Moving The Work of Byron Katie in Zimbabwe

This coming September and October, I will be taking part in a project in Harare, Zimbabwe. The aim of this project is to use The Work of Byron Katie to help people living with HIV and AIDS reduce their self-stigma. 

Self-stigma is defined as negative self-judgements resulting in shame, worthlessness and self-blame adversely affecting the heath of a person. When self-stigma is present, it feeds a cycle of denial. alienation and fear of disclosure of the sufferer’s status. In turn, this may result in behaviours that contribute to the spreading of the disease.

Self-judgment is nothing more than a set of beliefs a person has about him or herself. Dismantling painful and limiting beliefs is the purpose of The Work, the perfect tool to support people living with HIV and AIDS, and affected by self-stigma to alleviate their own suffering. The Work is perfectly adapted to the African context since it requires nothing more than pen and paper and a willingness to go inside.

This project was born out of a study carried out by Nadine Ferris France, HIV AIDS Consultant and fellow Certified Facilitator of The Work. In her own words, “Self-stigma is a silent killer of people living with HIV and AIDS. It adversely affects the physical and psychological health of people living with HIV and acts as barrier to care, treatment and support”.

Nadine, in collaboration with Trocaire, an Irish NGO, has designed an intervention in Harare and has kindly invited me to participate in its implementation.

It’s been two years now since my last visit to Africa. I am always amazed at how powerful The Work is in an African context and how it can make a real difference in people’s life. I am looking forward to this project and to discovering a new country.


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