Bev Willcocks trained to become an IHEART facilitator in May last year and is already delivering the IHEART schools programme with great impact in public schools in the challenging environment of deprived areas near Cape Town, South Africa.
Bev recently ran two successful groups at Khayamandi High in Stellenbosch with pupils ranging from 15 to 17-years-old. Even though English is their second language, the participants have responded with great enthusiasm to learning about the true nature of their innate mental health and resilience.
These young people mostly come from disadvantaged backgrounds and challenging circumstances. In reflecting on the programme’s impact, Bev explains how “it’s very rewarding to see their eyes light up with the realisation that no matter what they are dealing with, these inspiring young people have access to a deeper wisdom they can tap into and rely on to guide the way they show up in life.”
After completing the 10-session the course, the participants have reported feeling less stressed about their forthcoming exams, less anxious about their future challenges, more able to manage their anger, and more confident in their potential beyond the labels people often give them.
Based on its initial success, Bev is looking to secure funding to run the programme for the school’s 200 Year 11 pupils in 2020. From there she hopes to repeat delivery in three other schools in the Cape Town area next year. Local teachers have also expressed interest in training to become IHEART facilitators, which is, as IHEART CEO Brian Rubenstein explains, “the best way to reach many more young people and to scale our work across numerous schools.”
Bev has been profoundly moved by the deep interest the pupils have shown in wishing to learn more about the innate design for psychological wellbeing which they all have been educated about. “It’s been very humbling to witness first-hand that no matter how challenging the circumstances, these young people love to learn how, underneath all the labels and stories of their lives, they are always ok and have access to all the innate wisdom they need to thrive.”