From Dr. Carter:
“South Africa is a country still in transition recovering from over five decades of the most oppressive, violent form of legalized racial segregation in the world. In the twenty three years since the end of apartheid, the country has sought to bring about reconciliation, healing and growth as the three, previously separated white, colored and black racial and national groups struggle to understand what true equality means in the new South Africa.
It is not coincidental that even given this painful and traumatic past, South Africa represents, in my mind, a crucial way station on one’s spiritual journey. With the spiritual guidance of Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa learned early that only true spiritual repentance and reconciliation would lead to health and survival of the nation. How do you forgive and embrace your enemy and oppressor? How do you transform hate into love? How do you assuage national guilt to birth a socially equitable and just nation? How do you grapple with the injustice of economic disparity? I believe South Africa’s national spiritual journey is a map for one’s individual spiritual journey. The South African experience is transformational. In South Africa, one learns that transformation is an on-going process and, if embraced completely, is a spiritual way station filled with question, growth and hope.”
Participants will learn about and experience the rich history and culture of South Africa, participate in game drives, visit the townships, aid in community service activities, and much more.
Between March and June 2016, the group will have a series of lectures that introduce them both to pre-apartheid, apartheid, and contemporary post-apartheid South Africa. They will also begin their own group fund raising to both support their trip and to increase their “giving” capacity with school materials and clothing they will bring as donations to South Africa. Over the summer they will have a summer reading list to keep them focused with an email discussion group. Between September and December, the participating youth group members will work on they feel they will get spiritually and what they will give spiritually to all those they will encounter in South Africa. From January through the in-country experience, they will prepare presentations and discussions they will offer to St. John’s, at their high schools and hopefully, the greater Hingham and South Shore community. Post trip, we will have a short series of “back home” debrief sessions.
The goal of this preparatory period is to give the participating youth background knowledge on South Africa and to enhance their awareness of their own individual and group spiritual journeys. The entire series, including the in-country experience is designed to have them place themselves in the wider global community and to understand the global meaning of hope and faith.