Believe it or not, there is something called ‘World Laughter Day’, which is usually celebrated within the first week of May each year. Everybody knows that laughing feels good, but few realise how valuable these simple tools can be in improving our everyday wellness and wellbeing. Laughter cannot heal or solve anything, but it can help to heal and dissolve everything.
Health benefits include the following:
- Produces a general sense of well-being – If you laugh a lot, you’re going to be more of a positive person, and this can impact your life in so many ways.
- The release of endorphins is triggered – Endorphins are the natural painkillers within your body. They are released when you laugh. This can help you to feel good all over while easing chronic pain at the same time.
- Boost T-cells – Laughter can also boost T-cells. These are specialized cells in your immune system, which are simply waiting to be activated. When you laugh, T-cells are brought to life, and they can help you to fight off sickness.
- Improve cardiac health – Laughter is an exceptional cardio workout, particularly for anyone who is not able to do other types of physical activity because of illness or injury. It will get your heart pumping, enabling you to burn around a similar amount to the calories you would burn while walking at a slow to moderate pace.
- Work your abs – One of the advantages associated with laughter is that it will tone your abs. The muscles in your tummy begin expanding and contracting when you’re laughing. This is like when you exercise your abs intentionally.
- Reduce stress hormone levels – Aside from this, a reduction in your level of stress hormones is another benefit! This helps to cut the stress and anxiety that impacts your body.
- Lowers blood pressure – Last but not least, laughing can lower your blood pressure. This can reduce your risk of a heart attack or a stroke.
CPI SA participated in another beach clean-up initiative by the Helderberg Ocean Awareness Movement, in aid of the Animal Welfare Helderberg. The Helderberg Painted Rocks also hid a couple of painted rocks, and some of the painted rocks were given to children who participated in the beach clean-up. There was great entertainment by the Drumba Rhythm for Life, and talented fire dancers from the Fire & Flow Studio in Somerset-West. It is always such fun to participate in the beach clean-up, knowing that you are caring for the environment and supporting local talents.
The biggest culprit is plastic waste. According to the UN Environment Program (UNEP), 300 million tons of plastic is produced every year, and not all of it is recycled. To put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. It is the responsibility of every one of us to ensure that pollution is reduced. Once again, it starts at home.
Tiny Bits Baby bags donation
Our Tiny Bits baby bag project is an ongoing project which will be held throughout the year. CPI SA prepared 6 baby bags filled with diapers, wet wipes, bum cream, a dummy, bib, feeding bottle, clothes, shoes, socks, blankets, and a soft toy, and donated the bags to the Helderberg Baby Saver.
The story of the Helderberg Baby Saver stems from when a Somerset West Neighbourhood Watcher, Judith Cross, was the first responder to the scene when Baby Amber was found, newly born, and dumped next to the river in Somerset West in early 2014. She was covered in ants and would have died soon, had the dog of some vagrants not sniffed her out, and they then immediately raised the alarm.
A week later another abandoned baby was found in the Somerset West CBD, and this prompted Sandy Immelman to try and help prevent dumping of babies in the area by installing a Baby Saver. Sandy Immelman and Judith Cross approached Choices, who deal with crisis pregnancies in the Helderberg area, and got permission to build the Saver into their building. A disused baby safe was donated by Immanuel’s Haven and Grant Immelman refurbished this, adding additional pressure triggers for safety.
Should someone place a baby in the Baby Saver, the pressure mat triggers an alert via a panic alarm to Secure Rite, who then contacts one of the Responders who will be on scene within minutes. Secure Rite will also dispatch an armed response vehicle to the scene for safety precautions. The Saver door automatically locks on the outside when closed and access is only possible inside the building.
The Responders were all given first aid training specifically for newborn babies by E.M.O., who also donated First Aid kits to be kept by the Saver. Testing the Baby Saver is important. It is a matter of life or death, so regular tests are done to ensure it is always in good working order. If a baby is found in the Saver, it will immediately be taken to the local hospital by ambulance and put into the adoption/foster care system.
The Tiny Bits baby bags was made available to the Temporary Safe Care (TSC) mothers who look after the babies for at least 90 days – sometimes longer – until the legalities are sorted.
Street Store project
The global Street Store Project is a pop-up clothing store for the homeless. Doxa Deo Church initiated a similar project in Fisantekraal, just outside Durbanville, on 28 May 2022.
Care Protect Invest SA was part of the outreach. We donated clothing and took part in the project by ushering community members from one stall to another to ‘shop’ for clothing. More than 1180 people (including children from all ages) received much needed clothing and food. People were also blessed with prayer.
One particular little girl touched my heart immensely. She came in wearing no warm clothing at all (it was cold and rainy). She picked a beautiful cream coloured jersey and I immediately helped her to put it on. She gave me the biggest hug as appreciation, and although she was the one receiving something, it was indeed me who received so much more from her. I have never seen such appreciation for a jersey than from that little girl. I will keep her tucked in my heart forever.
CPI-SA is launching the Seeds of Sunshine Project, and with the project culminating on the National Seeds of Sunshine Day on March 9 each year, CPI-SA wants to bring people a piece of sunshine. Just like the sunflower that turns its face to the sun in difficult times, CPI-SA wants to bring a piece of sunshine to people who quietly make others’ lives a little easier every day without expecting anything in return, or someone who is going through a difficult situation, a nurse or community worker.
The Bizweni Centre for Disabled Children
The Bizweni educational and therapeutic staff is comprised of a dynamic, dedicated, and caring team. This includes teachers, therapists, class assistants, administrators, fundraiser, drivers, and housekeeping staff, who work together to provide a welcoming and learning-rich environment for 67 children with special needs. They take pride in what they do and the high level of care they provide.
In 1992 Alta Nieuwoudt and her husband Isaack adopted a little girl. Stephanie had severe disabilities and despite this, they fully embraced and loved their daughter. Alta and Isaack wanted to provide the best care possible for Stephanie but found that there wasn’t a day care centre for children with disabilities in the area. They soon realized that there were other families in the same situation, who didn’t have access to support or a place to care for their children.
Alta founded the Centre in May 1998 in a small room on the present property.
The caring couple collected children from disadvantaged communities in their own car so they could attend the Centre. By the end of 2009, the Bizweni Centre had moved into a beautiful new building with three classrooms, built out of the fundraising efforts of the local Helderberg Rotary Club. In 2016, two additional classrooms were built to accommodate 12–18-year-old children. Their motto is that every child with disabilities should have access to education to reach their full potential.
The Centre needs pants and underwear for the children because the children often get wet and would need a change of pants. Care Protect Invest SA donated more than 40 items of underwear, girls’ Winter tights, socks, and vests, and encourage the community to support this wonderful centre. It is evident that the children are loved beyond measure and cared for with the utmost respect and kindness.