First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sally Scott for the time spent with our participants at the centre. She changed her normal 3 day course to a 4 day course to accommodate the participants realising the need for the extra day.
Our first day was probably the most revealing to both of us. I thought it would be a good idea to give the participants the opportunity to listen to my life story first, thus making it easier for them to open up and share their emotions and experiences without feeling intimidated.
Well, all I can say is that the outpour of pain that we had, was an absolute eye opener.
The Red Shoe workshop is based on the book by Hans C. Anderson, telling the story of the girl with her red shoes, how she made them, lost them and to what extent she had to go to get rid of them in the end.
When I decided on who would have the privilege of participating in the Workshop, the language barrier was the most important aspect that I had to take into consideration. I randomly chose students from the centre, i.e. Afrikaans and English literate persons.
Starting on the first day, we spent the entire day listening to the lives of each of the eight participants. Emotionally it was one of my most exhausting experiences ever. The abuse, poverty, and literal torture that most of these people have suffered was once again, an immense shock to us.
As a result of this workshop, we have one of our ladies in a safe haven from last week, she is leaving the abusive relationship and is receiving treatment. In 2009, he partner physically abused her with a wooden pole and caused bleeding to her brain. She could see no way out, but has taken her first steps to recovery.
The other lady, moved out of her home on Monday this week, into a shack with her three babies, and is starting her life on her own. She is so positive about her future now, and it is an eye opener to see how many of the centre people who participated in this workshop have stood with her during this week. They have been collecting basins for her to wash her babies, and old plates, cups etc. We got a two plate stove for her today, and her new, but difficult journey has begun.
Once again I would like to ask you all to open your pockets, and help a family find peace and security in their short lives on this earth.
God Bless you all.