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Hapi Vorster (South Africa)

Updated: Sep 7


Hapi Vorster (South Africa)

HOPE for me is slowly drowning and someone giving me an oxygen mask while I learn to swim. It doesn’t matter if I sink because I still have the mask and I can just push myself from the bottom of the ocean back up again. Over and over again, until I get the strokes right. EMPATHY for me is when I’m in the bottom of a dark well and not only do you see me down there, but put a ladder down for me to climb up, or you even come down to fetch me. Hope has kept me alive and empathy has made me feel alive. Hope has given me the fuel to want to get better mentally and empathy has given me the vehicle to be mentally healthy.


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Hapi shared their story as part of the #empathyhopeproject, an immersive art exhibition on the impact of our social environments on the health of our minds. Chapter 2 of this traveling exhibition was hosted in Durban, South Africa from 12 March - 03 May 2020, featuring photographic art works by Thabiso Sekgala, Lindokuhle Sobekwa, @WitnessChange & a Refugee Centre in Durban.


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We would love to share YOUR #voiceofhope too - if you would like to be included, please submit a portrait photograph and a 200-300 word insert, that we can include in this series, to empathyhopeproject@gmail.com.