In collaboration with other local organisations, the Institute for Applied Alchemy (IAA) participated in an event at the Marlboro Community Hall in Alexandra on May 20th. The live event was inspired by the ongoing 3H Project jointly led by the IAA and Humble Smile Foundation. The purpose of the event was to reach out to the community of Alexandra Township and positively influence the importance of establishing a healthier life through the three healing themes; healing the body, healing the environment and healing our relationships. In doing so these three concepts are fundamental building blocks in addressing the root causes of gender-based violence (GBV). The City of Joburg, Elderly Forum, Department of Health, Humble Smile Foundation, Africa Grain and Seed (AGS), Vashto Flowers, Centre for Global Business Women, Forum 4 Social Solutions(F4SS) and the IAA each spoke to different themes at the event.
AGS drew on the importance of nurturing the environment stating that, “We need to take care of our environment, it is important to recycle, not for us but for our kids.” AGS donated 2600 seedlings to the elderly forum as well as F4SS’s as part of healing the environment.
As the event continued, many other representatives took to the mic to speak to other important aspects of leading a healthier life, these included talks on the importance of nutrition and the Covid-19 Vaccines.
Co-host and executive director of the IAA, Chantel Oppelt took to the floor to address the community on the importance of healing our relationships. This was one of the themes that spoke deeply to the relationships we have with ourselves and others whilst also focusing on the underlying causes of GBV.
During her segment, we were introduced to the Forum 4 Social Solutions, a men’s forum that was founded by one of the community members in Alexandra Township. The founder Charles Mphephu identified issues of gender-based violence in his community and established an organisation that educates and inspires other men to be good men, who protect women and serve their community. “We at the men’s forum, we do not judge people, everyone has a story, we are here to make solutions,” said Charles.
One of the pivotal moments of the event included an exercise whereby the volunteers within the men’s forum, a member of the IAA, Tristan Jacobs and Chantel began a conversation around healing and fear in relation to the experience of safety and gender. The dialogue between the group was both impactful and powerful for many of the individuals present as it brought about the significance of healing and creating a space of safety and peace within the context of gender.
“When we speak about gender-based violence, I want to encourage us to remember these men that live among us, who are willing to lead and go to where they are called. So, when we see them on the streets we must encourage them,” these were the concluding words of Chantel after the exercise came to a close.
Other special features of the event included a presentation by the Circle for Global Business Women an organisation that encourages and teaches other women to start a business and managing director of Vashto Flowers, Joy Armitage, spoke about how flowers can be a source of healing in our lives.
All in all, the successful and heartwarming event and the introduction of the 3H Project equipped, enriched and educated the community of Alexandra Township in ways to establish a sustainable environment with seeds and soil and by establishing wholesome relationships with the idea of healing and ensuring a better environment for our future.
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