WISE – our newly formed NGO gives back
Wellbeing in Schools & Education (WISE) is a newly formed NGO combining Carol Surya and Carmen Clews’ children’s wellness products and passion for making a difference in disadvantaged communities.
For children to access and realize their own magnificent potential and evolve their mental-emotional and spiritual health.
We acknowledge that change has to come from within, and that adults involved in a child’s development (parents, educators and others) also be mentally-emotionally-spiritually healthy.
WISE does not aim to “fix children” – rather we aim to authentically empower them (to become more of who they already are – to reach their innate potential).
Our key function is to effectively facilitate the wellbeing of children and those involved in their development (through comprehensive training programmes that incorporate our wellness products).
A world in which every adult has an inherent sense of wellbeing developed in childhood.
WISE is a registered non-profit company (NPC Reg nr : K2017248459) that seeks funding in order to spread our tools and programs to all children in South Africa (and eventually the world).
With over 2 million orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) in South Africa alone, the need for children to learn practical easy ways to empower themselves and make healthier life choices is becoming critical. Unfortunately, there is a desperate shortage of helping professionals, capacity and wellness resources to assist children (especially those who have been neglected or otherwise marganalized). Our unique products are professionally designed to develop wholehearted children and communities – transforming lives.
Funding enable’s WISE to access disadvantaged communities to:
- teach children how to be happy, healthy and bring out their true magnificence
- inspire children to develop a growth mindset towards themselves, learning and life
- help parents and significant childcare role players understand and discipline children positively
- develop emotional intelligence skills, self reflection and self respect in children
- encourage critical thinking, problem solving and healthy decision making in youngster
- improve children’s self worth and self-esteem
- teach relaxation and mindfulness skills to children
- translate our products into indigenous African languages
- continue to develop and create wellness tools for different ages and group sizes
- build capacity in child care provision agencies and schools to empower children
- to distribute our unique wellness products to child care agencies and schools
- transform the child education landscape through a focus on wellness and empowerment
We aim to reach as many children as possible from diverse disadvantaged communities in South Africa, and the world. Donations ensure comprehensive training and distribution of our unique wellness products to groups of educators, parents, volunteers, social workers or care givers in a variety of communities.
WISE arose as a partnership between Carol Surya (psychologist, author, game developer and Biodanza facilitator) and fellow Biodanza facilitator, sculptural artist, children’s book author and event/festival organizer – Carmen Clews. Their successful companies, Raising Kids Positively and Magnificent Kids, both creating unique wellness tools, dreamt of a new way forward to reach and teach more children and offer help to disadvantaged communities.
We believe that healthy, well-adjusted, competent adults are key to releasing the inherent, magnificent potential in children. Unfortunately, too few adults (including those who work with children) are healthy and well-adjusted. However, by offering adults Personal Wellbeing training, teaching them a postive psychology approach, and supporting them with skills and our quality resources, WISE believes they can make a significant difference in the lives (and learning) of children.
The personal wellbeing of educators and other adults working with children, therefore, is an essential element to, and forms the basis of ensuring children have limited obstacles to realising their natural potential. Supporting adults in their own personal well-being journey ensures that training is thoroughly internalized. Monitoring and supporting participants’ progress and implementation of our resources further ensures sustainability and meaningful change in children and educators.
Our strategy emphasizes both protective and promotive elements that together contribute to child-wellbeing.
The protective element focuses on developing the social, emotional, mental and spiritually health of adults working with children.
The promotive element, aimed at ensuring children have every opportunity to flourish, focuses on building the skills of- and providing the resources for adults to facilitate children’s wellbeing.
The combination of preventative and promotive elements in WISE’s offering provides schools and child care organizations with the foundation, method and tools to ensure measurable staff- and child wellbeing improvement outcomes.
The benefits for educators & parents:
- Comprehensive and holistic stress management skills
- Improved coping mechanisms – in dealing with the demands/overwhelm of teaching / raising children
- Measurable reduction in stress levels (as measured via pre and post stress test)
- Significant improvement in wellbeing
- Inspired to make a difference in the lives of children
- Skills in acknowledging and releasing their own feelings – and thereby helping learners to do the same
- A range of easy physical relaxation skills – for self and learners – that can be used daily in the classroom/home
- Positive attitude changes – from negative/hopeless to positive and empowered
- Improved communication skills – via experiential application of non-violent communication training
- Positive relationship development – within the family and towards child learners
- Positive discipline skills – to effectively teach and raise today’s children
- Increased capacity for compassion, kindness and forgiveness
- Group support and sustainable integration of wellbeing skills learned (via various platforms and interaction with our training co-ordinator
- Internalising a positive psychology, growth mindset approach (used in the design of WISE’s four products)
- Practical holistic tools to improve children’s self-esteem, emotional intelligence and wellbeing
Children benefit by:
- improved self-confidence and self-esteem
- developing emotional intelligence
- better understanding and management of feelings
- learning ability to overcome challenges
- improved communication skills and self-expression
- enhanced relationships (with parents and educators)
- learning healthy values and positive life skills
- learning self-reliance and leadership
- improved independence and self-empowerment
- improved critical thinking and problem solving
- healthy reasoning and decision making
- stress reduction – relaxation and mindfulness training
- improved health and wellbeing
- improved self reflection and awareness
- increased self respect
- increased energy and vitality
- improved memory, focus and concentration
- developing a calm mind – improving inner peace
- improved posture, flexibility and stronger muscles
- developing compassion, kindness and forgiveness
- improved patience
- a growth mindset towards themselves, learning and life
- reduced anxiety and depression
- holistic development
We ensure that our training is internalized by:
- Professional program development – designed and facilitated by a psychologist with expertise in group training and wellbeing
- Training that is highly experiential in nature – considers adult education norms of how adults learn best
- Using internationally acclaimed holistic processes – that have multiple beneficial and sustainable effects on the participant
- Phased module training – educators receive the Personal Wellbeing training prior to our Children’s Wellbeing training module
- Integration periods – between the training days, as well as within each module, ensuring participants have time to apply the learnings in their home and work settings.
- Ongoing personal support of participants throughout the program – motivational quotes sent daily; weekly check-in calls; Skype / YouTube sessions with facilitator
- Sustainable ‘homework’ exercises given to inspire, motivate and
- Follow-up sessions after the integration periods – 4 – 6 weeks after the initial 2 day Personal Wellbeing and after the 1 day Children’s Wellbeing training – ensures feedback, monitoring and evaluation is done after participants have had time to apply the learnings, practise the skills and do the ‘homework’
- Motivation and sharing of success stories among delegates – at the follow-up sessions (as well as via the group chat platforms)
- Completion of evaluation and feedback forms only after the integration period(s)
- Ongoing platform to receive support and/or involvement : participants are encouraged to join the WISE Revolution – to receive training updates, newsletters, tips, resources and opportunities for continued implementation and/or distribution of WISE resources.
We ensure that our training is being implemented with children by:
- Careful selection of participating schools and delegate to the WISE program (introduction talks and application forms ensure buy-in prior to program commencing)
- Contracted Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) prior to participation – which includes commitment to roll out the program to the children during and completion
- Programme runs for a full academic year with each school/child care group : to ensure ongoing sustainability and implementation
- Training participants in easy to use, time effective weekly schedules for implementing the WISE resources into the classroom / organization
- Monitoring of the program implementation – by skilled training co-ordinator via onsite visits and online platforms
The community as a whole is impacted by:
- Happier, healthier, empowered and less stressed adults
- Empowered children making healthier life choice
- Improved health creating increased productivity
- Increased financial independence
- Decreased absenteeism – of both learner, educator and parent (due to stress reduction)
- Decreases in acting-out and high-risk behaviour by learners
- Reduced incidents of aggression and violence (in classroom, organization and community)
- Reduction in incidents of domestic violence
- Reduction in ongoing child abuse patterns (as children are empowered to express feelings/speak out/make healthy choices and potential abusers become healthier)
Three groups of delegates have received a one and a half day intensive training since July 2017 so far (Garden Route and Cape Town, Johannesburg.
Join the WISE revolution. Contact Carol / Carmen to find out more about training.
Bank details: Nedbank, Plettenberg Bay; Name : Wellbeing In Schools And Education; Acc nr : 1153793180; branch code 198765