Peace and Disarmament

Back to listAug 14, 2011

Women in South Africa Reach Out for Peace

Participants folding paper cranesParticipants folding paper cranes to wish for peace

SGI-South Africa women and guests gathered at Cape Town's Greenfield School on August 14, for an event that focused on the construction of a peaceful society, the prevalence of violence, and the history of nuclear weapons in South Africa. This one-day event was held at Greenfield School.

A presentation was given by Jaqueline Dommisse, development director of Hearts and Eyes Theatre Collective and director of SADAKO - a play that combines video projection, puppets and live actors. She introduced the true story of Sadako Sasaki (1943-1955), and spoke of the challenges she faced in directing this emotive story. Sadako died of Leukaemia at the age of 12 in the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. To express her wish for a future of peace, she folded 1,000 paper cranes.

At Greenfield School in Cape TownAt Greenfield School in Cape Town

On display were posters depicting the history of nuclear weapons in South Africa, one of the first countries in the world to voluntarily dismantle its nuclear arsenal. The posters, created by SGI-SA member Odette Herbert, also included information about nuclear weapons at the international level.

After introducing the Victory Over Violence (VOV) campaign, SGI-SA member Yaliwe Clarke facilitated a discussion about creating peace in our daily lives. VOV was created in response to the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, USA, and aims to empower individuals to identify and counteract the roots of violence in their own lives.

The event finished with the folding of paper cranes, a symbol of the wish for peace and, in this case, the determination to establish further links with people and organizations who work for peace.

[Adapted from an article in the October 2011, issue of Life to Life, SGI-SA; photos courtesy of Odette Herbert]