By Cleopadia Mohlaodi, Anthony Duigan and Manon Michelle Monhemius
The aim of the trustbuilding project in South Africa is to create clusters of united and cohesive families in Cape Town and Johannesburg to act as catalysts for rebuilding trust and broken structures in society.
A history of broken families
The history of broken families stems from the issues created by apartheid and the migrant labour system which separated men from their families. This began in the early part of the 20th century and became institutionalized in the mining industry in particular, as mining was one of South Africa’s largest industries by the middle of the 20th century, apart from agriculture. This culture of dysfunctionality has been perpetuated, and arguably made worse, by the absence of several generations of fathers in many families. This is especially the case in the black and coloured ethnic groups, leaving no role models for young boys and girls, creating inter-generational tension and conflict.
The current reality is generational transfer of present and past unhealed traumas, lack of parenting skills, broken families and a search for identity and belonging, among young people in particular. Thus, the focus of the trustbuilding project is on inner healing, justice, and trustbuilding between parent/guardian and child - rebuilding trust and broken structures in society as a foundation for a more just and peaceful society.
'Before attending the Inner healing workshop, I had suicidal thoughts. The sessions were painful, however they helped me align my life plans and get inner healing. I got employed soon after my participation, I fixed the relationship with my children and talked about my anger. My home with my children has warmth now and I feel dignified as a mother to be able to provide and know my children are happy when I am happy'.- Female participant Creators of Peace inner healing workshops