News Updates

Commununity Healing

03 June 2020

Listening to the people we have spoken to during our healing of memories support meeting we identified the following issues as the most pressing from them.

  • The fear of contracting the virus, fear of knowing friends, family members, and neighbors who might die because of the virus. Fear of dying especially those who had been identified as the most vulnerable the older people, those with pre-existing medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and people living with HIV/AIDS. For those living with these conditions the continuous spotlight on their condition make it harder for them and their families. Lack of income due to the national lockdown are having a major impact on how people are managing to survive. The loss of livelihood, the indignity of waiting for handouts to make ends meet is a bitter pill to swallow for many. Being dependent on the generosity of others, whilst grateful it still leaves people feeling helpless and powerless.
  • Many people expressed feeling emotional, depressed, anxiety creeps’ due to lack of food available or access to the food parcels. Having enough to eat every day has become the focus of every day.  
  • Not having protective gear, e.g. Masks and gloves. Not having the money to buy it. 
  • Not being able to go to work, as there is no one to look after the children as all the schools have been closed during the lockdown. Then the fear when the schools do reopen the children will be vulnerable to contracting the virus as some have to travel by public transport taxis, which are usually packed. Having the money to send children to school.
  • Frustrations that essential food items have increased which makes it very difficult to purchase.
  • Because of COVID19 cigarettes has been banned, and people feel that it is unnecessary as smokers use smoking as a calming mechanism to deal with stress and anxiety. 
  • Spending religious days at home, for example, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Eid. Not being able to go to places of worship during these days, as it is a source of strength for many people. Mother’s day was another day that family members couldn’t see their grandmothers or mothers as it is usually a very special day of celebrations.
  • The anxiety when seeing others not taking this virus and lockdown serious in the community….”It’s like they are all on holiday”.
  • Feeling despondent and frustrated with the government, waiting for the UIF to be paid. The fact that there is no income in households.
  • Some participants have indicated that old wounded memories during this time have been creeping up: reminders of the apartheid struggles, not being allowed to walk or even shop in certain areas. Walking with a letter to clarify if you going to work. The visibility of the police in the communities and the way they treat people when they are outside.
  • Gender Base Violence erupting in homes and not being able to escape. Being forced to stay in dangerous situations.  
  • The fear that children might be in abusive houses and not being able to leave. Nobody is looking out for the children.

Yet, amidst the gloom, there are rays of hope in the communities and peoples lives:

  • Community members are rallying to assist and or creating feeding schemes.
    Supporting those who don’t have food. *Assisting the elderly to do their shopping, collecting their medication, checking in on them. *Connecting people with organizations that can assist with getting food parcels.
    Making of the mask and distribute it to families and children that don’t have, for free. 
    People are embarking on food gardens in and around their homes. 
    Family members connecting to one another, sharing of family stories (happy moments) and playing family games.
    Still having a job and being able to provide for the family with the income and also to assist others who are in need.
    Writing and playing music and sharing it on Facebook or WhatsApp with friends and family. *Assisting others with protective clothing like gloves and masks.
    Prayer has been a great source of strength for most individuals.

About Us

The Institute for the Healing of Memories seeks to contribute to the healing journey of individuals, communities and nations. Our work is grounded in the belief that we are all in need of healing, because of what we have done, what we have failed to do, and what has been done to us.

Contact Us

  • Institute for Healing of Memories
    5 Eastry Road, Claremont,
    Cape Town, 7708, South Africa

  • +27 21 683 6231