64-year-old Antonia Charles tragically lost her daughter and grandchild in a fire at their home caused by a candle accident in 2021. This traumatic event left Antonia in deep emotional and physical pain, suffering from poor health and depression. She was repeatedly triggered by the sight of flames wherever she went.
The Church Alliance for Social Transformation (CAST) non-profit organisation, based in Westville, has embarked on a journey to equip their partner churches and organisations to provide psycho-social support to victims of trauma using the Sinoxolo Trauma Counselling course, developed by The Warehouse NGO in Cape Town. Sinoxolo, meaning “we are at peace” in isiXhosa, makes use of Biblical teachings to bring about healing and restore hope to the broken.
When Antonia was invited to attend this course facilitated by members of Kingdom Connect Ministries, CAST’s partner church in Mariannridge, she found it to be a safe space where she could open up about her difficulties. Through taking part in the exercises and spending time with others who could empathise with her, she felt better able to cope with her loss and improve her health. “I learnt a lot in this process. I felt myself release the build-up of trauma. I’m free,” she shares. “People really need this help.”
So far, CAST has been able to train 60 people to become facilitators of the programme in their churches and communities, and encourages more church leaders, organisations, and community/social workers to attend their upcoming trainings.
The Sinoxolo Trauma Counselling course was particularly needed after the devastating floods in KZN during April 2022 which left many people displaced and traumatised. One of the important lessons learned by those who participated in the facilitators’ training is to actively listen and empathise with trauma survivors rather than prescribing quick-fix solutions that may not meet people’s emotional and spiritual needs. “I learnt that, as I go through my own pain, I can also help others go through their pain and talk about what happened to them, and in the process, helping them heal,” shares BG Goba of Proclaimers of Salvation Ministries. In areas plagued by ongoing violence, gangsterism, and substance abuse, Tanya Endley from Kingdom Life Ministries in Mariannridge believes that the programme “will change things in [her] community. This is the key.”
Contextual Bible Study
The CAST organisation has a vision to journey with local churches to restore the justice and peace of God in the world. We long for God’s Kingdom of peace and justice to come on earth as it is in heaven. But we
ask ourselves, what would it look like if His Kingdom were to come?
In addition to the Sinoxolo Trauma Counselling programme, CAST has also committed to journeying deeper into what the Bible teaches us about addressing current social ills and traumas. CAST runs a Contextual Bible Study (CBS) course which explores how Christ followers can co-create a vision for our neighbourhoods and communities by studying scripture in its historical context.
Initiatives like these are made possible through the generous giving of CAST’s regular donors and fundraising events.
Here’s how you can get involved:
CAST is a registered NPO: 085-077 NPO and Section 30 organisation under the Income Tax Act. Donations made to the organisation are tax deductible under Section 18A (1)(a) of the Income Tax Act. For more information, email email@example.com, call (031) 266 8830 or visit cast.org.za.