The NMF Centre of Memory and Dialogue community conversations are a continuation of work started in late 2007, focusing on HIV prevention. In 2009 the Foundation launched a series of conversations that focuses on creating social cohesion in communities where xenophobic violence is a problem.
The conversations are preceded by social mobilisation events and culminate in dialogue, which provides the opportunity for the community to create concrete plans to tackle the issues and to prevent the outbreak of violence in the future.
March 25, 2011 – Following a successful pilot project by the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s dialogue division, it is proud to announce that case studies written by its head facilitators are now available on the website for download.
January 10, 2011 – Following the outbreak of xenophobic violence in South Africa in 2008, the Nelson Mandela Foundation started a series of facilitated dialogues in those communities most affected, in an effort to build social cohesion and understanding between South Africans and foreign nationals. The Foundation has just released a book capturing this two-year-long process, its achievements and challenges.
September 15, 2010 – The media’s portrayal of xenophobic attacks was one of the controversial issues discussed, together with questions around the role and the rule of law and justice, on the second day of the “Dialogue for Social Change” seminar, hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation at the Protea Hotel Parktonian.
September 15, 2010 – The Nelson Mandela Foundation hosted a two-day seminar to wrap up their two-year-long community conversation social cohesion pilot programme.
May 13, 2010 – “Why would they do such a thing? Here we are seeking solutions and they attempt to torch us. This is not the mind of a person who is really interested in resolving issues. These are criminals hiding behind service delivery protests.” These words, from a participant in the Nelson Mandela Foundation-supported community conversations on social cohesion, expressed the disappointment and shock that lay at the heart of the Leandra community after attempts by arsonists to burn the community hall participants had gathered in to discuss challenges their community face.
March 19, 2010 – The second community conversation to promote social cohesion was held in Diepsloot on March 16, 2010. This follows on a conversation held in the same informal settlement on February 25, 2010.
March 15, 2010 – The Nelson Mandela Foundation convened a National Consultative Meeting to reflect on the challenges and opportunities for building better relationships between South African and migrant communities, following their successful completion of 25 community dialogues in five provinces.
March, 4 2010 – A fight over a girl leads to one man being stabbed to death and the perpetrators hiding, because they anticipate the community’s response to the killing. Proving their fears, the community hunts them down, finding them as they’re about to hand themselves over at the police station, where they’ve fled to find refuge.
March 2, 2010 –The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) held its first Diepsloot township community conversation, after the xenophobic violence that rocked the community in 2008.
February 25, 2010 – The small town of Leandra in Mpumalanga, South Africa, stands at a crossroads.
February 12, 2010 – The third community conversation event for Durban’s Albert Park community became a joint celebration of the rights of individuals, as it took place on the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. This was a timely event for the community, which, after going through a series of action-planning exercises, was looking to create a better future.
February 12, 2010 – Yesterday, on the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, the community of Walmer Bay township in Port Elizabeth convened at the Human Dignity Centre for its second community conversation.
November 5, 2009 – “It’s only us who can really understand our challenges and come up with appropriate solutions. The time for talking is over. It’s now time for action.”
September 14, 2009 – “They need to come and cough out what really hurts them.” These words, from a participant in the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s community conversations on social cohesion, aptly express what the series is for. It creates a safe space where ordinary people can open up and talk – and start to act constructively.
August 24, 2009 – Albert Park, a culturally diverse suburb in Durban where many immigrants live, was the setting for a community conversation on August 15 to promote social cohesion among residents.
July 17, 2009 – Media stereotypes about migrants and the need for government to condemn violence more strongly were discussed at the first meeting of the Social Cohesion Reference Group at the Nelson Mandela Foundation yesterday.
The six-day workshop, from Tuesday, May 19, to Sunday, May 24, looked to gather feedback from the teams on the facilitation of the community conversations to date, and to review the theory and application of the CCE methods and tools used in the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s community conversations programmes.