Talk to find healing

2016-11-01 06:00

Community members, who are torn apart by hurt from the past and crime in their area, often do not realise they have the answers and solutions to their problems themselves.

To empower them and to get them to talk more about their problems, the Community Development Foundation (CDF) is holding a dialogue they call “listening spaces”.

This will be used to identify and talk about burning issues.

Beulah Fredericks of the CDF says they will work with community members in Constantia, Westlake, Khayelitsha and Bredasdorp.

“We choose these communities as a starting point as they have one thing in common: They all have been affected by violence against women. Westlake comes onto the programme because in the Franziska Blochliger case the suspects are from there.

“We had so many reports on rape and violence on women. The communities were torn apart. There was an outcry for help and I thought what could help was to bring the communities together and to talk about their issues and let them find solutions,” she says.

Fredericks says she goes into these discussions without having answers beforehand.

“I don’t have the answers to their problems. As the people talk they discover they have the solutions within themselves. Ours is just to lend a listening ear and allow communities to share what they are going through. Not to blame and point fingers but to give them hope that if they work together as a community there will be a solution at the end.”

Fredericks says they will also empower the participants.

“They are full of capabilities to do things themselves, start projects, have committees to help deal with their issues. We can build on the assets the communities have. We have got the funding to run projects in these communities but to them it’s not about money. It’s about building better communities and someone to just listen,” says Fredericks.

Lisa Sonn, who is working with the CDF, says the idea is to talk about regular things.

“When people talk about things there are solutions. It gives a sense of acknowledging something and how they can work to improve the situation. When we have these workshops where we talk about burning issues we don’t have the answers; answers are in the communities.”VTo find out more about the foundation visit

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