Building Resilience

”Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress – such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means ’bouncing back’ from difficult experiences.” (As defined by American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx)

In short, resilience is about coping with the difficult sides of life and being able to “bounce back”.  With focus on strengthening your inner self, PULSE believes that doing a music activity or joining a music community such as Field Band Foundation can help building your resilience. You can feel mastering and support and regain your self-esteem by learning an instrument or dance and build new and positive relationships within a safe space. Read more about how the PULSE giraffe GIRA built her resilience when she joined the Field Band Foundation here.

1 June 2018, PULSE in South Africa attended a workshop on resilience with an external facilitator. The focus in this workshop was mainly on how to be aware of factors that are beneficial for your mental health or factors that will have a negative impact on people’s well-being. Individuals will be more able to endure and cope with unpredicted difficulties that occur if they are resilient.

Building resilience is important for everyone at all stages of life. Yet, children and young adults will be dependent on others to start the process towards a strong inner self. Being around supportive and loving adults is crucial for a child’s development. At the workshop, two sets of visual tools were handed out in work with children.

The “thinking brain” is when your brain is in the relaxed mode, where it usually is. When you experience something alarming, such as anxiety, fear or a risk-element, your brain jumps over to the “alarm brain”. Here, it will feel unsettled and in an alarm state. All people usually have their own steps on how to get back to the “thinking brain” (acceptance, calm down, deep breaths, etc.).

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Helpful and damaging thoughts

The other example was on how to acknowledge sad emotions and how you can work on getting resilient by oscillating between confronting damaging thoughts and getting helped by focusing on helpful and positive thoughts. Meaning not to supress damaging thoughts, but to accept them, understand why they are there and find ways of moving over to helpful thoughts.

If one actively engages in this process of being aware, and start recognising the required and personal steps, one can strengthen the ability of being resilient. Using the visual tools, children can also learn how to cope and make what happens in the brain more comprehensible and visual. In work with children, it is all about facilitating the process and make them understand how to cope.

The workshop was really inspiring for the PULSE team. It provided the team with additional, important knowledge to add to the focus of building resilience through music participation. Building resilience is a personal journey, but music and dance can improve the progress and supportive adults can facilitate the whole process.

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Written by: Sofie Hjertvik

Photos by Sofie Hjertvik and Hanna Bakke Negård

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Music Collection Project

The PULSE team in Norway is working on a pilot project together with the Norwegian Band Federation (NMF) called the NMF Inclusion Project. This project consists of collecting different old childhood or lullaby music from many different languages and cultures that can be found around Norway. The project is currently running in Oslo and Bergen, and the work consists of traveling around to different places taking recordings of songs from children and parents.

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The Leader of the project, Ketil Vestrum Einarsen was really impressed by the collaborative work of collecting the music that PULSE and the have done in the two cities. The team has collected a few songs from different school bands, Korps Klubb and schools. Using different kinds of activities and songs such as Thula Throlmor has really opened up many doors in regards to getting songs from the children. The song Thula Throlmor is basically two lullabies, one from South Africa in the South African language Zulu, and one from Norway in Norwegian combined together as one arrangement by Odd-Erik Nordberg.

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The aim of this project is to improve the inclusion in the Norwegian banding activity and give everyone the sense of belonging and mastering. PULSE hopes that bringing this kind of opportunity to the banding activity will make everyone see it as a safe place to send their children regardless of language or culture. Both PULSE, Team Bergen and Team Oslo are very passionate and happy about this project.

 

Written by: Chief Zwane

Pictures by: PULSE team

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Wellness Workshop

On Thursday 31 May PULSE was invited to take part in a wellness workshop where the focuses were sexual harassment and child protection. In addition to the PULSE team, all the staff from head office and the Project Officers (POs), Social Officers (SOs) and Band Coordinators (BCs) in all the Field Bands in Gauteng, Free State and Mpumalanga attended the workshop.

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Leon Roets, Project Manager of Tirisano Collaborative and Community Engagement Projects from College of Human Sciences was the lead facilitator of the sexual harassment workshop. He made the workshop very interesting, and made everyone take part in a conversation instead of just standing in front talking. The participants were divided into three groups and the groups got different topics to briefly research, discuss and then perform for the remaining groups. One group had to find out about the different forms of sexual harassment. Another group had to make a suggestion on a code of conduct in the Field Band Foundation (FBF), e.g. who reports to whom in the different levels in the organisation if they encounter sexual harassment in their work environment. The last group had to come up with suggestions on how they could use a field band to address sexual harassment and increase the focus and knowledge about this topic in the communities. This resulted in a lot of good and interesting answers and suggestions followed by good discussion around the topics.

Most people are very aware of this topic, but a reminder is always good. What is actually sexual harassment and harassment in general, and where does the line go? The South African Labour guide has a definition of sexual harassment: “(1) Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. The unwanted nature of sexual harassment distinguishes it from behaviour that is welcome and mutual. (2) Sexual attention becomes sexual harassment if: (a) The behaviour is persisted in, although a single incident of harassment can constitute sexual harassment; and/or (b) The recipient has made it clear that the behaviour is considered offensive; and/or(c) The perpetrator should have known that the behaviour is regarded as unacceptable.”   (https://www.labourguide.co.za/general/600-code-of-good-practice-on-sexual-harassment113)

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Sexual harassment has been a big focus all over the world the last year, as it should be, especially after the “me too” campaign. It is nice to see that FBF as well as several other workplaces around the world is taking this issue seriously and focusing more on it.

The last part of the workshop, Wanda Oliver talked about Child Protection, and what you as an adult member of this society have to do by law, if you encounter a child that you suspect is neglected or abused. This is an important thing to address in FBF since the majority of the employees are working directly with children every week.

 

Written by. Hanna Bakke Negård

Pictures by: Nicky du Plessis and the PULSE team

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Kongekorps Bergen 2018

On 23 May 2018, PULSE was fortunate enough to take part with “Kongekorps” in the opening of Festspillene in Bergen. It is a tradition that The King and The Queen are a part of this celebration. Unfortunately this year The King could not attend, because he was on sick leave. Festspillene is the Bergen International Festival, it was established in 1953 and is the largest of its kind in the Nordic countries. It is the longest standing and the foremost music and theatre festival in Norway.

PULSE took part in preparations for this day two weeks before the actual performance. We had a weekend seminar with “Kongekorps” and we taught them with South African music, we taught them the music by ear and did not give them music scores. The PULSE team collaborated with finding musical compositions that could be suitable for “Kongekorps”. Togetherness was a key conception behind the successful preparations and the performance. This was an exhilarating and memorable experience and a lifetime opportunity for the PULSE team. Not everyone gets a chance to perform for the Norwegian Royal family. Masibulele Langa was additionally fortunate to shake hands and have a talk with the Queen.

PULSE believes that these kinds of music performances will encourage Norwegian youth to join Skolekorps. The members of “Kongekorps” were very excited and blissful to take part in this day. The Navy band in Bergen joined them, and this was one of the highlights and it increased the calibre of confidence in the “Kongekorps” members and the PULSE team as a whole. The South African repertoire consisted of the songs Makarita, Stamp, Drum Dance and Ziyawa. These songs were chosen because they all have a strong melody that stick easily in a person’s memory.

 

Written by: Masibulele Langa and Denis Mashabane

Photos by: Denis Mashabane and Stein Skorpholm

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Two Exciting Weeks in Northern Cape

Half the PULSE team and Nomkhosi from Field Band Education spent week 19 and 20 in Northern Cape. The first week in Kimberley and the second week in Hanover with the tutor teams both from Hanover Field Band and Petrusville and Philipstown Field Band.

Looking back at two exciting and memorable weeks filled with many new acquaintances and experiences, PULSE would like to share some pictures from their stay in Northern Cape.

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Hanover Field Band and Petrusville and Philipstown Field Band

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Both tutor teams together with Vincent Elias from SCATEC Solar in Hanover

Written by: Marie Rotevatn

Pictures by: Marie Rotevatn and Lisa Laila Gontarek

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Norwegian Constitution Day

It was a great honour for the PULSE south participants to be part of the biggest celebration in Norway, the Norwegian constitution day. To participate in this day, and to be a part of the marching bands that takes place on the 17th of May has become a tradition for the PULSE exchange participants in Norway. The 17th of May celebration is one of the popular highlight for most of our former participant, reported by one of the former participants Thulani Maluleka. Congratulation to both team Bergen and team Oslo by taking initiative to be part of the parades in both cities.

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It was really exciting to see Furuset Skolekorps and PULSE team Oslo on National TV (NRK), playing South African music with great energy and movements while passing the Norwegian Royal House (Kongehuset) at Slottsplassen. Team Bergen had a very productive day with Varden Skolekorps Playing Norwegian traditional marches, and later in the day, they did a very beautiful concert. The balance Between the PULSE teams and the Skolekorps really shows great progress in cultural exchange, and is a tool to bring the nations closer together as team Bergen and Varden Skolekorps played Norwegian traditional march music and team Oslo and Furuset skolekorps played South African music.

Gratulerer med dagen til Norge!

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Photos by: Ingvill Starberg

Written by. PULSE Team Oslo

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A Different Job Opportunity

Do you want to do something exciting and new? Do you want to live in another country and experience a brand new culture? Do you want to work with and meet a lot of new and interesting people? Do you want a job that is varied and fun?

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Field Band Foundation (FBF) and Norges Musikkorps Forbund (NMF) together with their founder FK Norway are now searching for new participants to be a part of the team for the next round of PULSE (2018/2019). This will be the third year of the second round of PULSE, meaning it is the 6th year of PULSE all together. PULSE is a one-year exchange programme between Norway and South Africa that focuses on how music and dance activities can be used to promote mental and social well-being and improve the quality of life within the communities. The aim is to become better at including socially excluded and marginalised groups.

South African participants that want to apply for the exchange programme in Norway have to be FBF staff (PO, SO, BC or tutors). An information e-mail with details on the call for application is sent out to your Project Officers, and you can get all the information needed from them. The deadline for sending in an application is Monday 14 May.

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The South African participants PULSE 2017/2018 in Norway. From left: Masibulele Langa, Chief Zwane, Denis Ma-Nicetro Mashabane and Adrian Mackay.

Are you a Norwegian citizen and want to apply for PULSE? Please follow this link: https://musikkorps.no/oppdrag-sorafrika/ The deadline for applying is Tuesday 22 May.

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Norwegian PULSE participants in South Africa 2017/2018. From left: Sofie Hjertvik, Lisa Laila Gontarek, Marie Rotevatn, Hanna Bakke Negård.

If you have any questions, please contact PULSE on pulsestrongertogether@gmail.com during working hours (08.00-16.00).

Written by: Hanna Bakke Negård

Pictures by: The PULSE teams and Eva Bortne

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