Last week I got the opportunity of visiting the Amy biehl foundation in cape town South Africa and it was a really inspiring visit. I’ll start off with how the foundation came up. Amy Elizabeth Biehl was a Stanford graduate who had won a Fulbright scholarship to come study in South Africa at the University of western cape. Amy aimed at empowering black women during the time of apartheid in South Africa.
On August 25th 1993 as Amy drove a friend back to Guguletu township outside Cape town, she was attacked by a black mob and stabbed to death. In 1994,Amy’s parents ,Linda and Peter started the Amy Biehl Foundation in order to continue Amy’s work which was to empower people in the townships, aiming to reduce violence in the townships. Four of Amy Biehl’s murderers were convicted to serve 18 year sentence but were pardoned after four years of their sentence. The Biehl family supported the release of the killers and believe it was apartheid that murdered their daughter and not the young men. The Biehl’s had two of the killers enrol in programs with the Amy Biehl foundation
The Amy Biehl foundation runs after classes for children from townships. These classes include dance, music, drama, art and foundation classes for kindergarten children. The children come areas such as Guguletu, Nyanga and Manenberg in cape town and get the opportunity to take weekly music lessons at well established music schools in cape town. They also have after school sports programs like swimming, golf and hockey and education programs for example to improve on their reading skills,older kids read to the little kids to improve their reading skills and also act as mentors.
The Amy Biehl foundation used to impart skills such as wielding and brick laying however due to funding they were not able to continue with such programs because of funding.
Amy’s mission really touched my heart and her family’s initiative to carry on her work was also amazing. And also her family finding true forgiveness in setting free the murders and starting the amy biehl foundation in south Africa.