Teacher to translate children’s book on divorce into Afrikaans to heal broken families

Reading Time: 3 minutes

According to Stats SA, Four in 10 marriages don’t last longer than 10 years.

To help children cope with the emotional challenges and confusion that comes with divorce, Natalie Knox (46) a primary school teacher and a counselor from Cape Town, South Africa, now living in Spain, has penned a resource book called the ‘Mending Chronicles of Liam & Emily.’

The colourful handbook, which has an inspiring Christian message, is filled with advice and activities that give children the tools to navigate and express their feelings when their parents make the difficult decision to separate.

Divorce, Knox says, is a trickier subject than we realise, especially when young children are involved.

“Divorce is so common that I find people tend to think that kids can bounce back easily and will turn out okay.  Sadly, in my experience, kids who aren’t given support and a safe space to process the changes and their emotions tend to carry related issues into their teenage years and adulthood.  These stem potentially from unprocessed emotions and misconceptions kids pick up about themselves and their family during the divorce.  These could look anything like feeling as if the divorce was their fault or they aren’t worth sticking around for.” – says Natalie

Teacher and author, Natalie Knox

Translating into Afrikaans

‘The Mending Chronicles of Liam and Emily’, which is currently only available in English, is already a page turner, having been a finalist at the 14th National Indie Excellence Awards in America.

To fulfil her dream of translating the book into Afrikaans,  to reach and heal more families, Natalie has launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy with the help of her friend of over 14 years, Lana Potgieter who lives in Bellville, Cape Town.

“Divorce knows no boundaries and happens in every culture and language. Sadly, resources to help and support families and children are not always easily available in other languages besides English.  Books that deal with such personal and sensitive issues are more accessible and effective for the young reader if it’s in their mother tongue.  So I think that The Mending Chronicles is going to be an incredibly helpful handbook for Afrikaans children who have experienced divorce, as well as a great addition to Afrikaans children’s literature.” – says Natalie

Since the launch of the crowdfunding campaign, almost R30 000 has been raised towards the fundraising target of R70 000 which will cover the cost of the translator, editor, proofreader, designer and the first print run of the book.

“My hope for The Mending Chronicles handbook is that children of divorce can go on a journey with the main characters, Liam and Emily, and work through their own responses to divorce and be equipped to deal with the changes they face.  I am a firm believer in the power of emotional intelligence to help children express themselves effectively so that they can communicate their thoughts and needs and receive the help and support they require.  Spirituality is also part of Liam and Emily’s story, which I hope will be well received by the Afrikaans community. I’m very excited to think that this amazing resource can be made available to Afrikaans children in their own language bringing healing and emotional wellness to the next generation.” – says Natalie

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