Healing South Africa: The Institute for Healing of Memories as a Lens for Post-Conflict Trauma Initiatives

Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2011

Department 1

Center for Global Education


This paper investigates how South Africa is attempting to deal with its violent past and present, by way of helping individuals cope with trauma. The Institute for Healing of Memories was examined through a case study and the Trauma Centre for Victims of Violence and Torture was also researched. I inquired first, what is most successful about these organizations’ work, and second, whether these successful approaches could be exported to help a larger percentage of traumatized people in South Africa. My research found that the entire Healing of Memory workshop methodology is successful and would need to be exported as a whole, but that the organization does not have the resources or the funding to do so. The most plausible way to extend its aid would be through partnerships with other organizations that offer different kinds of care. Even so, however, it would be difficult for the approaches of private sector organizations to expand adequately enough to compensate for the lack of government-headed initiatives toward addressing the large abundance of trauma in South Africa.

This paper was written for the South Africa: Social and Political Transformation program.