Robben Island, today a World Heritage Site, and a lesson of hope and reconciliation, is a sobering reminder of a 27 year long struggle which finally saw the triumph of democracy over oppression. “Journeying to Robben Island was like going to another country,” Mandela wrote in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. “Its isolation made it not simply another prison, but a world of its own.” Yet as visitors roam the concrete blocks, and the cell where prisoner number 46664 spent years with nothing but a bedroll on the floor, a tiny stool and a ceramic pot, they are told the story of hope, reconciliation and the power of the human spirit. Today, it is important that students learn about the the ways change has been brought in the past, as we take a step towards action, dialogue and reconciliation.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
The Robben Island lesson is now available on the AVR Platform which can be viewed here.