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he Babemba Tribe of Africa Healing Circle

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by

Megan Lewis

on 5 March 2015

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Transcript of he Babemba Tribe of Africa Healing Circle

More to Compare
Examples
What it looks like...
Debrief
Let''s hear from you...
The History
What just happened?
Tribal ritual that takes place in Southern Africa
Originated amongst the Bemba people who belong to a large number of Bantu peoples mainly in Northern Zambia who trace their origins back to southern Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The original set up of their communities had villages of 100-250 people. Within these villages there would be around 30-50 different huts.
The Bemba people lived on ideals much like clans, in which a person’s family reached far and wide and a person may consider more than one person their mother or father.
The healing circle is built on several positive attributes; forgiveness, safety, love, peace and happiness.
The Bemba people believe that all humans come into this world as good and that we all desire those things.
The healing circles are built on the belief that when someone makes a mistake or does something wrong it is a cry for help, and the community must respond.
Their way of responding is to get together as a village and remind the person who has wronged of their true nature, and that despite their mistakes they are good people.
Some Comparisons
Here and there... why it works
It works for them because everyone know each other, it's a close community, everyone knows everyone's business
They were raised with this system, it is based on their beliefs.
They believe in restorative justice , an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the involved community, instead of satisfying abstract legal principles or punishing the offender.
This process could be compared loosely to group therapy, though for the most part it wouldn't work well in our society because...
We have to big of a population, people don't know a lot about many people.
If we were to try and get the community together to do this people wouldn't want to show up.
If this was the way in which we treated crime there would be so much more crime committed because you could get away with anything as the punishment is not severe at all. Doesn't fit with the beliefs of our society.
If we used healing circles rather than the legal system, the government wouldn't have any power.

Demonstration
to jump right into things...
Class will be divided into a few groups
They will then pick one group member out to be given a back story
We will give each of those members a back story and instruct them to sit in the middle of the small circles
We will then tell all of the other members the back stories
Then we will instruct each member of the group to say a good thing about the person (physically, related to personality, etc.). These facts can be made up if you do not know the person.
Debrief to see what people think just happened.
The Babemba Tribe of Africa Healing Circle
The positives and Negatives...
CYC401
Megan Lewis, Kathryn Beckmann,
Sarah Edmonson, and Hartley Russell

How it works...
Healing Circle method
“In the Babemba tribe in Africa, when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he/she is placed in the center of the village, alone and unfettered. All work ceases, and every man, woman and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the “accused” individual. Then each person in the tribe speaks to the accused, one at a time, about all the good things the person in the center of the circle has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy is recounted. All his/her positive attributes, good deeds, strengths and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. The tribal ceremony often lasts several days.”
It is direct, the person who commited the wrong doing is approached immediately and is focused on.
Forgiving community enhances positive relationships and ultimately behavior.
It brings people together, and is a healthy supportive way of rehabilitation.
People of the community may think they can get away with everything with this being the basis of behavior modification.
Person could lie about change of behavior, leading to more issues in the future, and breach of community trust.
Example #1: A man has stolen a bag of rice for his family and has been caught. All members of society then join in a circle and place the guilty man in the middle. Individuals then shout out positive words to attribute this man and describe all the good he has done in his life. Words like caring, responsible, dedicated, independent, and generous describe this man and phrases like “Puts others first” and “Good listener”. This can last for several days but eventually the man is accepted back into society.
Example #2 - A child has just punched another kid in the face out of anger. The child is placed in the middle while the rest of the tribe creates a circle around the child. Members then begin to say words and phrases to describe all the good the child has done in his life. Others will say “This boy has always helped with chores in the village” and “Always listens to his elders”. He is intelligent, respectful, hard-working, honest, and kind. Members of the tribe understand that this was a one time thing and the boy is accepted back into society.
Example #3 - A women has not helped out with the daily activities she is responsible for. The women is brought to the middle of the circle for her temporary unjustly actions. Words like talented, admirable, affectionate, motivating, supportive, and considerate are said along with phrases like “Always makes extra food to give to others” and “Always supportive of others decisions”. Individuals then allow the woman back into society.
Comparison to Our Society
here vs. there...
Seeks to restore harmony that involves determining sentences that respond to the needs of the victim, community, and offender
Restorative Justice Program only works if:
an offender admits guilt, accepts responsibility for his/her actions, and agrees to participate in the program
The victim of the crime freely agrees to participate in the program and without feeling pressured to do so
Trained facilitators are available in the community and a restorative program is in place
Main Differences:
People outside the community come in (professionals, mediators, religious communities)
Other sentences over top
Depends on multiple factors (type of crime, consent, remorse)
Different types of programs for different ages and people
Full transcript