Updated: Dec 21, 2022
with the Home For Humanity movement for planetary regeneration at the Trevor Huddleston Memorial Centre in Sophiatown, Johannesburg, Monday, 24 October 2022
A creative participatory EARTH AGORA to mark the deepened collaboration between the THMC and the Home for Humanity movement.
Blog Post written by Violet Kebawetse Mohotloane, Programme Director, THMC
It was such an honour to have several members of the Home for Humanity movement for Planetary Regeneration at the THMC. Not only the community members of Sophiatown, but many people from near and far, from diverse neighbourhoods and townships of Johannesburg as well as from other cities, came to experience the amazing energy and to learn more about the transformative journey of Home for Humanity and to be engaged in this deepened collaboration.
Chairperson of THMC Father Sam Masemola opened the event with a stirring speech on the historic and current importance of THMC in South Africa, and the deep resonance with the Home for Humanity movement’s vision and work.
Co-Founders of Home for Humanity Prof Alexander Schieffer and Dr. Rama Mani introduced the vision, mission and work of the Home for Humanity movement of integral changemakers of all ages and cultures on all continents, whose collective vision is nothing else but to transform our divided world into a united home for humanity in unity with all life on Earth. They explained how Homes for Humanity -have now emerged on all continents and how they are effecting paradigm change and human and planetary regeneration around the Earth.
Next, Dr. Daud and Christina Taranhike, co-founders of Integral Kumusha, the exemplary Home for Humanity in the rural Buhera District of Zimbabwe spoke. The Integral Kumusha (kumusha meaning “homestead” in Shona) features a special emphasis on Ubuntu-based Community-Empowerment, and the Regeneration of Rural Livelihoods. They are transforming the lives of their communities in rural areas through organic farming and regenerative and resource saving techniques. Participants were inspired and really this presentation challenged us, and we were started discussions around decolonizing our minds and finding ways of appreciating our farmlands.
We also heard from our sister Dr. Mayyada Abu-Jaber from Jordan who shared with us the Integral Framework for a Regenerative Eco-feminist Economy as a model based on inclusion, empathy, and care, to create a new feminist and ecological economic system in Jordan and Arab world.
We received a keynote address via zoom from Homes for Humanity
Co- Chairperson - Dr Youssef Mahmoud, former Under Secretary General of the United Nations. He shared his special appreciation of our country and expressed in such a passionate way how Fr Huddleston stood up for the rights of others and how deep our bond from this point will be.
In sum, these presentations by Home for Humanity inspired many of us, and made us to realize that it is within us to change our societies, and that we need to unlearn, to learn new ways of living.
PRESENCE OF POPS MOHAMMED
A great gift of this event was the presence of our own legendary musician, Pops Mohammed, who is a dearly beloved figure for all South Africans. Pops is a close collaborator of Home for Humanity and a close friend of the Co-Founders, Rama and Alexander. Pops had known THMC in the past but had not visited for many many years. Many had come to THMC especially to be able to see and hear and interact with him. Pops said he was very pleased to be here again and see how THMC had grown. He now performed for us for the very first time in this renewed space. He engaged all of us in how rhythm can bring us together.
PERFORMANCE of POPS MOHAMMED AND Dr. RAMA MANI, JOURNEYING OF HOMES FOR HUMANITY ON DIFFERENT CONTINENTS AROUND THE EARTH.
We were in awe to watch Pops and Rama performing together. With Pops’ music, Rama took us to different parts of the worlds in a poetic and musical journey to experience the transformative impact of Homes for Humanity led by integral changemakers on different continents, such as SINAL in Brazil, Pax Herbals in Nigeria, the Kamal Family Home in Palestine, and CORO grassroots women leaders in India.
EARTH ARTIST AWARD TO POPS MOHAMMED
The biggest surprise of the day was awarding the Home for Humanity’s EARTH ARTIST Award to the outstanding South African musician Pops Mohammed. The award was presented by Fr. Masemolo and Chairperson of Home for Humanity, Dr. Youssef Mahmoud. Pops was left speechless, and he felt honoured and was very grateful for the award, and recognition of his lifetime’s work.
THMC expresses gratitude and a warm welcome back to Home for Humanity.
We are honoured and grateful for Home for Humanity’s work. The seed has been planted on many who came to experience that amazing day. We have many people asking when and what is coming next, as this really provoked a different feeling. It evoked in us a hunger to transform and preserve our earth and be able to encompass and preserve the earth. We also realized that as THMC we have a huge role to play and be the change we want to see.
About Rev Trevor Huddleston and the Trevor Huddleston Memorial Centre
Rev. Trevor Huddleston was a remarkable Anglican priest who devoted much of his life to the struggle for human dignity and rights in Apartheid South Africa. Rev Huddleston was based in the historical multi-racial district of Sophia Town, Johannesburg, home to legendary figures including Nelson Mandela and Hugh Masekela, which was razed to the ground by the Apartheid regime. The only building that survived was the home of ANC President and first black African medical doctor, Dr.Xuma, the site on which the Trevor Huddleston Memorial Centre is now located.
Rev Trevor Huddleston’s work in Sophiatown centered around education of all kinds. He wanted to see young people develop to their full potential - whether in music, mathematics, medicine, the arts, or business. Father Huddleston was given an honorary vote in 1994, died in 1998 and his remains are interred at the Church of Christ the King in Sophiatown, where he was based during his time in South Africa.
In his memory, THMC’s programmes have always focused on creating relevant opportunities for youth, while connecting this work to Sophiatown’s symbolic importance as a diverse community, long before apartheid began separating people based on skin colour. Our work is guided by the values of the South African Constitution, and Father Huddleston’s own example of service to others. This includes acting with compassion and integrity, valuing diversity, and using our creativity and resources in ways which build active citizenship, prosperity, and recognition of our common humanity. Our programmes are open to people of all backgrounds and not selected on the basis of any particular belief, faith, or other personal criteria.
We offer the following programmes:
· Youth enterprise development aimed at developing aspiring entrepreneurs who are dreaming of being the next big game changers and ready to activate their own sustainable businesses. It specialises in business ideation, helping entrepreneurs develop and refine their business concepts to develop sustainable business ventures.
· Our Navig8 programme directly responds to young people who remain outside of mainstream work, training, or education. We help them to harness their potential using a 21st century self-leadership approach for building confidence, skills, and energy. This approach enables them to ignite their futures in ways which are realistic and build resilience. Navig8 empowers youth with the mind-set and tools to help them navigate the world.
· Our Arts, Culture and Heritage programmes are designed for people to meet and connect in ways that might surprise them, and open doors for conversations with meaning.
The Centre runs the Sophiatown National Heritage House in one of the only two houses not demolished during the forced evictions. The museum is situated in the original 1930s home of Dr A B Xuma, a medical doctor who lived and practised in the house during the time that he was also President of the African National Congress (ANC). THMC is responsible for the site on behalf of the City, although receiving no grant funding for upkeep and activities from the City. Aside from a standing exhibition on the history of Sophiatown, the work of Dr Xuma and a range of occasional exhibitions, this building offers space for our arts, culture and heritage programs including for school groups learning about apartheid legislation and land. These photos bring our vibrant community and our diverse activities to life.