Brand South Africa over the weekend co-hosted the Human Library initiative alongside LEADSA in Sandton.
The Human Library is a global movement that started in Copenhagen in 2000 with the aim to bring human books (people who have stories to share) with the intention to demystify and challenge stereotypes and prejudice through dialogue.
Depot Manager of the Human Library, Ms Madi van Schalkwyk said in a video shared on the LEADSA, “The Human Library is a safe environment to have discussion that have been difficult to have and get people to really understand the type of people they share their community with and work towards social cohesion.”
Topics dealt with are those considered taboo in society, thus bringing empathy and appreciation of what individuals go through in their daily lives.
Play Your Part Ambassador Sophie Kanza participated in dialogues with some of the human books and shared her thoughts on the initiative. “I believe there should be Human Libraries popups everywhere, it is important that we take a moment to talk to each other.”
Speaking on the collaboration, Brand South Africa’s General Manager: Stakeholder, Ms Mpumi Mabuza said, “Brand South Africa is delighted to have partnered with Lead SA on ‘The Human Library’ initiative. This is for the sole purpose of seeking to encourage tough, honest and inclusive conversations amongst citizens in order to contribute towards a unified society.
Some of the human books included living with bipolar, Stockholm syndrome, young single mother, domestic abuse, lupus, embryo killing and these human books were individuals who came forth and volunteered their time and story in order to help guide towards a healing society that is not afraid to engage on what is deemed as taboo.
“This was thought-provoking and totally different, it gets you uncomfortable at first but makes you shift your hypothetical opinion about individuals. People have unique stories to share about their life experiences and all they require is a listening ear without judgement,” said Pumeza Ceza, Brand South Africa’s Strategic Relationship Manager – Civil Society, and a participant at the Human Library.
For more information on the Human Library click here