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Stories are the way to reach out to people and connect emotionally. Hearing someone’s story helps us understand who they are and where they come from. We discover more about the events and people that shaped their lives, and we learn about their hopes and dreams for the future. We find out who they are at a deeper level, and our view of other people and the world we share is expanded.

Stories are all around us. They are what move us, challenge us, anger us, make us feel alive and inspire us. We use stories to make sense of life and the world in which we live. As individuals we all relate to stories because our lives are stories.


In South Africa today, sharing our stories unlocks the power to understand each other. Understanding is one of the best tools to break down the prejudice, racism, xenophobia and social unrest threatening our nation. Over time, growing in understanding can decrease our suspicions of each other and build up trust and better relationships.

By asking, listening and telling our stories, we can embark on a process of deepening our relationships. When our relationships are characterized by understanding, acceptance, respect and love, they become a powerful treasure, for us and for our greater communities.

Jesus Christ was the greatest storyteller of all time. Using His example, and with the aid of the methods offered in this toolkit, we can use personal storytelling to rebuild and reconcile our nation and continent.


Sharing our stories is a deeply personal process. Ideally, we should be left feeling empowered, connected and affirmed after sharing our stories, not misunderstood or hurt.

For that to happen, a safe space needs to be created. Three values are crucial in creating a safe space for sharing our stories: Respect, understanding and trust.

These values is what is in our mind when we talk to individuals around the world, whether sharing stories in a group setting or on a one-to-one basis.


At PITSTOP, the Centre for Values Promotion, we believe that getting to know each other’s stories is the first step towards breaking down the misconceptions and prejudices that divide us. What’s your Story? is an initiative to build understanding and, ultimately, trust and reconciliation through the sharing of our stories.

Outreach ministry is the practice of looking beyond yourself to the people around you and sharing the love of Christ as you serve and connect with your community.

Personal storytelling gives us a non-threatening foundation from which we can have authentic conversations on overcoming racism, prejudice, xenophobia and other issues that divide us.

Growing up and living in South Africa offers us two choices: to have hope and believe for the best, or lose hope and believe it’s all doom and gloom. We choose hope. Our day-to-day experiences may be challenging, yet Scripture assures us, this too shall pass.

As Christians, we have a God-given mandate for reconciliation. We are especially challenged by 2 Corinthians chapter 5:

Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. … So, we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view … And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. (verses 11, 16, 18 – New Living Translation)

PITSTOP work close together with heartlines and receive extensive assistance, support and material to build a better community. Our latest program is “Fathers Matters