Lindwall Releasing Outreach Program

Lindwall Releasing Outreach Programs have taken the gift of Releasing to the townships of South Africa to support those who suffered under the former apartheid regime, and the the areas on New Orleans hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Just as Stephen Marcus and Barbara Kroll were drawn to South Africa (see below), long time Releaser Jeannie Whyte was inspired to spend time in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans and experienced the miraculous shifts which Releasing can bring even, and perhaps especially, to those who have little or nothing.

Since 1979, Jeannie has used the Lindwall Releasing method to help others Release and remove negative and limiting beliefs that keep them stuck in jobs they hate, destructive relationships, or any life situation that is not for their highest good.

In February, 2007 she was invited to the Lower 9th Ward, one of the hardest hit areas of New Orleans, by Hurricane Katrina, to provide a “Releasing” workshop at an alternative Mardi Gras celebration for the homeless, the shelter residents, volunteers and anyone who had found themselves needing assistance. It turned into a powerful week-end that also included clothing donations, a banquet to honor all the people and organizations that had come together to rebuild this area of New Orleans and the Releasing workshop. Even though the workshop was only a short one, we received several letters telling us how much relief they felt from the stress of living through the hurricane and how much more empowered they felt.

Professor Dr. Caroline Heldman wrote saying, "Some members of our organization were initially skeptical that a one-day seminar could make much of a dent in the psychological burden of locals and volunteers, but they soon learned otherwise. Jeannie led locals and volunteers through some meaningful informational sessions and exercises that encouraged them to look inside themselves and release the tension, guilt, and trauma they were carrying. Seminar participants left the seminar full of energy and feeling relaxed. In short, their zest for life was renewed..."

"...I must admit that I was skeptical at first; however, after the first meeting in February, I became a believer. I watched as a room full of Hurricane survivors from the Lower 9th Ward went from anger and fear to calm and a sense of peace. They were able to open up to each other about their pain and frustration and walk out of the room with a feeling of self-empowerment..." Mrs. Jackie Silverman, Director of New Orleans Women’s Shelter


Lindwall Releasing in South Africa

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance...

History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.

- Maya Angelou, from "A Rock, A River and A Tree"
inaugural poem for President William Jefferson Clinton, 1993.

With the historic April 27, 1994 elections and the dramatic inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president, South Africa began to emerge from the terrible legacy of apartheid. Despite this monumental human rights victory, decades of brutal violence, trauma, and oppression have taken their toll on this beautiful nation and much remains to be done in healing deep-rooted pain, conflict and suffering. With their long tradition of service and healing throughout the world, Isa and Yolanda Lindwall took an interest in South Africa in the late 1990s, and found a population eager for growth, development, education and change. South Africa proved to be fertile ground for Releasing, and the seeds of Isa and Yolanda’s work evolved into ongoing projects involving Dr. Stephen Marcus and his wife, Barbara Kroll.

As if by fate, Stephen and Barbara found themselves drawn to work with South African communities that have been profoundly damaged by apartheid repression, police brutality, murder and torture. Yet they also found that these communities were receptive to Releasing, and they could work together in a dignified, empowering and non-patronizing, building strong friendships and alliances. The results were amazing.
  • Releasing helped a former apartheid freedom fighter emerge from prison and encourage youth to leave lives of crime and become productive members of society.
  • Releasing helped a young gang leader turn his back on his criminal past, and in the process transforms other gang members' lives.
  • Releasing helped a widow whose husband was killed by the apartheid police to overcome her grief and find new perspectives on her life, while becoming a leader in her community.
Through trust and enduring friendship, the Releasing work inspired a sense of growth, progress and new possibilities. Many of the people who experienced Releasing found new ways to impact their communities in constructive roles as teachers, husbands, parents, workers and entrepreneurs.


Videos of South Africa Outreach Project:

How Could Anyone? (Loving you, Khayalitsha)
A photo collage from our time in the township of Khayelitsha, Cape Town, teaching Lindwall Releasing. Accompanied by Elaine Silver's beautiful rendering of "How Could Anyone Ever Tell You (you are anything less than beautiful)?" www.elainesilver.com

Releasing in Cradock, Part 1
Lindwall Releasing workshops in the South African town of Cradock in 2007 and 2008. The rural black township is still recovering from the brutal murder of their community leaders Matthew Goniwe and Fort Calata by the apartheid security forces in 1985.

Releasing in Cradock, Part 2
Nomonde Calata, widow of Fort Calata who was murdered in 1985, talks about her experience with Lindwall Releasing and the benefits it has for the community in the black township in Cradock, South Africa.

Releasing in Cradock - 2009
Dr Stephen Marcus and Barbara Kroll return to the rural community of Cradock, South Africa, in 2009 to continue sharing the process of "Freedom Through Releasing" with the community in the township there. The community is still suffering from the murder of their leaders, the "Cradock Four" by the apartheid regime 25 years before.

Ubuntu and Youth for Change
Mandisi Njoli and Zwelitsha "Commander Zet" Mhluthwa, founders of the Youth for Change organization in the sprawling township of Khayelitsha, South Africa, talk about bringing gang youth back from the streets and about the traditional South African principle of Ubuntu.

Zet Mhluthwa talks about Releasing
Zwelitsha "Commander Zet" Mhluthwa, founder of the Youth for Change organization in the sprawling township of Khayelitsha, South Africa, shows Stephen Marcus his home and talks about the transforming effect that Lindwall Releasing has had in his life and the lives of the youth of "Youth for Change".

Background: Zwelitsha Mhluthwa was a General Commander of underground Freedom Fighters during the apartheid era. In 1992 another group was misinformed that he was a traitor. A midnight attack on him resulted in the death of his mother. Attempted reprisals against his attackers put him in jail for ten years. Emerging to freedom in a new South Africa in 2002, he was horrified to find more poverty, crime and violence in the townships, particularly amongst the youth, than under the apartheid government he had fought against. This led him to found "Youth for Change" to assist young people in leaving a life of crime and becoming the "leaders of tomorrow".

Zithobile - former gangster now helps youth with Releasing
Zithobile, now 25 years old, was once a notorious gangster in the Cape Town township of Khayelitsha, selling drugs to youngsters. After serving 3 years in jail, he joined Youth for Change and learned Releasing as part of the Lindwall Foundation Outreach Program. He returned to school and recently completed his high school diploma ("Matric" in South Africa). He tells his story in this video, with comments from the leaders of Youth for Change.

Khayelitsha Township Releasing Workshop
Video taken during the first Lindwall Releasing workshop given by Stephen Marcus and Barbara Kroll to Youth for Change in the township of Khayelitsha, South Africa. Youth for Change was founded by former freedom fighters from the apartheid times to invite gang and at-risk youth on the streets of the township to give up a life of drugs, crime and violence to become the leaders of tomorrow. www.youth4change.net

Documentary: Youth for Change - Khayelitsha
Youth for Change is a project in the Township of Khayelitsha, near Cape Town, South Africa, bringing ex-gang youth off the streets and back to school and into society.

Nomabelu Sopili
Social worker Nomabelu Sopili, who lives in Kuyasa, a southern suburb of the township of Khayelitsha, talks after her second Lindwall Releasing session.

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrica
Infants from the Indlovu Creche and youth from Youth for Change in the township of Khayelitsha sing the South African National Anthem in Xhosa. Subtitles in Xhosa and English.