Residents express themselves

2016-09-20 06:00
The staff at the Tafelsig CWD after one of the dialogues.

The staff at the Tafelsig CWD after one of the dialogues.

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An organisation is helping Tafelsig residents express themselves through open discussions.

The No-Name-Initiative Ignite (NNI) has been facilitating dialogues at the Tafelsig CWD community centre since April this year and although they had a slow start, the dialogues have proven to be a great success in recent weeks.

Amina Smith, the NNI facilitator coach, says: “(The) dialogue is a group conversation that is well received by the community, and I am sure that it will be equally well received by the communities of the other areas of Mitchell’s Plain. People welcome and love the interactions and have expressed that more people should know about the dialogues, so that they can benefit.”

The group discussions take place every second Tuesday at the centre and start at 10:00. The discussions are free to the public and is in a space that is open for discussion of chosen topics voted for by the group, says Melanie Pieterkosky of the organisation.

“The dialogues start at 10:00 and there is a time when people can think about what it is that they want to discuss. There isn’t a pre-existing topic. The topic is always based around the participants and what they need to deal with and talk about.”

The initiative is a young non-profit organisation that instigates and facilitates transformational dialogue that supports personal responsibility and accountability towards active citizenship.

NNI Ignite was founded by Jonelle Naude who has trained up to 30 facilitators since 2012 to spread transformative dialogue in communities, schools, places of work and friends/family. The topics vary and can include anything facing the community.

“[The dialogues] are specifically for Tafelsig but we are open for anyone from the Cape Flats and specifically Mitchell’s Plain to attend. In future it would be wonderful to spread these dialogues to other areas. Tafelsig is only the starting point,” says Pieterkosky.

In their most recent dialogue held on Tuesday 13 September the topic was poverty.

“There was a voice that kept on encouraging the other voices and also acknowledging others’ journeys. This happened frequently and resulted in loads of sharing and learning happening, and also expressions of gratitude and reassurance that we can do so much more than we limit ourselves to,” says Smith.

“The ages ranged from 18 to 70 and the group used the platform to share and the dialogue was like one unit, and one voice could not believe how much she spoke, claiming that she is usually shy.”

Pieterkosky says there are mostly older residents who attend but they would like to entice more youth. “The reason we want to focus on youth is because we feel that getting youth involved will go a long way because they have a completely different outlook on things. We have had situations where middle-aged people and people under the age of 25 communicated about the breakdown of communications between their generations. When we have youth it really does add a new energy.”

V The dates for the next dialogues will be Tuesday 27 September, Tuesday 11 and Tuesday 25 October.

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