eThekwini plants bottle-flowers in garden of hope and healing

2012-11-19 00:00

THOUSANDS of hand-made plastic flowers — made from recycled waste — will be “planted” in the Durban Botanic Gardens from November 25 to December 10 to honour victims of violence and to pledge support for a society free of violence against women and children.

The Garden of Hope and Healing is a collaboration between eThekwini Municipality’s department of parks, recreation and culture (PRC), Diakonia Council of Church’s Thursdays in black campaign, the Sydenham Resource Centre, the Durban Botanic Gardens, the PRC Men’s Forum and various like-minded NGOs.

Discarded plastic bottles were transformed into colourful, creative, handmade flowers with messages of hope and healing.

Each flower will honour a victim or a survivor of abuse, or be a visual pledge of working towards a world without rape and violence as part of this year’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children 2012.

There will also be daily flower-making workshops at Durban Botanic Gardens for the duration of the campaign. To coincide with the project, there will be an informative exhibition in the Gardens boardroom with resource material offering information and support to those affected by violence against women and children; and a programme of discussions, workshops and events to generate awareness amongst South Africans about gender violence and how it manifests itself within society.

The garden will also be home to “a Bottle Tree” with hundreds of messages sealed in tiny glass bottles, from the PRC Men’s Forum, and there will be a symbolic “washing line” with black garments in honour of Thursdays in black, a programme run by Diakonia Council of Churches to encourage men and women to wear black every Thursday to raise awareness around issues of gender justice, violence against women and corrective rape. The full programme can be found at Inquiries: 031 310 3500.

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