The Amy Foundation: Remembering the lessons of forgiveness and reconciliation
The Day of Reconciliation has been marked since 1995 when our first democratically elected government instituted it to foster unity among South Africans historically divided by apartheid.
CapeTalk's Ismail Lagardien speaks to Kevin Chaplin, managing director of the Amy Foundation (formerly the Amy Biehl Foundation).
The parents of Amy Biehl started the foundation after the American student was murdered during political mob violence in Gugulethu in 1993.
Chaplin recounts how the Biehls reached out to the four young men convicted of her murder, who were granted amnesty after spending five years in prison. Two of them have continued to work with the organisation.
The fact that the parents of Amy Biehl could sit at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) all those years ago and try and understand what caused these four boys to do what they did and then embrace them and accept their humble request for forgiveness and reconcile...Kevin Chaplin, Managing director - Amy Foundation
Forgiveness is one thing, but the next step of reconciliation is such an important one and that's what the parents showed us - that you can reconcile.Kevin Chaplin, Managing director - Amy Foundation
They listened, they then tried to understand what happened with these young boys. Apartheid robbed them of their youth... They became wonderful men - good fathers, good husbands...Kevin Chaplin, Managing director - Amy Foundation
The Amy Foundation runs programmes in the Western Cape to help empower young people from challenged and vulnerable communities.
Chaplin says with children it's possible to melt away the differences that appear to divide them.
To find out more about their work and how you can help, visit the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Listen to the conversation in the audio below:
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