As I told you, we have a mentor called Ruth. She is like Mother Therese of South-Africa, a really lovely woman who has a lot of life experience. She has worked as a social worker in a prison for a few years, worked in England as a Social Worker and is THE social worker of ‘Ndlovu Care Group’ now.
By telling stories, experiences or the way she approaches life, I have learned something from her every day.
We were talking about the violence and sexual abuse by men , which is a big problem in South Africa.
How should these men be punished?
I asked her, if she believes in the death penalty? She told me she does not believe it will help the world. I asked her, even if your own too daughters are raped? She said: Yes.. I guess, even if that happens to me. I asked her why. She came up with this story which I will share with you.
She once encountered a well off African family with 5 boys. All these boys had an university study. The youngest, a 22 year old, had just graduated. The last day he drove to school changed the life of this family. The family was waiting at the school for him to arrive and receive his diploma. After three hours the family knew something had happened? Their youngest son was kidnapped and murdered. The guys robbed the car and his body was thrown in the bushes. That was the end of his graduation day.
This murder was done by a group of young boys. They were caught and send to prison.
As you can imagine this is a tragedy, a horrible story.. Sadly enough this crime happens daily in South Africa, far too much
According to the statistics:
Murder statistics: South Africa – 60 murders each day (Second in the world, Colombia is number one)
Rape statistics: South Africa – 137 registered rapes each day (Second in the world, United States is number one)
But this family wanted to approach this horrible life event in a different way. First of all they visited the guy who killed him in prison. The brothers and mother talked to this guy. They discovered that this boys family was slowly falling apart. The mother was nearly dying of AIDS .They had a house made of iron plates, with no money, food or water. (This is of course can never be a reason to kill somebody. What this guy did was terrible!)
The dead boy’s family went over to the mother of the guy in prison and talked to her. They brought her to the hospital where they gave her anti-retroviral drugs. They also build a small house with water for this family. They did all this without telling the guy in prison. After a few years this guy came out of prison. He saw what happened to his mother, the house and the rest of his family. He got money to follow a course and got a job. This all changed his whole life!
I know you all think this is an impossible story, but it really happened. Some people are able to put their sorrow behind and try to make something positive of the world.
– The family of the 22 year old boy were able to forgive, support the offenders family and restore family life despite the tragedy.
– Their example shows the neighbourhood that people can change