Healing of Memories Workshops

“What made an impact on me is that I was not the only person who had suffered. That helped me to see myself not as a victim but as a survivor.”
- Workshop participant

By exploring and acknowledging the emotional and spiritual wounds carried by nations, communities and individuals, the Healing of Memories workshop seeks to decisively break the destructive cycle of suffering, anger and violence that can disfigure societies.

The workshop enables people from different ethnic groups, races and religions to reach a better understanding of themselves and each other. In a safe, supportive space, guided by expert facilitators, participants are helped to confront sources of alienation, misunderstanding and personal suffering.

The power of the workshops lies in their experiential nature. There are no observers; everyone participates fully, including the facilitators.  The emphasis is on people’s emotional and personal, rather than intellectual and rational, responses.  Drama and art are used to aid self-awareness and encourage openness. Through sharing their unique yet interconnected stories, participants are enabled to move towards individual emotional healing and mutual understanding and grace. These processes prepare the ground for a wider and continuing practice of self-knowledge, forgiveness and reconciliation as participants return to their homes and communities.

The original focus of the Healing of Memories workshop was national reconciliation.  However, the workshop is now used in varying contexts and to address particular challenges or circumstances within South Africa, including:

  • HIV/ AIDs
  • Refugees and immigrants
  • Domestic violence
  • Offenders
  • Inter-faith
  • Ex-combatants

The methodology has also been shared and used in other countries, working with groups concerned with reconciliation, restorative justice and healing in the USA, Germany, Australia, Northern Ireland, East Timor, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Zimbabwe.

The workshop is offered at different times during the week and over the weekend, usually lasts for two and a half days, and can be both residential and non-residential.

Download the Programme Evaluation PDF