“Receiving God’s Love is like breathing in. Responding to the suffering of others is like breathing out. If I do the one without the other, I will pass out”
-Living without Enemies
What does “I’m there for you” actually mean.
Living without enemies identifies four models of engagement:
Working for (the professional services model)
Working with (more of a partnership our joint venture model)
Being with (actually being present with those who suffer)
Being for (like academic models of advocacy, lobbying for change)
The being with model is the model with highest potential for trust. Being with the disadvantaged, injured, hurting or oppressed means experiencing in our own lives something of what it is to be disempowered, injured or oppressed. It means setting aside our own strategies and plans for change and simply feeling with the disadvantaged, injured or oppressed the pain of their situation. It involves seeing the implications poverty, injury and oppression has for people’s sense of themselves and their connections with one another-not only their material well-being. It means seeing tensions and contradictions within and between disadvantaged, injured or hurting people and more advantaged people and recognizing through this that all of us are part of the problem. Poverty, injury and oppression is not just out their. It’s in all of us.
Being with goes beyond working for, working with or being for people. It means experiencing in our own bodies some of the fragility of relationships of self-esteem and general well-being that are at the heart of poverty, injury, oppression and trauma.
It means having the patience not to search for the light switch, but to sit side by side for a time in the shadows.
In the story of Job, it is often overlooked that his much maligned comforters saw the depth of his suffering and “they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights and no one spoke a word to him because they saw his suffering was great” (Job 2:13)
Being with is incomprehensible to a world where working for is trumped over everything else. We even do it in our own families. Our innate response is to jump to fix and solve the problems of others when the most profound healing might spring forth from simply willing to be with them. Alone. In the dark. Side by side. Sitting on the ground.
We are terrified of divesting ourselves of all we “know” and all the “wisdom” we can impart. That is after all how we “help” others.
Of course there is value in working for and working with. There is profound value in being for. But being with. Just hanging out. Being present in pain as much as in joy. We miss so much. If only we knew what would bring peace.
The being with model says “Let’s not wait until all the fixing and solving is done. Let’s make these discoveries now. Let’s hang out”
Maybe this is where the healing begins. Can we for a time suspend our search for the light switch? And just sit alone in the dark. Side by side. On the ground. With each other. For as long as it takes
Being with is the basis for everything else. It says “I am for you. I will work for you. I will work with you. I am there for you.”
Unless we are prepared to sit in the dark, on the ground, side by side with those who are disadvantage, injured, traumatized or oppressed, our words, “I am there for you” lack integrity.
If only we knew what would bring us peace.
As always, peace.
References: Living without Enemies, Sam Wells
If you are currently registered with ADR Network SA as a panellist, please send in an update of your specific offerings and areas of interest or speciality, from workshops to dispute resolution services
We will be publishing updates on our website and all our networks this week, so it’s a good time to harvest some work
Please send in to email@example.com by 12pm on Tuesday 24 March 2015 for publication on Wednesday morning, statistically one of the best times to get news out
It’s all happening next week in Joburg and Bloem. All registrations for the five day mediator training or the one day Court Annexed Mediation as well as new Distance Learning Registrations on the Thursday must be in like yesterday. But if I apply a little Grace you have a few minutes left.
Email urgently Training@adr-networksa.co.za
2. Corporate Social Investment: Education is an Access to Justice issue
Corporate Social Investment:
If you have any available CSI spend please consider the following before you close off your year. The spend enhances your BEEE rating but more than that you will be empowering teachers in KZN. Here is some info. Please contact David Roome (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are willing and able. Please also share on all your networks:
In summary, Thuthukisa was started 3 years ago, hosted at Highbury as a poverty alleviation project. We have seen huge favor in many aspects, but would like to see it grow substantially.
The teachers responsible for school readiness in our province are among the least qualified when looking at national levels, with the highest learner-educator ratio against all other provinces. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but KZN has the largest numbers of school-children in the country – almost a quarter of the country’s at 3 million whereas GP as the next largest has just over 2 million out of 12 million countrywide.
Investing in teachers has a huge rate of return. Our teachers on average have a dependency ratio of 30:1 learners:educators. So for every rand you spend, you impact 31 people. We have 300 teachers in the project at varying levels of education.
The dept. of education does not employ teachers who are not qualified with a degree in education. This means that all unqualified ECD teachers (the majority) earn a monthly stipend of R700 – R1500 per month from the dept. of social development.
This is the group who we are entrusting the future economic potential of our country to.
Placing a child in school at grade 1 with no mathematical or basic language literacy skills sets them up for failure. The system is designed around a basic understanding of concepts.
This project does multiple things – trains teachers to educate rather than baby-sit; formally increases their education level so that they qualify to be formally employed and earn a salary; raises the standard of education and school-readiness and directly improves the lives of the teachers; and improves the success level of learners at school.
Half of matrics drop out of school without completing matric. SA adds 1.5 million school-leavers to the economy per year. Only 1 million jobs have formally been added to the economy since 2008 when a million had been lost. Unemployment at 18-24 age is 80%.
This project, long term will significantly increase the chances of learners to gain an education and be economically attractive to the workplace.
We are fully accredited BEE for any CSI spend. We can also assist with learnerships (enterprise development) and Skill development spend. Legislation is changing and in May, i understand companies will be required to spend 6% of their salaries & wage bill on skills development. Please consider this mechanism to invest in the economy your children will be a part of.
The tax year ends in a few weeks and any spend needs to be made ahead of this to qualify for potential rebates.
I would really appreciate your help and support in this. If you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact me. If you know of someone in your network who needs to meet a better scorecard level or is passionate about education or poverty alleviation, please forward this opportunity to them.
3. Community Courts and ADR
We are rolling out some informal projects at the Community Courts
Our Dear Friends,
I greet you in peace and trust the start of 2015 has been a good one for you. Herewith some news and important updates:
1. Website Compromise
As I sent out my last communication, our website was hacked and our ISP took it down temporarily. Whilst it seems all the info is still there, our webmaster is rebuilding the backend so I look forward to learning about new stuff we can do with it. Apologies if you could not access that news
2. Upcoming Training
16-20 Feb Jozi/Durban/Bloem.
9-13 March Durban
16-20 March Cape Town/PE
The cost is R 11 999 for the full days or R 1000 for the Thursday which can be undertaken as a one day on Court Annexed Mediation for those with prior training
Please note we now have 6/12 or 24 month payment options on the five day programs
3. Distance Learning
This is a year long program which is content-rich and research based. It can be undertaken over a shorter period and there are a number of specialist elective areas to choose from
Contact times are optional but 4 half days are included at no further charge throughout the year
We also plan to use the webinar platform more strongly this year
Cost is R 11 999 or payment over 6/12 or 24 months
4. Tough Minds, Tender Hearts conference
This is for lawyers, ADR Practitioners, Activists, Creatives, Gardeners and others interested in developing full spectrum peace-making. It will be an amazing time to either advance what you do or establish yourself in the work of Peacemaking
5. Administrative Requirements
If you need certificates, assessments, material or anything else of an Admin Nature, Sipho Madlala is your go to guy. Contact him on email@example.com. His Cell number is 0820927425
6. Facebook and Twitter
Daily I publish useful info on all my social pages. From available jobs, to needs we have in matters which are sometimes pro bono, and also significant court judgements or info on public hearings. I also post some interesting anecdotal stuff and its a great way to engage the world in what we do. If you would like to please follow me on Twitter @sheena_ostjon or friend me on Facebook Sheena St Clair Jonker. You can also follow me on Pinterest or Instagram where I often post the more visual aspects of where we go and what we do. I am very happy to share work that you do that advances ADR, Restorative Justice and Access to Justice.
7. Access to Justice
The need out there currently exceeds our capacity. If you are keen to help resource our work in any of the following ways, please get in touch:
1. Offering Pro Bono ADR or Legal Services
2. Offering Pro Bono Research Services and Legal Opinions
3. Financial Donation. We are a registered NPO
4. Being willing to make copies, deliver and serve documents
5. Writing Opinion Pieces on specific issues
6. Pro Bono Creative Services and Journalling
7. Helping us to fundraise and raise awareness
8. Being available for emergency relief in small ways or big ways
9. Any other ideas are welcome
Please get in touch via email using the relevant heading in your subject line
8. Refer a dispute to mediation or arbitration
We have trained mediators and arbitrators all over SA
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, Peace
Mediator Training accredited with ADR Network SA and The Access to Justice Association of SA:
16 to 20 Feb Durban/Jozi/Bloemfontein
16 to 20 March CT/PE
Included Court Annexed Mediation
To register EFT FNB 62488968888 br 223726
Amount: R 5999 if paid immediately ( ie 50 % discount) ; R 11 999 after 24/12 or R 1200 if paying over 12 months.
Court Annexed Mediation on the Thursday of each Program as a stand alone is R 1000 for those who have done prior 40 hour training. Payment reference is Surname/Centre/CAM