The Narrative Foundation’s work includes:
- Community based projects, in particular Traditional Healers, orphans and vulnerable children, community health workers, home based carers, youths, a crèche and a care centre for vulnerable women and children
- University linked projects
A creative writing project with boys aged between 12 and 14, from the Kleinmond Youth care centre.
The project with the boys includes Narrative Theatre interventions around substance abuse. Alternative ways of communicating through rap songs and impromptu acting are explored as an innovative way of conveying stories and experiences. Their performances are recorded as audio and video and copied onto disc and each of the boys are given a copy to take home during their holiday visit. This serves to build confidence and self-esteem and they are very proud to present their families with footage of their creativity.
Tales of Turning
Jenna-Lee Strugnell was chosen as a Vodacom Change the World volunteer for 2015.
The Narrative Foundation is her host NPO and Jenna-Lee has identified her project as Tales of Turning. She will use Narrative Therapy techniques to identify the challenges that mothers are facing in South Africa. The project will facilitate a safe space where mothers can re-author the stories of their lives and delve into the hidden possibilities which are located within themselves. The Tales of Turning project aims to generate aspiration and confidence in mothers as well as to facilitate a space where they can identify their strengths and skills. The project goals include resource mapping and building links with other groups and agencies.
Jenna-Lee will keep us posted on her progress via her blog.
Singing boosts the spiritual, psychological, emotional and even physical well being of individuals and groups. Like music, singing knows no racial, religious, age, gender or class differences. It actually builds bridges across difference while generating joy.
We are fortunate to have Stefné van Dyk in our midst. Stefné van Dyk is a music teacher who with great enthusiasm teaches large groups of children and young people to produce music. She makes use of guitar, marimba, classical instruments and voices to build bridges between people.
The aim of the creative writing projects is to encourage and facilitate women and children from the rural communities to write stories based on their own experience, within their own communities and in the language of their choice and to empower them by strengthening their literacy and social skills through creative writing.
By reaching a community through small groups of women and children and empowering them to ‘speak out’ by writing about issues that confront them and their community you move from the bigger community into a household and a family level and have the indirect benefits of the project filter into the wider community. Using creative writing as a tool for creating visibility around specific issues such as domestic violence and child sexual abuse promote willingness to address the problems by generating local solutions to the problems. This refines social and organisational network collaboration and co-ordination around existing problems.
Past writing projects showed evidence of increased levels of self-esteem and pride as well as building stronger social bonds within the communities where the projects took place.
So far the following books have been published from these writing projects:
- Budding Words by children aged between 9 and 14,
- The Light of Ngcolosi (Valley of a Thousand Hills) and
- Undabamlonyeni (Stories in the Mouth) by a group of adult women and
- Ukudla Kwendlebe (food for the ear) by a group of young men aged between 20 and 22.