Scooter brings healing, hope

2018-06-05 06:00
Lily Reed.

Lily Reed.

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A local resident uses her own experiences to help heal her community and surroundings­.

Five years ago Lily Reed found herself jobless, homeless and penniless following a violent home invasion and horrific gang rape which left this single mom with cervical cancer, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Yet looking back, Reed says that if she had the choice, she wouldn’t change that night. “This is because the experience taught me the power of forgiveness and has shaped my future into one where I can now help other survivors of violence, trauma and abuse,” she says.

Following her attack, she made it her mission to use the experience to help others, to raise awareness of the ability to heal from trauma and to be a voice for the voiceless women and children who have suffered similar fates.

With her purple hair, and a backpack on a scooter, she has become a familiar face in Ocean View and other areas as she goes around spreading the seed of love. Now running her own foundation called the Lily Reed Foundation, her aim is to help others cope with their ordeals.

Reed gathers referrals from schools, NGOs and community members for children who have suffered trauma, abuse and grief.

Using any space allocated to her, she sets out her picnic blanket and spends hours with children, mothers and teenagers to build up their self-confidence, counsel them through trauma and give them the space to laugh, play and learn about love and forgiveness

“The vision of the foundation is to prevent the intergenerational transmission of trauma, violence, rape, abuse and neglect of children by educating and empowering children, families and their communities to become resilient, hopeful, positive and contributing members of society. In this way, we can break the cycle of child abuse that may lead them to becoming perpetrators of violence themselves,” says Reed

Her journey started with a book, released in August 2017, called The Dark Seed (“Gang rape survivor writes to heal”, People’s Post, 29 August 2017) which launched her story into the media limelight.

“After a six-month whirlwind media tour in South Africa, I grounded myself back into my community and began a community outreach programme focusing on child and family counselling. Four months on and I’m a well-known face in the community of Ocean View. I go around on a scooter with a backpack full of toys and play therapy equipment ready to help wherever I’m needed,” she says.

With the launch of the Lily Reed Foundation this month, Reed now aims to raise funds to expand this service and reach more people. VFor more information, follow Lily Reed on Facebook or email her at lilyreedfoundation@­gmail.com.

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