Listening to your heart

"Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love" ~ Rumi


Our heart knows our true purpose and actually reveals it to us when we are silent. We do not have to go and seek it, because it is already inside of us. All we have to do is listen!

Our mission at NDT is to nurture, teach and develop with purpose and by listening to the call of our own heart as well as those who are crying out for help.

“We have no doubt that the facilitation of greater awareness and educating our future generation is the most effective vehicle for change!” ~ Naomi Kieswetter

South Africa’s high levels of violence‚ HIV, alcohol and drug abuse - underpinned by a context of poverty‚ inequality and unemployment - are posing huge challenges to children aged between 10 and 19‚ according to UNICEF.

At the heart of many of these social ills resulting in crime, unemployment, hopelessness, and poverty lies a breakdown in the nuclear family.

High divorce rates and absent parents amount to lack of guidance and values instilled in children and young people, which has a ripple effect in our society, for example teenage pregnancies and substance abuse from a very young age.

There is no quick fix for relational and familial issues and the lack of a moral compass, however as members of the community we can work together in our individual capacity to empower and instil in our children the fundamental and core values,  raise their own individual level of self-awareness and self-worth which in itself will give them the foundation for a better future.

At NTD our programs aim to:

  • Unlock the individual’s own potential in sustainable ways that will bring about enduring change.
  • Teach future skills to empower and create sustainability
  • Empower victims of gender-based violence and domestic abuse
  • Evoke long term excellence.
  • Inspire, motivate, nurture and create 

Children’s Self Development Initiative

Our programs are based on a holistic body mind and spirit approach and has been designed by integrating mindfulness, authentic self-empowerment, breathing techniques and metaphor story-telling facilitated in such a way that children as young as 5 years can benefit from these sessions. We customise our facilitating style to suit the age range of the children in the group.

Research shows that practising focused breathing in a mindful way with children supports stress, anxiety and tension, increases focus at school, and positive prosocial behaviour.

It can also be a great way to connect children and young adults with their family members during stressful times

Research further proves that teaching kids Mindfulness has actually been found to change brain function positively in the areas of the amygdala (emotions), hippocampus (learning and memory) and prefrontal cortex (self-regulation). These areas are of prime importance for a child’s growth and well-being cognitively, socially and emotionally. There is no question of if teaching a child mindfulness is worth it.

NTD had the opportunity to partner with Masakhe Foundation, who runs the Safe Place for kids as an after-school care facility in the community of Klapmuts, and facilitated the 1st Self-Awareness session a few months ago.

As the children arrived, I was immediately touched by the warmth with which they greeted each other and the Masakhe volunteer assistants with a great big hug, including myself.

The children at Klapmuts Safe Place are of primary school age and therefore they were not expected to sit “quietly” for an hour listening to me as a facilitator. 

The session started with an explanation of the importance of Self-Awareness; that it involves “tuning in” to our feelings and thoughts and understanding of ourselves a bit better. The children started opening up, participated and engaged with great excitement in the activities that followed.

The children enjoyed the interactive games focusing on becoming aware of their 5 senses and breathing and the divine intelligence with which we were created. They were made mindful of their inner potential and how they can use it to calm themselves in times of stress.

Researchers have linked the ancient practice of self-awareness and focused breathing to calming anxiety, improving mood, boosting energy levels, improving focus, increasing productivity and improving sleep quality, to name just a few benefits. All of these things are vitally important to developing minds. Plus, once kids hone the skill of these awareness and mindfulness practices, it becomes second nature, and is an important tool for kids to use throughout their lives.

With our programs, NTD aims to develop and give kids these skills to enhance their general well-being and living well despite their challenging conditions.

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This edition

Issue 58