On the 2nd of December 2017,  a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Siyakha and the IJR to cement a working partnership between our two organisations. We hope that our continued relationship will increase our individual and collective capacity to reach our full potential in our respective contexts of operation.

Siyakha Community Healing Forum

The Siyakha (“we are building”) Community Healing Forum, was registered as a non-profit organisation in 2016 with the broad objectives of community healing, social justice, peacebuilding and social dialogue for sustainable reconciliation. Prior to its formalisation, Siyakha worked closely with IJR to reach mutual social dialogue and community social cohesion and peacebuilding objectives.

Its main and secondary objectives are to offer targeted support to key target groups affected by a series of social cohesion, trauma, moral and other challenges in their communities.

Background of association between IJR and Siyakha 

At the end of 2009, the IJR’s Community Healing Training Course took in almost 200 leaders from 31 of the most vulnerable communities across the Western Cape, in terms of poverty, drug abuse and crime statistics as identified by the then government‘s Social Transformation Programme. Having been equipped with process skills for the collective healing of their communities from the social divisions and traumas of the past, from 2010 until 2016 the Institute continued to support the group and help them develop organisationally.

A year-long impact evaluation study was conducted and it revealed that the impact of the training would likely dissipate if no further engagement was done with participants. A smaller group from the 2009 database was selected using trainee performance monitoring scales developed during the 2009 workshops. The 60 chosen trainees were invited to participate in a roundtable discussion where learnings were presented to the participants, academics and civil society organisations. There was an acceptance amongst all that a mechanism was needed to maintain the networking ability of community leaders who do volunteer work in vulnerable communities, especially with the STP programme having been shelved. Within the year, what had been planned as the post-training support programme for visiting trainees in their communities slowly developed into a network forum that met and deliberated regularly. They focused on growing into a standing forum, calling themselves Siyakha.

IJR’s relationship with Siyahka has grown from strength to strength. We look forward to further collaboration and to deepening our collective potential for honest reconciliation and historical justice.