Friday, February 26, 2010

stories of hope
i have been feeling overwhelmed by the trauma that we are all experiencing lately and i spoke to someone about it who said that one way to cope was to build up a blanket (which can comfort one through this) of stories that have had positive meaning for me from our work . That the need to find and sustain meaning in our work is one way in which we can survive this trauma . So Im writing from our work some stories of hope , the small pieces that give me a great sense of the meaning of our work - that give me energy to go on
So my stories of hope this week are as follows
- It starts with N and G realising that they cannot go on being the only people who engage on behalf of members of the support group with the hospital about treatment rights - that we have to look at ways in which we can all build up others strength to engage and fight for their rights . That if we dont do this - we will simply drown in the demand - it is too great
- it goes on with n - instructing me to stay in the car when she went into St Marys hospital to sort out an issue - and telling me later in great detail why she did this . She explained that if she had taken me in as a white woman it would have made any future interactions with the hospital difficult for her - because the staff would forever have asked her "where is your white friend "- she realised that she needed to stand on her own and fight this fight as a black woman
- it goes on with N and G both saying that they were no longer frightened of speaking to people with education - that they could feel confident confronting doctors
- a conversation with M over lunch at the support group HBCN meeting was amazing - she told me about her abet classses that she was attending in Thubalethu - how excited she was that she was finally being able to complete her matric - and what relevance the courses that she was doing had for her life and work - the ems course she said could help her with her business, she now understood what a "sole trader" was and other business terms - what struck me most forcibly was her quiet confidence , her hope , her belief in herself
- P's confrontation of a HBCn member at the end of a long meeting on a very hot day when everyone including myself just wanted to go home - she quietly pointed out that what he was suggesting was against the agreement that the group had made - that the agreement was important, for the network members had to elect the task group - that this was important so that all groups felt that they had an equal chance of being on the body - that it was transparent fair equal
- G's excitement over her trip to JHb and her acknowledgment that altho she was nervous she coped , that she overcame her nervousness and learned about an exercise which she could teach us, the value of our work and how it ripples out to others - im waiting eagerly to know about this - we need to hear this
- s over lunch telling me about her work in prison - and how she had gone in to the prison specially on friday this week so that a prisoner who was being released on Sunday could give her a letter to the head of the prison thanking him for his time in prison - his treatment and what he learned . S met with the prisoner and arranged that she take him to the section head where he could personally deliver the letter . She also told the prisoner that he had always had the most amazing cell in his block - the "no smoking cell "- where all the inmates carefully made their beds each day , kept their cell clean , where the " air always felt clean and fresh - where there was a sense of hope "The man was exteremely grateful to S that she had valued his need in this humane way
-T excirement about her workshop which she ran oin her own - the fact that peoiple didnt mind about the time , they wanted to know more , that she they were discussing was so important to them
they are small incidents and there are many of them and in everyway each of us take meaning from what we do , what we hear what we see - lets try and focus on these - i feel better already
take care all

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