The second group that we have been working with is the Namibian P.E.A.C.E Center. PEACE stands for People’s Education, Assistance and Counselling for Empowerment. Their mission is to assist people to overcome the negative impact of organised violence, including war, that has impacted the lives of thousands of Namibians. Our society has over the last years witnessed a steady increase in suicides and violent crimes, some of which may be attributed to unresolved psychosocial trauma. PEACE’s purpose is to ensure that people affected by violence and other traumatic events have increased access to psycho-social services and that there is an increased understanding of the impact of trauma.
In an effort to achieve this mission the PEACE Center has partnered with The Institute for the Healing of Memories in South Africa. Healing of Memories was created at the same time as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa to allow everyone to tell their stories of violence and abuse under the apartheid regime.
Penny and I participated in a Healing of Memories Workshop in mid January co-facilitated by PEACE and Fr. Michael Lapsley the Director of Healing of Memories. Fr. Lapsley is an Anglican priest who became a victim of the apartheid government in 1992 when he was sent a letter bomb intended to kill him. He lost both his hands and an eye but through that experience has developed a new vision of reconciliation. I encourage you to read his short bio at The Forgiveness Project. After attending the workshop, which included all manner of people from Namibia who had been affected by apartheid, Penny and I decided to help sponsor the next workshop with money that had been donated to our mission fund. We gave $5000.00 USD to the PEACE Center for a training in early March. It is an amazing project and we are happy to be involved in the long term wok of reconciliation in Namiba.