As a kid I was shy, lacked self-esteem, was bullied, and thought I would never amount to much. I carried this burden and infliction with me well into adulthood, as many kids do. My lack of self-worth, negatively affected every decision I made , and every task I took on. I was lucky to have a mentor and a supportive family, who helped me through this dark time of my life. Thanks to them and a passion and love for the ocean, I found a purpose and place that allowed me to overcome what many thousands of kids battle with daily and for life. I am grateful that I am now able to help kids who face social, psychological and physical bullying. Through storytelling, I share my experiences and learnings, and I offer understanding, support, hope and optimism to children, parents and educators.
Greg Bertish – “I was Bullied Child”
Kidz2Kidz Anti-Bullying Workshops:
Greg Bertish, our founder and Ambassador, has been involved with the Kidz2kidz Projects organisation for some time and we are so privileged to be able to share a bit with you about the great work they do. The JOG Trust is the custodian of Kidz2Kidz Projects. One of these is the Cool2beKind antibullying program. It is one of the leading children’s charity organisations in South Africa and has a strong focus on education.
Lockdown has been stressful for everyone in South Africa and Kidz2kidz have been very busy since March. They hosted 11 Cool2beKind workshops talk sessions during March and April. The talks were on bullying behaviour, managing anxiety in children, cyber bullying, bystander behaviour and racism, discrimination, and prejudice. Greg joined them weekly for some of the workshop talks and is a passionate advocate for children.
In June they also hosted separate racism, prejudice, and discrimination teacher training workshops for a school in Gauteng. Over 50 teachers, social workers, and Kidz2kidz coordinators attended the various workshops.
They have been astounded by how well they have been able to utilise the online learning and communication space that Zoom has provided. The teachers have been incredibly positive in their testimonials and feedback on the talks hosted. Kidz2kidz purchased data and airtime for the teachers from under resourced areas so that they too could be part of the free give back training.
“Greg’s contribution cannot be underestimated. Greg was phenomenal and each attendee was impacted by his journey. Greg’s honesty and willingness to share his story, to tell our teachers and social workers and coordinators of how bullying impacted him academically and emotionally, gave insight into the negative and traumatic impact that bullying has on many children who are subjected to this form of abuse.” – Samantha Heald, Cool2beKind National coordinator
Their mission is to ‘End the myth that bullying is a normal part of childhood development’. In the workshops they addressed the psychological trauma that occurs when children are bullied. How when being subjected to bullying children’s ability to learn is compromised and many children stay away from school to avoid bullying. They also explored the bystander effect and how to transform learner’s into upstanders and not bystanders. Cyber bullying is an area that is growing and due to Covid -19 many children who were bullied at school are now being bullied online.
How you can help:
Kidz2kidz would like to host more online training for under resourced schools and educators, which requires funding for airtime and data. Teachers are passionate but don’t have the funds in the many disadvantaged communities to spend on data and airtime. When you support an educator, they in turn support and connect with the learners and this is how we end bullying.
You can sponsor Cool2beKind face mask for learner in schools, that cannot afford to buy their own. Again, all money raised goes to Cool2beKind workshops.
Any workshops or talks that are paid for, will fund a Cool2bekind online training package for educators in our disadvantaged communities. Reaching those children that need it the most. Book via their website www.kidz2kidz.co.za go to the Cool2beKind link or firstname.lastname@example.org