Tuesday, 17 October 2017
Identity, Lifeskills and Ecotherapy PDF Print E-mail

iMEDIATE Identity Project

Mabusi is a facilitator for iMEDIATE's Identity Project. The project is being piloted in Wentworth, Durban, with children from the Jae Dance Academy, run by the Wentworth Organisation of Women. Since November 2006, iMEDIATE has run weekly workshops with the children to explore issues of identity, fashion, heritage and social issues in their communities. The project has given rise to a children’s clothing design initiative – Lukka Clothing – that led to the group being featured in the MTN Durban Fashion Week. Click here to read the Lukka story

South Coast Ecotherapy

Since 2004, Mabusi has been a volunteer facilitator for South Coast Ecotherapy, a Section 21 company, formerly known as the Wilderness Adventure Therapy Project. The organisation has 20 members who give generously of their time and expertise.
The objective is to curtail escalating levels of violence and abuse by facilitating the healing of trauma victims through Ecotherapy trails. The focus is on individuals – predominantly youth – to whom more formalised means of therapy are unavailable. Ecotherapy also aims to provide public education about the effects of trauma, to prevent secondary traumatisation and enable empathic intervention.

Ecotherapy trails

The trails take place over three days, generally weekends. Individuals are referred by people working with them either as a result of prior knowledge or because of emotional or behavioural symptoms of trauma. Participants are taken in groups of 12, along with 6 trained trail facilitators (including a psychologist and a social worker) into a natural setting. Essentially they are taken from their customary environment, which fosters their defences and behavioural patterns, to a pure, wilderness environment where these defences no longer apply, and they are able to view themselves and others in a new light.

Through hiking, camping, personal reflection and group interactions, people establish deep personal connections with themselves, the environment and others. This enables them to overcome the primary effects of trauma, which are disempowerment and disconnection. Issues of abuse and neglect are often addressed for the first time on such a trail.

The trails, using natural symbolism, are designed according to the needs of the group. The journey is presented as an external, physical journey, which is at all times paralleled by an internal, mental journey. Individuals recognise that, just as they are able to confront and overcome physical challenges along the journey, so they are able to confront issues in their lives. The group context facilitates reaching out to others when in need and handling problems differently.

Ecotherapy works with a network of NPOs so that participants may be referred to alternative resources as needed. The focus remains on disadvantaged communities and/or individuals, and organisations that work closely with their communities.

Life Hunters

Mabusi is a caregiver and mentor of the Life Hunters Group based in Port Shepstone, on the KwaZulu-Natal Lower South Coast and started by young people concerned about the prospects for their generation. Mabusi participates in meetings, campaigns and dialogues organised by the group in Gamalakhe. Young people involved in this group are part of community committees focusing on issues affecting young people.