“Ubunto, and Amy Beihl Foundation/ Violence lectures

We began the class day with a lecture given to us by Kevin Chaplin who is currently the head of the Amy Beihl Foundations here in South Africa.  Kevin has been a success wherever he has been placed.  He raises up corporations and businesses that are struggling to find that key ingredient and leads them to success.  I thought that it was interesting how much hard work Kevin put in outside and inside the office.  He went to such extensive measure to ensure that he was giving all he had to meet a goal that was set before him and the company he was with.  An example of this is the dinner that he put together for all of the nursing home patients that FNB (the bank he worked for) put on.  He said that the responses he got after this dinner blew him away with inspiring words and encouraging comments.  It was clear the rest of the day that he had drive and a passion for whatever he did.  He constantly talked about this idea of “Ubunto.”  This means i am a person because of other people, along with other translations that Kevin shared with us.  Overall it is this principle that he believes we are called to live by at human beings.  Do what is right, love your fellow man and show care for him etc.  It was evident that Kevin tries to take this modo everywhere with him in the business world and it has almost become a creed that he lives by and his successes prove it to be successful.

Our mid day lecture was given to us by a professor from the University of Cape Town (UCT) names Leon.  He brought two people with him, a woman who was a sociology professor and another man who was working on his doctorate.  His topic was violence and the entire lecture was very attractive.  He did a fantastic job with making the lesson interactive by constantly involving the class in some way.  He started his lecture by telling us to go around the room and say our name and any big question that had been stirring in our minds up to this point on the trip.  And throughout the rest of the lecture he continuously asked for feedback which kept everyone awake and attentive.  Outside of the actual content, i was simply blown away by how well he was lecturing.  He held my attention the entire time.  The presentation was informative, interesting, short, and i learned from it.  I thought it was very interesting during his presentation how he was talking about poverty and what that causes for individuals.  Examples were robbing/stealing, gang involvement etc.  I think it was so interesting to see how i could match those actions up with some of Max Neef’s fundamental human needs that we learned about at UCT almost a week ago.  People rob and steal because they are trying to fill the need of subsistency.  People join gangs because they might be trying to meet the need of affection, or participation.  It was encouraging to see what i learned a week ago here in Cape Town be used and applied to a whole other lecture that a different person was giving.

-H. Gray

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