Empowerment

Breath Water Sound in Laingsburg

17 Supervisors from the Community Work Programme in Laingsburg, Western Cape, completed the very first Breath Water Sound Program in the town, facilitated by VTP graduates Janishtha Gagjee and Vijay Gagjee

Breath Water Sound is a free workshop offered by the International Association for Human Values (IAHV), a registered non-profit organization, that seeks to address the challenges of economically and emotionally distressed communities by empowering them. The workshop incorporates simple, yet powerful breathing techniques to help alleviate physical and emotional stress, as well as simple meditation techniques which help individuals to manage stress and to be more effective in their work.

Some experiences shared by workshop participants:

“I feel good. I think I try to understand my body. I’m a very stressful person and I think I learned a lot in this class about myself, and how to handle things from now on, so it was very helpful for me and my Self. I think from now, I only can be a better person, in my house, in my workplace or wherever I’m going.”

“When I was pregnant with one of my kids, I went to the sister for my usual examination, and she asked me when I lay on the bed, “Why are you breathing through your stomach?” That moment I didn’t understand what the question was, what it means, but from the first session you gave us at the office, I started to breathe through my lungs and not using my stomach, and I can feel the difference in my body. Last night, after I do the practice, one of my kids come and disturb me, but I scream at him and say “Go away, I’m busy”, and he wants to know, “Mummy, why? With what are you busy?”. I said “Just go, I will call you when I’m finished”, and then before I start again, I think about all the things we do through the week and that wasn’t necessary to scream at him. I should have ignored him and go on with what I was doing. So I start over and he came again, then the dog barked and I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t do this, but I will carry on and I just ignore it and after that, I’m so calm when he come in. “Mummy, why are you smiling?”. I just smiled to him and I ask him “Give Mummy a hug” and he give me a hug, and you know, I just feel better. I think it will be a very good thing for us to do the practice. I’m a smoker and I try to stop smoking, but I think it will help, if I do the practice more and more.”

“I think it worked quite well. The body has stamina, energy. It works! I used to smoke every 2 hours, but now I’m smoking three for the day.”

“When I first attend this class, I was feeling very stressed, but now after these past days, it feels like I found my inner Self, my inner peace. No more stress. Now I can focus on something else. I’m feeling great, thank you very much.”

“Voor ek na die klasse toe gekom het, toe was ek baie gestres, gespanne, maar ek het regtig peace gevind. Ek is baie dankbaar aan julle. Baie dankie vir wat julle hier gedoen het.”

“The sessions helped me in fact because at night I couldn’t sleep. I go to sleep and then I lay maybe like a hour, half an hour. But after I done the sessions at home, I’m getting sleep very soon. It helped me a lot.”

“Die sessies het vir my baie geleer, hoe om jou eet gewoontes te “handle”, hoe om ander mense to hanteer en nie jou stres op hulle uit te haal nie, en nou weet ek hoe om my gesondheid te sorg.”

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BWS at Barrington house

Barrington house in Observatory is a home towards dignity in Cape Town.

Offering guests who have come out of primary rehabilitation a home to settle back into reality and find their feet
into job and family life.
At the moment the house has a group of guests including a gentleman who we have been sponsoring on his journey
off the streets and out of addiction that were wanting a healthy way to manage their stress in this changing time of their life.
We secured the time and four guests from the house joined. Art of Living teacher, Dani joined us one day inspiring the group with some yoga and Martina joined created a lively group of inspired individuals.

It was a wonderful program and I was impressed with the groups commitment to take the 41 day challenge the manual suggests.

We will be doing a follow up every 10 days to encourage the group to keep up their breathing techniques and meditation.
We had wonderful feedback, Arlene one of the guests ‘enjoyed the Bastrika breath’ while Barlcay said ‘he had never felt at such peace’. Paula said ‘she could feel the healing in the meditation’. The satsangs were upbeat and fun and all had a smile on their face.
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Breath-Water-Sound Sistahood Project

The team facilitated a Breath Water Sound workshop for the Sistahood Project in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay.

It was a great pleasure to do a Breath Water Sound workshop with the Sistahood project in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay. The Sistahood was started ten years ago to keep girls age 14-18 in school, to help them with their schooling after-hours and to broaden their horizons. There was a beautiful transformation in the girls. Now they drink lots of water, eat less sugar and say they feel calm, more patient and destressed. They loved the games, the La La sound vibration and the deep rest they got on this course. It was wonderful to collaborate with the Sistahood and to have their hardworking facilitator, Thuli Nobexe, participate as well. Thank you to Deanne, Judith, Sandra and Delphine for volunteering their time and to Karina for the donation of reusable pads. We are visiting today for a follow up, just in time for exams!

BWS Sistahood Project

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2018 Christmas Lunch

We were overwhelmed by the generosity, kindness and enthusiasm that made our Christmas Lunch for the Landsdowne Homeless Community possible. With the huge amount of donations received we were able to provide everyone with a warm meal of macaroni & sauce, soft drink, cupcakes, biscuits, chips and a backpack filled with hygiene items. Additional items such as blankets and clothing were also donated.

Michael, the leader from the Lansdowne community said that he had not seen their community so happy before and that they were very touched by how beautifully the volunteers interacted with so much love towards them! We all feel very blessed to have been able to achieve this and being part of spreading the love and joy of Christmas.

Beautiful photographs of the event taken by our 2 photographers Cam Kellet and Warren Wilson.

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Tree planting at the Three Rivers Christian Academy

On 30th November, tree planting took place at the Three Rivers Christian Academy in Vereeniging organised by Annie Hannekom from the Groenpunt Correctional Services.  The trees were donated by IAHV.

Tree Planting

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Breath Water Sound at Mary Kihn School for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

We are for the first time in Cape Town teaching 45 deaf children at Mary Kihn School, a Special Needs School.

We have done some research after having meetings with the school and the WCED and shall modify some aspects as the deaf don’t close their eyes as their eyes become their ears and eyes.

We focussed on the yoga, breathing and sound aspect in terms of bringing African drums and using this vibration to calm them, and an added fun element for the children. The Principal has communicated and said that deaf children need more practical lessons such as yoga and sound vibration and of course the breathing. They are foundation phase as well as older children.

We had incredible feedback from the teachers with regards to the energy levels and concentration of the children. The Western Cape Education Department is monitoring the program and are very happy with the children’s response even after just 2 days.

Well done to to our team volunteers, Francois, Elizabeth and Nomvuyo.

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A day at the Vaal river with 50 “Liggies”

IAHV Vaal held a party for Lewenslig Centre  for Mentally Disabled Adults – a day at the Vaal river with 50 “Liggies” filled with music, sun, food and gifts!

Cynthia from Mimi Fourie Hof who knitted 50 teddy bears for the Liggies.

Livingston from Malawi offering his support for a Liggie.

Anita Hanekom from DCS Groenpunt joined in the festivities of the day.

 

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Breath Water Sound at 22 Barrington Street

It was lovely to teach a Breath Water Sound course over this auspicious time of Navratri and I was blessed to be assisted by Deanne for the sessions and Martina who came to help with the handing out the certificates on the last day which is always special – to have a new face making everyone feel very important!

22 Barrington street is a special place of recovery before that very next step back into “normal” life for many
dealing with addictions and trauma, the BWS course came at a special time as the house councillor
Suzanne mentioned to me at the Obs Pasta Kitchen (a community dinner that happens every Wednesday in Observatory)  that there were many new members to the house making it challenging. I offered the BWS course and she was thrilled asking to start asap!

A few visible changes that we noticed was definitely the focus of the group, especially in one participant who on the first session was unable to remain seated for more than 10min and by the last day never left the session once!
A big everlasting smile landed on the face of another participant on the last day (who was very distant throughout the course) every photo we have she is smiling brightly with such light in her eyes! As Deanne mentioned every single participant  was a very powerful person, from walking into a room of what seemed like broken spirits we left to a chorus of laughs and tremendous gratitude for the knowledge.

We have planned to follow up every ten days as the participants took the forty one day challenge to keep up
their breathing techniques and promises to themselves. The Breath Water Sound course is an amazing opportunity
for everyone to change their lives in a positive healthy way!

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