News Updates

Healing of Memories Reflection: Malvin Mazaranhanga from Zimbabwe

14 August 2020

Healing of Memories: Online Support:

The second round of online Healing of Memories in support for the wellbeing of community members, our work was successfully implemented in three provinces; KwaZulu Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng. 

In Gauteng the online psychosocial support, Healing of Memories follow-ups (reunions) with participants who attended the Healing of Memories workshops in Gauteng between 2018- 2019, organized through our Namibia office, St. Benedict, and Sizwe Nyawenis.  The ever so flamboyant Sibongile ‘Bongi’ Mkwanazi organizes  Healing of Memories workshops but also gives support to other IHOM initiatives in Gauteng. 

What has become self evident is the need to support the facilitators, giving support in a more holistic manner. A series of workshops are underway to give emotional support to the facilitators. This is in addition to debrief meetings that take place after facilitators have engaged with members of the community. The focus on self-care has become urgent. The need is increasing and so has the demands on the facilitators. 

Piloting: Online Healing of Memories workshops

Despite the cancellation of the International training on the Introduction to the Healing of Memories Methodology, the Institute conducted its first online training in Africa in June and July with tremendous success. 

Nine countries were involved:  South Africa, DRC, Burundi, Angola, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Liberia and Namibia, with 27 attendees. Unfortunately our partner from Lesotho was unable to attend.

This was a mini pilot workshop, providing a deeper experience, and serves as an experiment to see how effective these could be via Zoom technology.

Pilot: Online Healing of Memories workshop (Abridged version)


Reflection: Malvin Mazaranhanga from Zimbabwe

Firstly I would like to thank you and the Healing of Memories family for giving me this opportunity to learn about the work you are doing and affording me the chance to be part of such a worthy cause. Reflecting on the mini workshop, it’s very comforting to note that countries in Africa are trying to find ways to deal with the pains of the past with the intention of healing their communities. 

The need for such an intervention was thoroughly emphasized by the stories shared and the impact these past experiences have on people's lives today. I personally felt that though most, if not all participating countries at the mini workshop have already started this journey to heal their communities ,there is need for a collaborative effort for us to achieve our desired goal which is a healed and united African community. 

The other thing that made the workshop very enjoyable was noticing similarities between the two models of healing workshops i.e Healing of Memories and Aqua Healing.The processes are almost identical that one can easily conclude that they are ideas from one person. 

During one of the discussions the lady from Malawi raised a very important question about creating a safe space for people to share their stories. Her worry was that how best can we do this so as to reduce the risk of hurting the very people whom we intend to help by maintaining confidentiality and can we guarantee this on behalf of other participants who hear their stories. This made me realize that there is still a need for equipping facilitators with tools to help them deal with such issues especially when it comes to situations involving group participation. 

Even though the workshop was via zoom I could feel the compassion and warmth from everyone and the passion that people have towards healing their communities and creating platforms that allow people to move on and create better memories. I'm really looking forward to the next meeting and I can't wait to learn more from you guys and the teams from the other countries. 

Reflection: Tumo Bopape from South AfricaDrawing: This session created space for me to think deeply about myself, other people, and what surrounds me in light of the global pandemic. I guess I have to confess that the idea of the workshop to get us to express our feelings through drawing seemed like a challenge at first but  helped to awaken interest in self-reflection. The background music set the tone and sort of advanced the process in that it helped me to relax; and the nervousness soon disappeared.  

It’s not always easy to reveal what is within vs what is in the mind. Feelings are essential elements in recognizing who we are; but, it is not easy to find the tools, which will let us externalize them; as it is common that we do not often know how to express what we are feeling. Through drawing, I was able to translate several internal aspects of myself that verbal language could not project.  

Plenary session and breaking into small groups:The exchange of experiences through the drawings on the other hand helped to strengthen once expressive ability. I also enabled us to link external issues to several aspects of our personal lives.

Felicity our facilitator asked intimate questions like, what did I do? What was done to me? And what did I fail to do? In answering these questions through our drawings we were expressing and describing our feelings, which is not the same thing. In essence, we were projecting who we are in the face of COVID19.   

Plenary session:  Issues/ Feelings/Questions:This session has helped me to identify destructive feelings and feelings that can be life-giving. The massage that I received from this session was that we do not have to keep destructive feelings within ourselves otherwise they will consume us but we must be able to let go and cherish that which is life-giving.

Closing ceremony:This little ritual left me thinking about the essential workers who were called to service in the frontline against COVID19. It doesn’t look like COVID19 will leave us anytime soon but in absence of faith, there is hope for a bigger and brighter future.                

Verbal evaluations:With our participation, the facilitators were able to easily nudge us towards a particular point of view.   

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