Let our renowned diversity leader take you through real-life diversity experiences, in Durban, South Africa.
Visit and stay with people, in their homes. Experience life, as they live it.
This is an intensive immersion activity usually running over 2 -3 days which challenges delegates to “connect with humanity” in both meanings of the phrase. That is, to connect with people from a variety of cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds different to your own. As well as to connect in a way that allows you both to express your humanity and to recognize and respect the humanity of those with whom you interact.
It exposes delegates to a series of contexts ranging from street trading in the CBD, through survival strategies in suburban informal settlements and life in the historically “Black” and “Indian” dormitory townships, to the challenges of living on the peri-urban fringe.
It also entails overnight home-stays with families in one or two (depending on the duration of the programme) of the “townships” as well as travelling on local transport. While this may sound like a tour, it is more of a ‘pilgrimage’ and is most definitely experiential learning at its most intense
The programme is led by Jeff Thomas (Sthombesejongosi) who has had many years of experience connecting with people from varying cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds as well as providing others with the opportunity to develop expertise in connecting with those different to themselves.
- “It’s amazing how people who have so little materially, can have so much humanity.”
- “I wish there was a programme like this that I could send my children on so that they had more appreciation for what they get”
- “This is emotionally quite challenging but well worth the effort as one comes away feeling one has made a quantum leap in how to relate successfully to other human beings”
- “The challenge for me is that to operate in different cultural contexts one has to realize that one’s own cultural perspective is not always the best way to inform actions”
- “For the sake of our future as the Rainbow Nation everyone in the country needs to go through an experience like this”
- “Understanding one another’s culture is the key to respecting one another and what better way to gain understanding than through exposing yourself to the lives of people from other cultures”
- “As a Black township dweller I have always been scared to go into the hostels, but I have now discovered that the people living there are no different to myself”
- “I feel I have come away from this experience a better human being than I was before going into it”
- “I had thought that as a White South African I would experience a lot of hostility walking through kwaMashu but I was blown-away by the friendliness”
- “Once you are all sitting together having a drink in the tavern there seems to be no difference between us”
- “How come South Africans are such friendly people?”
- “What I have learnt through this experience has definitely prepared me for my role as a global manager within the international company I work for”