– Community Building –

As the weeks have gone by in South Africa, I have found myself embracing the community of Capricorn/Overcome and really cherishing the relationships I have established on this trip. Throughout this time with my classmates, my experiences in the crèches and the community art projects, I have gained new perspectives on life which has been very impactful for me on this journey.

More specifically, in the past three weeks our group had the pleasure of working on a community sculpture with artist Libre Gutierrez and the township’s youth organization, the Sozo Foundation. Upon starting, the Sozo group immediately welcomed the team with “open arms” and into their organization’s workshop paving the way in teaching our group how to support in constructing the sculpture. This collaboration and team work gave us the opportunity to interact with teens and young adults in the community and in partnership on this project which was very inspiring.

The face of the sculpture symbolizes looking forward, towards one’s hopes and dreams while always reflecting upon the past.
A few of the Sozo boys enjoying the back of the sculpture, which is a boat that gives tribute to the fisherman roots of the township.

Each day that I attended the sculpture project, I was able to work with some talented young people to learn something new about constructing or painting which had once been very challenging for me. With this support from the Sozo boys, I was able to experience new creative outlets giving me the confidence to learn and to explore new things! As I reflect upon this project, I am completely blown away by the team and the Sozo Foundation’s passion and dedication to the sculpture. This experience is something that I will cherish and I am very much inspired to continue doing community art projects in the future.

– Courtney Ockershausen

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