to practice are:  awareness of what is happening around them; learn to be honest about how they feel; attentive listening with empathy and learn to be patient. Most of the participants are keen to communicate with and motivate their community members.

Makgotso, one of the participants said, “Attending the program made me realise that this is what I want to do namely, to change the world and I feel that Creators of Peace is the best platform for me to do that.” Another participant mentioned that she had not been able to sleep properly for a very long time until going through the first day of the programme.  That night she had slept like a baby. At the end of the three days, these young adults decided that they will now take practical steps to go back to school and enhance their education. They have, through the PC, learnt to be independent and better parents to their children.  Great progress was made in their lives with communication skills, with realising the importance and power of sharing, forgiveness and to accept things that they cannot change.  Many thanked CoP for going to their area of Durban Deep.

Follow-up in Durban Deep

A follow-up conversation was held with 12 young women in Durban Deep on March 27th.  The purpose for this visit was to see where they are at in their new journeys and to form a support group to sustain the relationships that have been built during the Peace Circle (PC).  Several of the former PC participants could not attend due to work commitments – employment that they had found since attending the PC earlier in March.

Some of the participants had taken practical steps.  Neziwe, had mentioned at the PC that she couldn’t forgive her grandmother for keeping her away from her father. However, since then she had called her grandmother and told her that she forgives her and the granny did likewise.  They have agreed to meet in the June holidays to spend some time together.  Some still want to continue restoring broken relationships with their families and the forming of a support group that they felt would help them with those steps.  A date for a meeting of this newly formed support group was set for a two weeks later.

Much gratitute to the City of Jo'burg, Audelicious catering and Initiatives of Change South Africa 

                                                                                                                                                                         Reported by: Phumzile Mogola, Mantwa Mabe and Lucel Snyers