Learning to write your own history

Life Righting Collective CEO Dawn Garisch and executive committee member Giles Griffin with others.

An organisation that encourages ordinary folk to write their memoirs is starting a branch in Table View at the end of the month.

The Life Righting Collective is a non-profit that was set up in 2013 and runs courses on writing and poetry around the country.

“We want to give people the opportunities to share their stories with others, and this can help heal the world in a sense,” said Giles Griffin, an executive committee member.

He got hooked on memoir writing after doing a course on it several years ago.

“We find that through writing, people from opposite sides of the planet can relate to each other’s stories and this helps better understanding one another.”

He said there was a growing market for memoirs.

“As an organisation, we have published our first book that has short true stories.

“There are around 53 authors that contributed to the book. There seems to be a global interest in people writing and reading memoirs, and we think we can help people in that aspect,” he said.

The organisation gets funding from private sponsors, and the courses it runs are free.

CEO Dawn Garisch said people from different backgrounds took part in the course, and they encouraged those with means to help those without.

“We have apartheid that separated us, gender, sexuality and many more.

“The idea is to get all these people from these backgrounds in one space.

“We can facilitate in bridging that gap,” she said.

Ms Garisch said they used “righting” instead of “writing” in their name because in sailing “righting” reversed a capsizing boat in the same way that they could help people in difficulty whose lives had been turned upside down.