On the other hand, I don't want to discount the real and traumatizing experiences that Lwandile has had in his life. When I listened to this story, the part that spoke to my own experiences the most was when the British founder, Tim Conibear said that he wants the youth to know, "This is something that a lot of people go through and something that they can deal with it and cope with it by learning coping skills." As I'm still in the process of accepting my own depression, hearing someone say that it's ok to feel this way, reassures me that I am not alone.
Lwandile's experience with his family reminds me how often these experiences with the family feel normal, especially when we don't see how other families interact. Because Ruth, my brother's home health aid, came to our home and was able to call out instances where she thought were wrong, I was able to feel more targeted anger and had affirmation that my intuition was right. However, for many children, when they witness instances of abuse in their families, they may internally feel that it's wrong but are often powerless or unable to express those feelings. This makes it easier to brush mental health under the rug.
I appreciate that within the Waves for Change organization, the mentors come from the same community and are trained in basic counseling skills. It makes sense that this connection with nature, and sport that makes people concentrate on the present are great tools for therapy and empowerment. It's a creative way to collectively heal from the traumas of our pasts.