Becoming better humans in a world that lacks humanity: Working through trauma in post-apartheid South Africa

  • Charles Manda University of South Africa

Abstract

This article shares the work of the Trauma Healing Project in Pietermaritzburg and its surrounding areas in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In exploring how individuals and families face and work through trauma in post-apartheid South Africa, a pilot project was set up at Pietermaritzburg Agency for Christian Social Awareness (PACSA), which ran from 2009 to 2014. Despite the change from Apartheid to a democratic government, South Africa continues to experience multiple-woundedness through domestic and gender-based violence, injuries, HIV and AIDS, xenophobia and crime. These hamper true political and economic development as so many people have to live with pain. This pain prevents them from making a significant contribution to their communities. This article argues that creating safe spaces, narrating our trauma, writing life narratives and restoring social and religious support systems make significant contribution to the healing of South Africa’s multiple-woundedness and empowering of traumatized individuals and communities to restore relationships, recover faith, hope, meaning and dignity. This type of healing is transformative.

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Published
2015-03-22
Section
Articles