Yasushi Naito, Consul for Japan in Cape Town, handed over a new room to the Institute for Healing of Memories in Claremont on Monday July 3.
The expansion of the institute was funded by the Government of Japan through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) Programme.
The Institute for Healing of Memories was founded in 1998 by Father Michael Lapsley.
The new room will be used as a seminar or training workshop venue.
The Embassy of Japan says it highly regards and respects the work of the Institute for Healing of Memories, which empowers individuals and communities by applying methods and experience born in South Africa at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and giving healing to victims of violence related to gangsterism, xenophobia and domestic violence; by remembering the past injustices and healing psychological injuries which redeem the past through prevention, empowerment and rehabilitation. “It is a great pleasure for me to be here for the handing over of the workshop and seminar room to the Institute for Healing of Memories,” said Mr Naito.
Father Lapsley, director of Institute for Healing of a Memories, thanked the Japanese for the gift.
“On behalf of the Institute for Healing of Memories, I would like to express deep gratitude to the government and people of Japan for this very generous gift that we are receiving today. When we first bought this building as a physical home for the institute we realised that there was space available where we are now that would enable us to expand without jeopardising the heritage status of the building in relation to the façade,” he said.
“Up until today whenever a group of visitors came to the institute all my colleagues who share office space had to stop working during the visit. Even more importantly we had to hire space for any seminars or programmes that we offer with our facilitators and in particular the restoring humanity programme that we do with young people. Now we can begin to plan programmes throughout the year that will use this space.”
The Government of Japan decided to support the organisation through the grant assistance amounting to R955 667. The expanded workshop and the seminar room will be used to heal trauma victims from disadvantaged communities of the Western Cape.