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Sheila Downey

Sheila Downey

Week 3: We're Not Giving Up

by Bailey Robbins |  June 13, 2017

Week 3 has been one of new experiences, learning, and growth. I learned how to change a flat tire (this is a hard lesson to learn when you can't find anyone who speaks English!), how to find my way through small townships without street signs, and how to sit with people in their pain.

Marking Five Years Since the Marikana Massacre, 16 August 2017

 

LONMIN MARKS FIVE YEARS SINCE THE MARIKANA MASSACRE WHILE THE AGENDA FOR REDRESS REMAINS INCOMPLETE: 15 August 2017

Lonmin’s event on 15 August 2017 to unveil its plans for commemorating and learning from the Marikana Massacre was an impressive affair that was addressed by the company’s CEO, Mr Ben Magara who explained that with five years having elapsed since the "sad event" of Marikana, it was now time to celebrate the lives of the deceased and to make the Marikana tragedy a catalyst for change. The focus of the event was the unveiling of plans to construct a “GREEN BLANKET” MEMORIAL SITE encompassing the Wonderkop and two adjacent small koppies. The plans are creative and interesting and would provide for a place to be visited by a global audience that has wrestled with an occurrence that seemed inconceivable in a country that had shown the world how to solve problems through processes of dialogue and negotiation. The ‘garden of remembrance’ with its benches for reflection bear a close resemblance to the Memorial of the Rwandan Genocide in Kigali. While the mining company at the heart of the tragedy of August 2012 is moving on, the views, concerns and lives of the widows themselves, have seen some limited improvement. Many of their concerns have, however, not yet been fully addressed by either the company or the state.

Week 2: Squeezing Lemons

by Bailey Robbins |  June 3, 2017

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." At 5 years old I could never quite get this expression right. When something went wrong, instead I would say "When life gives you lemons, squeeze a lemon out of it!" Close enough. It caught on, and my mom and I have been saying it ever since. 

I've been squeezing a lot of lemons this week. Week 2 of living without heat (it's winter in South Africa!), an oven, stove, or washing machine, which were all promised to me by my landlord, has felt like life giving me lemons. Adjusting to life in a new country without the comforts and people from home can be hard. But every day at Khulumani, I'm reminded to squeeze a lemon out of it. With each new day I am inspired by the bravery and perseverance of the people I meet. 

Being a Khulumani Summer Intern - Bailey Robbins

Bailey Robbins, a rising 2L at William & Mary Law School, was born and raised in Vermont. She graduated from Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts, with a degree in Children’s Studies and a minor in Education. Through her involvement with local non-profit organizations addressing poverty and homelessness, Bailey developed a passion for human rights work.  

Bailey will spend the summer in Johannesburg, South Africa, working with the Khulumani Support Group. Khulumani is a membership-based organization of more than 100,000 victims and survivors of Apartheid-related gross human rights violations. Khulumani’s mission is to build an inclusive and just society in which the dignity of people harmed by Apartheid is restored through the process of transforming victims into victors. Bailey will be assisting Khulumani in addressing legal issues surrounding a nation-wide movement they have recently taken under their umbrella, called “Destitute Ex-Miners in South Africa.”

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Khulumani (KSG)
Fri Aug 18 10:23:16 +0000 2017

Being a Khulumani Summer Intern - Bailey Robbins - Week 3 Read more on her blog here:... https://t.co/KWEMIZKL29
Khulumani (KSG)
Wed Aug 16 11:47:16 +0000 2017

Marking Five Years Sine the Marikana Massacre, 16 August 2017... https://t.co/0bFCtsO0qQ
Khulumani (KSG)
Wed Aug 16 11:39:09 +0000 2017

POWA app provides emergency services to gender-crime victims... https://t.co/LjO4kDfVqN
Khulumani (KSG)
Tue Aug 15 06:17:20 +0000 2017

Today the Khulumani women's empowerment workshops commence in Khayelitsha in Cape Town Metro with Khulumani's... https://t.co/KZtkziWsVz