The Breath Water Sound (BWS) program seeks to address the challenges of economically and emotionally distressed communities by empowering them. The first step towards empowerment is stress-elimination and inner confidence. This is where the Breath-Water-Sound workshop comes in.
Simple breathing, sound relaxation, and meditation techniques are taught to relax the individual.
"From what the participants say it looks like for some of them life will never be the same after this course.
It gave hope to those that were lost in hopelessness, lost in despair, joy to those who were surrounded by misery, peace to those whose life was in turmoil."
- Zethu Xapile, Hospital Manager, Mitchell’s Plain CHC
Read more Waves of breath in Mitchell’s Plain
These techniques teach people how to handle negative emotions such as anger, regret and depression. By dealing with these emotions, there is a sense of peace and relaxation. What follows is mental clarity, confidence and focus to find solutions for challenges faced in the rural areas – be it substance abuse, infrastructural problems or lack of basic amenities.
When empowerment starts with individual transformation, it is sustainable. For communities are made up of individuals and empowered people naturally lead their communities towards progress.
A major component of the workshop is to foster community development and service. The values of responsibility for oneself and the needs of others, teamwork, sharing and service are kindled through a number of processes. This ensures that a strong community spirit and ownership of society is built, with cultural appreciation encouraged. On closure of the course, participants choose to contribute to a group community project with the aim of uplifting and empowering the community in which they live.
Breath Water Sound Workshop has been successful in:
Reducing alcoholism and drug abuse and abusive behaviour patterns
Increasing, energy overall health and mental well-being
Reaffirming basic human values
Inspiring greater responsibility and a feeling of belongingness
Building communities and the community spirit
Breath Water Sound provides support for those living with HIV/ AIDS:
by alleviating depression and stress of those living with AIDS and their caregivers, family members and the community
by boosting energy and the immune system
by providing education on proper nutrition which empowers people to take better care of their bodies
a strong sense of belongingness is fostered, encouraging people to share their status
In South Africa BWS program has been rolled out to schools, churches, rehabilitation centers in the Gauteng, Pretoria and Cape Town areas.
“I was so very excited and anxious to start the programme. We then started the exercises my body was very sore but I was still enjoying myself. As the days past on my mind got very relaxed and relieved. I am grateful of becoming one of the people who got knowledge of this wonderful practice.“
- Sipho-E sihle Ntamo (19yrs)
“My experience in this programme has been so amazing in a way that from the 1st day I was not able to do some exercises but now I'm able too as well as sleep well. Another significant thing is that I'm able to deal with stress without doing treatment.”
- Lelethu (17yrs)
“The workshop was very much empowering, it has changed the way I see life and the resources that are available to me every day. The workshop has opened a new
experience, sleeping well, being more relaxed and a clear mind”
- Mkhuseli Mhlekwa
C J Cronje Building – Johannesburg
The BWS Course was held specifically for young ex-offenders from Social Development, City of JHB Region F, who are being reintegrated into society as a result of their challenges experienced. However, these ex-offenders have no income to take care of them and their families need. The BWS Course, this has encouraged them to participate in projects, forms part of the local government’s attempts to address poverty reduction and promote self-reliance.
There were many successful BWS Courses held in different areas in Cape Town from Highlands House in Vredehoek, James House in Houtbay, Community House in Salt River, Zerilda Primary School in Lavender Hill, Yabonga HIV/AIDS Youth Centre, Saartjie Baartman Home, Arcadia Community Hall in Jeffries Bay and Baphumelele Children’s Home in Khayelitsha March 2013 to November 2013.