Peacefully healing past hurts

2016-07-05 06:00
The founder of the Institute, Father Michael Lapsley, addresses the supporters of the Institute of Healing of Memories at their fund-raising gala dinner in Cape Town.

The founder of the Institute, Father Michael Lapsley, addresses the supporters of the Institute of Healing of Memories at their fund-raising gala dinner in Cape Town.

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There are many troubled communities across the peninsula where healing is needed and the Institute of Healing of Memories in Claremont works on empowering those communities.

The organisation recently hosted a gala fund-raising dinner at the Taj Hotel on Thursday 23 June where the focus was on the important work that they do in various areas.

Founded in 1998 as a parallel process to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the institute seeks to contribute to the healing journey of individuals, communities and nations. It offers healing of memories workshops which provide safe spaces for individuals to deal with the negative psychological, emotional and spiritual effects of the past.

“We work with refugees, people affected by HIV and AIDS and people in prison,” says Francoise Bartley of the organisation.

“We provide peaceful ways for individuals and communities to deal with the ongoing impact of the past on their psyches through workshops and community dialogues.”

Restoring Humanity is the youth development project of the institute, Bartley says. “Just one example of its pioneering and empowering work with young people is presently showcased with its interfaith God Has Many Names exhibition at The District Six Museum.

“At this time of turbulence in South Africa the institute has a unique contribution to make to the healing of the nation.

“The founder of the institute, Father Michael Lapsley, was recently awarded the 2016 International Peace Prize for his contribution to healing and reconciliation across the world.”

The fund-raising dinner brought together a cross-section of civil society, faith communities, business, and diplomats, united in a shared commitment to making the institute’s work more sustainable.

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