News Updates

COVID-19 Response

03 June 2020

To date (1 June 2020) South Africa has over 32 000 cases of people being infected by Covid 19, 16 809 recoveries and sadly 683 people has died. Government institutions, Non-government organizations, Civil Society organizations, street community members are contributing to flatten the curve on this pandemic, whether its bring awareness, handing out food, or just listening to people and giving that virtual loving embrace.

The Institute for Healing of Memories has embarked on a Pilot Healing of Memories Online support initiative that contributes towards the emotional wellbeing of its participants. The support has been the focus on, Individuals who participated in our Healing of Memories Workshops and partner organization members and participants from different programmes of the IHOM. The focus will expand as we learn and reflect on the first phase of the implementation A total of 37 healing of memories active facilitators in Kwa Zulu Natal (KZN) and Cape Town, Western Cape Province went through an upskilling process to equip facilitators with the skills to give support online. 

The training drew on Psychological First Aid during a COVID-19 outbreak Guidance note – of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The training was developed and offered to the Healing of Memories staff who proceeded to train the facilitators. 

This Upskilling Process took place over three days, with small groups of facilitators, using Zoom. Facilitators then were given 5 participants each to contact via telephone over a period of 7 days to introduce themselves and the program and provide the necessary emotional support via calls or/ and in WhatsApp groups.

Over a period of three weeks, we have reached out to 136 individuals from more than 30 communities in and around the Cape and Durban metropoles. The feedback was very positive and encouraging. 

“The lockdown which is linked to the Corona Virus pandemic coincided with the death of my uncle. Though he didn’t die because of the pandemic, but the lockdown rules affected us dearly as the family. This was a painful time for me and my family. We could not get support from friends and neighbors during this time. I felt so lonely during the time of bereavement. This situation was made aggravated by the following: I couldn’t view his body to say my last goodbyes; neighbors couldn’t come in numbers to support us.  

From my conversation with the participant, I could feel that the call came at the right time, as he needed someone to talk to. He appreciated the call as in the family there is no one that he could talk to. He even alluded that he would like to attend a Healing of Memories workshop once this is over.  

I also feel that there are also other people who are feeling the same way as a result of the virus. I see others in my community. This online support is vital as people need a space or someone to talk to.”     


Covid-19 is a big risk to life….People can bring the virus home and infect their family members. People must get tested for it. We are afraid to go to shopping malls, talking to people, and touching things and people. It is not nice to stay inside! I am not too sure, where is the Coronavirus spread!! In the air? In the food? It is dangerous!! We are not 100% safe. Is this pandemic going to stop? No, I am so scared!! I have a lot of doubts… Maybe this is the End of times! Participant

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