Submitted by: Deborah McPhilemy

School bullying is on the increase globally and there are distressing stories on a daily basis about young people who,  because of the way they are mistreated by their peers, see death as the only solution.

Prevalent at all levels of schooling, it has prompted Emotional Intelligence expert and author of two successful books, Deborah McPhilemy, to address this issue head-on.  Convinced that schools and parents should be doing more to educate children and help them develop empathy and emotional intelligence at a younger age, the “Bears of Blueberry Forest” and the BEarKind Campaign were developed. 

Created by Deborah, these larger-than-life teddy bears will be visiting schools, shopping malls, orphanages, and hospitals as a means of assisting parents and teachers alike begin the conversation and teach the concepts of compassionate behavior in a fun and memorable way.

It benefits both the individual and those around them.

She has a passion for improving society by uplifting the youth and one method she believes will help change the future, is equipping our children with emotional intelligence.  Evidence has proven that developing this broad range of skills, which includes empathy, communication, acceptance of problems, resilience to them, and managing one’s own emotions leads to a better quality of life, reduces anxiety and stress, and helps to effectively manage daily life.  It benefits both the individual and those around them.

“The BEarKind Campaign is hoping to shift behavior, by developing emotional intelligence, which is a lot easier to master than people realise.  It equips one with all the tools needed to cope with adversity,” says Deborah.

This initiative is still in its infancy and the traveling becomes very expensive, so it is ‘Baby Bear’ steps for Deborah and her team as they look forward to seeing South Africa and sharing these exciting teddy bear adventures with the youth.  She says that they will be completing week five of their tour on the 11th March 2020, and the bears will have to hibernate until more funds have been gathered.

Edited By: Michelle Pagel

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