Volunteering to Tap

Dec 16, 2016

By Lee-Ann Connolly

"Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier."
--Mother Teresa

"The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it."
--Mother Teresa

I recently had the privilege of volunteering my time and skills as an Access Trainer to teach BodyTalk Access to 14 dedicated healthcare workers from the Hokisa Homes for Kids in my local community in Cape Town, South Africa. Hokisa focuses on caring for children living with and affected by HIV/Aids in a full-time family environment. I taught the workshop in two three-hour classes, a week apart, to give the students time to practice before returning for their final instruction. I believe this worked to everyone's advantage.
I was humbled at how gratefully the training was received. It was tremendously exciting to see the staff implement their new skills, not only at Hokisa, but also back in their own communities, helping family, friends, and neighbors with health issues. The feedback we have received so far is very encouraging. In fact, Fezeka Peter--one of the students I encountered at my regular visits to the home a week after the training--reported how she was able to assist her neighbor who was suffering with terrible back pain at 40 weeks pregnant. Fezeka was able to administer the BodyTalk Access techniques she had recently learned and within 10 minutes her neighbor experienced complete relief from the pain. The next morning, she reported a great night's rest and, later that day, delivered a healthy baby with a quick, problem-free labor. 

A few days after completing the training, I also received a wonderful letter from Robyn Cohen, the Director at Hokisa. I think Robyn sums up the true value of BodyTalk Access in this community perfectly: 

"HOKISA was established in 2002 and cares for children infected with and/or affected by HIV and AIDS who cannot be looked after by their own parents or family. In an environment as close to a family home as possible, children are cared for full time, with all necessary medication, including ARV treatment. The children's lives are enriched by excellent home care, stimulating education at good schools, holidays and outings, friends and birthday parties, sport, arts and culture. All possible effort is made to strengthen bonds with remaining family members, and to give support and counseling to relatives and others within the Masiphumelele Community. All childcare workers at HOKISA are residents from Masiphumelele and have already received relevant training in Early Childhood Development, HIV and AIDS, Nutrition and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, better equipping them to do their jobs. They have also become good teachers, and are often consulted as resource people in the community. They are currently busy with the accredited Childcare Worker course, which they will complete by the end of this year. 

HOKISA is more than a children's home: It is a contribution towards building understanding of HIV and AIDS and its impact on our lives and our communities. All South Africans live with AIDS, whether we are infected or not. HOKISA, in a small way, shows how we can all live and work together while caring for those that are most vulnerable. HOKISA contributes towards bridging the historical and social divisions in our society, and in so doing creates hope and helps to build a new sense of community.

It was almost a year ago that we met Lee-Ann Connolly--around the time of some terrible fires in Masiphumelele, when Lee-Ann was assisting with relief work in the community. We connected instantly and Lee-Ann learnt about the children at HOKISA, and offered to support us. 

Ever since then, Lee-Ann has been involved with our children at HOKISA on a voluntary basis--initially coming in once a week on a Thursday morning to see our new toddlers (three children aged between 1 and 3 years), to work on issues such as swallowing, digestion, walking and talking. Lee-Ann has more recently also worked with three of our older children from her home in the afternoons--focusing more on emotional issues that are being manifested in the form of behavioral issues in the classroom and at home. She now also sees our 5-year-old child with incontinence issues, as well as another toddler with ADHD. 

During the past few months, we have been privileged to witness the positive effect the CFT and BodyTalk has had on our HOKISA children; the results in some of the children have been quite remarkable. We also noticed that our team of Childcare Workers were keen to assist Lee-Ann with her sessions at HOKISA and were always asking questions and wanting to find out more. 

Lee-Ann then approached us with a very generous offer--for the HOKISA team to all receive BodyTalk Access Training! The whole team was keen, and the course was arranged to take place at HOKISA over two days. 

Lee-Ann has introduced and trained our HOKISA team on the methods of Body Talk Access, and we have now seen firsthand the transformative effect of the work that can be done. We all thoroughly enjoyed the Body Talk Access Course which has given our team practical skills which were simple to learn and that will now be integrated into both the work space at HOKISA, as well as the personal lives of our team. We appreciate this input into our program as we are passionate about creating a nurturing environment for our children to grow and develop. 

We feel that it will have a long-lasting and sustainable impact on the work that we already do. We look forward to using the techniques and feeling the impact on the general health and well-being of our HOKISA family. We are also excited to be able to use it for specific health and developmental issues that will arise in the day-to-day life of our busy children's home.

On behalf of the HOKISA Team, thank you to Lee-Ann--for the training and work done at HOKISA and for becoming a part of our extended HOKISA family."  -Robyn Cohen, HOKISA Director

You can find more information and beautiful photos at www.hokisa.co.za or www.facebook.com/HOKISAIkhayaLethu

We have planned a study class for three weeks after the training, and I look forward to hearing more about our new BodyTalk Access Technicians' experiences at their homes and in the community with BodyTalk Access.

This has been a wonderfully motivating experience and one that reminds me of John Veltheim's vision to eventually have a trained BodyTalk Access technician in every home. This is a group of people with little or no access to any kind of healthcare and to be able to share this incredible gift of health with them has been very rewarding. I look forward to being invited to the next community in our area that I can support.


Meet Lee-Ann Connolly

Choose to Volunteer and Share Your BodyTalk skills!

My Name is Lee-Ann Connolly, and I am a Certified BodyTalk Practitioner and BodyTalk Access Trainer, living in the Southern Peninsula of Cape Town, South Africa. I am passionate about my work, and I am intent on bringing BodyTalk and BodyTalk Access to community's wherever I live, especially to those that have limited access to healthcare.

I find it invigorating to teach people about the wonders of BodyTalk and to watch them embrace and begin to use the BodyTalk Access techniques to bring relief to themselves and others.
While a resident in Orange County, California, I actively worked as a coordinator to bring various BodyTalk courses to my hometown and surrounds. I was the first trainer to bring BodyTalk Access to Namibia, and since returning to South Africa, I have worked constantly to promote and bring courses here to ensure further awareness of BodyTalk and to help people to have better awareness regarding their health.

I was lucky enough to recently attend John Veltheim's New 3BT Soul's Journey Course in Berlin. As the only 3BT Soul's Journey BodyTalk practitioner here in South Africa thus far, I am seeing tremendous changes with my existing clients who are benefitting greatly from John's new work. 

I hope to coordinate The Soul's Journey-Exploring the Mind & 3 Brains course for John here in Cape Town, South Africa in 2017. I cannot wait to help introduce these amazing new techniques to the SA BodyTalk community and their clients.

Lee-Ann Connolly
PaRama, CBP, BodyTalk Access Trainer
079 399 3520 to Book your BodyTalk 3BT Soul Session

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