Vancouver, Canada - Downtown East Side - Community Change Agents
We completed our third Iziko Labahlali - Hearth of the Community program at the Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre July 2012, with 22 new participants and some audits from previous programs. We also checked in on the goals acheived by the first group from a year ago. It was exciting to see them accomplish over 80% of their individual goals as well as making progress on the other goals they had listed.
Vancouver, Canada - Downtown East Side - Community Change Agents
After the two programs Iziko Labahlali we ran in 2011 in Vancovuer's Downtown Eastside we created a video working with the Youth leaders about their experiences with Iziko Labahlali the program. Take a look at the video below and learn about what they experienced during the program.
South Africa - Watch for the next Iziko Labahlali events coming up!
The next sessions of the Iziko Labahlali Program will run in August of 2012 in Cradock, Eastern Cape, Bergnek, Limpopo and Malungeni, Eastern Cape. It will be an exciting trip and we are looking forward to meeting new members of the family. Watch the BLOG for progress and the reports on each event.
The first group in the community of Bergnek, Limpopo attended the Iziko Labahlali program. We are looking forward to working with the 25 people who attended the initial program in the community. Watch the BLOG for the latest updates from members of the group. Watch the BLOG for more information and updates.
Cradock, Eastern Cape Province
In the last two weeks of October 2011 we gathered a group from the original 40 participants of the Iziko Labahlali program and went through the a review and update of the concepts and skills they had learned in the program to help them develop ideas and create additional opportunities in Cradock. Some great ideas are already percolating and we will certainly post updates to what the community is up to next. Your support is welcomed and very much appreciated.
Vancouver, Canada - Downtown East Side - August 2011
The first of our Iziko Labahlali program in Canada took place the first week of August 2011 at the Ray-Cam Community Centre in Vancouver.
14 young leaders ranging in age from 14-20 chose to participate in the first Iziko Labahlali at the Ray-Cam Centre. The group was diverse, made up of young people from around the world. The youngest being 14 recently from Iraq and the oldest turned 20 the second day of the program on August 6th.
Iziko Labahlali means "Hearth of the Community". The program is structured to enable participants of all ages to take a journey through their own lives, using art, paint, words, activities and challenges. We start by creating a picture of how we got to where we each are today and how we arrived at this point. The participants as a group then discovered 'new' things about themselves and other members of their community that they may not have known or paid attention to previously. We talk about 'seeing' people; recognizing the light in each of the people around us and ourselves and creating a pathway to begin, one step at a time, on our journey into our future selves.
To see more take a look at our blog posting...
Cradock, Eastern Province, South Africa - March 2011
In March 2011 we ran the second Iziko Labahlali program in the Cradock community in the Eastern Cape. Iziko Labahlali means “Hearth of the Community”. The program takes structure and lessons from the history of African and aboriginal tradition and the transfer from one generation to the next of knowledge and culture by the elders of the community through story telling. In many instances this took place in a gathering around a fire. The story telling involves the spoken word and the expression of events and emotion through pictures and art to create a picture of the whole that is evokes emotion, acceptance and understanding and approach to the future that comes form the heart.
The Iziko Labahlali program consists of a 4-day intensive and a 6-month collaboration and growth strategy. It is a mindset program designed around our primary sponsor Manzimvula Ventures’ Integrative Strategy Approach.
The experience is made up of the three parts:
- Past experiences and events – My Journey
- Current State – I am a Whole Person
- The Future – Growing my Community and myself
In the transition from the past, to present, to the future we move the individuals who are typically part of a highly disadvantaged community, from their bellies (a thinking process around food) to their heads (igniting thought and understanding) and into their hearts, crating a thought process centered in understanding, compassion, acceptance and a love for themselves and their community.
Take a look at the posts during the session as we will take you through the groups’ journey through a series of stories, pictures and video clips.
Cradock, Eastern Province, South Africa - August 2010
In August of 2010 we conducted our first Iziko Labahlali coaching program.
Two weeks after we completed the program we met all the members of our new family in Cradock at the Masiame Community Centre to check in with each other and share our experiences after being apart for the past two weeks.
As we arrived at the centre there was such anticipation and excitement. We were greeted with cheers and clapping as we all ran up to each other smiling, laughing and hugging each other.
We moved inside and sat around a long table, there was such a chatter and huge energy in the room as we all shared our experiences over the past two weeks. We then went around the table and each person spoke about the challenges they had faced and how they overcame them, about their successes and the changes in how they felt about themselves. Each person shared their experience as we filmed the group.
There was such passion, such emotion and such power as you heard individuals express how they had literally changed the atmosphere in their homes and with friends, how the past two weeks had been the happiest time in their lives for some. Zongezile shared how he had been struggling for nearly a year to find contracts in his construction business and how suddenly as he shared his new found attitude and feeling about himself things just started happening and he now had six jobs going. He shared how he was now talking to his daughter again and how the atmosphere at home is so happy, so positive. In his words he said. “I remember in every interaction and moment to act from my heart and stay out of my head.” Nombulelu shared how after not having her father in her life for most of her life, she found him and talked to him and was able to embrace him one more. Phamala, shared how she was able to go to her Uncle’s funeral and instead of being sad as she usually was, she smiled and was actually happy. The pastor asked her what was different and why she was so happy and she replied,”I live in my heart, I believe in myself and I am happy”.
Others in the group shared how they had now been able to get a job, after years of trying and not succeeding. Elias shared how he decided after previous interviews where he had gone in thinking he wouldn't get the job, he went in this time telling himself he was already hired and he was just there to find was out when to start because he wanted this job so he could learn all about furniture, to be able to start his own furniture manufacturer in the future.
Before leaving each other two weeks prior we had set up a communication system to allow us to communicate and support each other. The system is working and each of the members of the group agrees it is critical for us to remain in communication with each other. We will.
I met with a number of the town leaders we had invited into the session two weeks ago. One decided he would hire one of the group member to work for him, another whom I met with separately because he had not been able to attend the session we did. As an electrician and by the end of our conversation he decided he would take Nini on as an apprentice as an electrician. Nini has been working to achieve this for years. She had not been able to go to University because her teachers had advised her not to do advanced Math and Science in her Grade 12 and therefore she couldn't apply at the Engineering College because of the lack of Math and Science. She has faced huge personal and family challenges over many years and tried so many different ways to achieve her dream of being an electrician over the past 5 years. She had given up and was working to support her brother to go to Engineering College instead. Now it is her turn.
These are just a few of the stories and the activity taking place within the group as they take the steps to direct their own lives and create the future they want for themselves, their children, families and communities.
The next step is for each of the participants to select a person from their communities that they would like to support and helpthrough and along the same journey as themselves. It can be a family member, a friend or anyone they choose that they want to support.
Our next Iziko Labahlali coaching program will be held in Cradock in March, 2011.
Watch this space for more updates coming soon!
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