• Bata South Africa hosted a roundtable discussion regarding the mental wellbeing of our youth in the face of the global challenges they are confronted with.
  • “Bangene”, it’s Your Time! In an initiative focused on empowering and encouraging the youth of South Africa to reach their full potential through The President’s Award
  • Bata aims to give back to communities by developing our youth into active members of society

 BATA South Africa is in the midst of empowering and encouraging youth of South Africa to reach their full potential.  Through The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment (TPA), a global initiative that develops character, discovers purpose and identifies passions, they want to enable youth to become productive contributors to society and secure their futures. By facilitating a round table discussion, a panel established by  Bata SA shared some practical tips on measuring your child’s state of mental wellbeing.

 Building the focus of youth empowerment, Toughees hosted a virtual roundtable discussion on February 11th on Zoom as well as broadcasting live on the Toughees Facebook page. Various elements of mental health, specifically children’s mental health, was discussed with the intention of talking openly and constructively about the importance of mental health awareness and how to help our youth deal with stress, intensified by the problems brought about by the current state the world.

The panel for the roundtable discussion included professional Psychologist and the head of Kingswood College, Dr Colleen Vassiliou, Bata Marketing Manager, Swastika Juggernath, CEO of The President’s Awards, Adele Latchman, Bata Youth Board of Directors members; Deante’ Swart, Mia Kretschmer and Sashin Naidoo and was facilitated by the Director of Take Note Reputation Management, Dionne Collett.

Dr. Colleen Vassiliou lead the conversation pointing out that owing to the pandemic the mental wellness of our children has been exacerbated, but this topic is often overshadowed by an emphasis on academic or physical wellness. Dr Vassiliou pointed out that now, more than ever, it is time to have conversations about children’s mental wellness and wellbeing.

Dr. Vassiliou’s recommends that parents engage with their children regularly, encouraging them to express themselves by sharing, for example, three things that happened in their day that they enjoyed, as well three things they did not enjoy or that made them feel uncomfortable, stressed or even heartsore. This simple process assists children in recognising what emotions make them feel happy, positive, sad or uncomfortable and naming them grows their emotional intelligence.

A core takeaway for those on the panel and others engaged in the conversation was the acronym SMSPE, used by Dr. Vassiliou and psychologists to focus on the holistic wellbeing of a child.  SMSPE describes the Spiritual, Mental, Social, Physical and Emotional elements and is used as a reminder to guide parents when checking in on their children’s emotional wellness.

“When looking at children’s wellbeing, it is not just the emotions, but other facets as well, such as their sense of belonging, acceptance and purpose. To understand this, parents need to establish what the child wants to get out of their day and what they want to put into their day, this is the spiritual wellness,” explained Dr Vassiliou.

Mental wellness involves checking in on their academics, with questions such as how your test was.  Did you do your homework?

Social wellness addresses asking about friends, relationships with teachers, peer pressure and finding out how they are becoming who they are,” added Dr Vassiliou.

Physical wellness covers eating and drinking habits as well as establishing if the child is getting sufficient uninterrupted sleep.

For their emotional wellness Dr Vassiliou explained, “We have got to make sure emotionally, our children nourish before they flourish.” To nourish themselves, children need to be filling up on their spiritual, mental, social and physical wellness.

The focus of the discussion then turned to how our youth can get involved in activities that help foster life skills and growth, leading to the partnership with The President’s Award and Bata Toughees which will see 100 youth being entered into The President’s Award programme during 2021. This opportunity will provide them with a one-on-one mentorship with an Award Leader, who has committed to counsel and develop the young persons assigned to them. This is done through a process of coaching and guiding, setting challenging goals and getting them to make their own decisions while encouraging active reflection on their learning.

“This initiative is not about chasing the sale of a product, it is purely about investing in children, as the youth are the future leaders of our country and economy. Our partnership with the President’s Award is about giving back to moulding the youth from a 360 or holistic perspective.” said Swastika Juggernath.

The roundtable discussion can be seen on the Toughees Facebook Page.

The competition is open for entries until 28 February 2021. Competition winners will complete TPA during 2021. Submit your entry online via Toughees website at www.toughees.co.za or WhatsApp 0649819784.

We as parents of Deante Swart would like to thank you for the opportunity that you have afforded us and that we could learn so much. Thank you to each and every one involved for making this a great experience for us. Thank you to Dione from take note for their hard work and the social media information. We appreciate it so much.
Dederick Swart
YBOD Campaign


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