Monday, May 2, 2022

Youth, Peace and Security: Psychosocial Support and Societal Transformation

"Youth, Peace and Security:  Psychosocial Support and Societal Transformation" published by Brandon Hamber; Denis Martinez; Marlies Stappers; David Taylor; and Thomas Unger is now available online.

This paper explores the key issue of mental health and psycho-social services (MHPSS), from a youth-specific perspective. Drawing on the assertions and recommendations of the YPS Progress Study, and coupled with the increasing attention to MHPSS within the sustaining peace agenda, this policy brief pays special attention to the role of youth-specific psycho-social services as a vital dimension of transformative youth resilience, essential to both addressing the consequences and prevention of violent conflict.

This is a report commissioned by Interpeace for their Outside the Box: Amplifying youth voices and views on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) policy and practice series.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Leaving in Four Parts

Part I

In a thousand invisible places
A charcoal sketch follows me
I am welded onto
A black and white
Willow tree
And obvious
I see me
Through the eyes of a black woman
Ambling a Joburg street
A white child on her back
Passing electric fences
Caring for them all
She collects the Indian Ocean
In a Coke bottle
It wakes me
Splashes over me
Squeezes me into glass

Part II

In a thousand invisible places
The streets preoccupy me
Jacaranda trees are me
Expanding with me
From the top outwards
The purple shade is me
A beast beats
Inside me
Jests with me
Taunts me
I’m not a Gnu
I’m a fucking Wildebeest
You tell me
Powerful on the plains
But with puny legs
Prancing on powder
Vanishing into a mineshaft
With the speed of a mamba

Part III

In a thousand invisible places
The Durban whaling station follows me
The blubber is me
Moving through me
Pink foam echoing secrets about me
Silencing the beeps
An electronic fish-finder
Radiates me
The lines of Indian fisherman
Ensnare me
Humour me
Undercurrents are me
Knots and spark plugs
Weigh down on me
Nothing will bite
Drifting bait
A powerboat is needed these days
Time won’t wait

Part IV

In a thousand invisible places
You beckon me
I am not me
Neither hard
Nor kind
Neither organic
Or designed
Reimagining all of me
I’m running now
Hightailing it
Leaving the big sky
That protects me
In another world
I won’t have to kowtow
I jump the doorway
Landing securely
On clay

Published by Brandon Hamber, Botsotso Magazine, 24 March 2022