Laughter is the best medicine. This adage holds true in the hospitals where the wards are filled with laughter thanks to the Jabulani team. Each Jabulani entertainer’s aim is to bring a smile to the children’s faces, through a number of acts including tricycles, juggling, balloon sculptures, magic, face paint and, above all, silliness.
Laughter is known to strengthen the immune system, boost energy, minimise lethargy and decrease stress. These effects are important for both the children suffering from life threatening illnesses and their families, who often need a few minutes of sheer fun to alleviate the stress of being in hospital.
We didn’t expect it to come true. He was so happy that he got what he dreamed of, and met his hero.
My mom and I want to thank you so much form making my dream a reality. The Dolphin Dive was beyond amazing, words cannot describe the experience. Overall the experience was incredible and my mom and I are very grateful for the experience, and it is an adventure we will never forget!
A once-off comment by a totally unknown (to me) doctor at the Chris Hani Baragwaneth hospital: “That young (7- or 8-year-old) girl has been here in ICU for…
the past 15 days and this is the first time I have seen her smiling!” But regularly—as I enter a big ward at the same hospital mentioned above—the kids recognize the outfit, and scream “Jabulaaaaniiii” . . . And those that can jump out of their beds do so, and I get literally swamped!
I find that every time a child or parent laughs, I am contributing and making just a little sunshine in an otherwise gloomy environment. I have learnt a great deal of respect for nurses, doctors and people dealing with adversity.
I started out as a Jabulani in Bloemfontein, where I met so many wonderful children, that all have…
a special place in my heart. For me though, going to the Mohau Home at the Kalafong Hospital, is such a highlight. I’ve grown to know the children and have never felt more love and appreciation than doing my shift there. The children at Mohau make you feel welcomed from the moment you walk through the door. I love being part of the Jabulani Kingdom very much! Every time I leave a shift, I smile and thank God and Reach For A Dream for this special opportunity.
Just a few months into being a Jabulani, I walked into a ward at the Steve Biko Hospital where one of…
the little boys was crying. Being in a playful mood, I decided to make balloons for all the children. Most were boys, so I made balloon swords. As we were playing, the crying of that one little boy became less and less. Eventually he got out of bed and came closer to investigate, at which point I made a balloon sword for him as well. Within a few minutes he had joined the rest of the crew running around with their balloon swords! The sisters were very grateful and said he has been crying for long time, as he had his operation earlier that day. They didn’t think anyone could get him to smile, let alone start running around. That was one of the first memorable moments that made me appreciate and love what I do even more.
I was at Garankua hospital entertaining the children, when the parents and the staff members joined.
The ward was filled with energy, laughter and everybody enjoying themselves. When I left the ward, the nurses said “That’s what we wanted today; to revive ourselves and forget a bit about our daily routines”. It really touched me, that I was able to get everyone involved for few hours and that they had so much fun.
I have too many favourite memories of being a Jabulani to only mention one! Being a Jabulani makes my…
life a filing cabinet full of happy memories.
BLOEMFONTEIN & KIMBERELY REGION
The one thing I always wanted when I was a young…
boy was to make everyone happy and to give hope. I almost gave up on that dream, up until I became a Jabulani. I walk confidently because when the children see me with my colourful clothes, it puts a smile on their face. No matter what the situation is, they know there is hope. Being a Jabulani is like having a positive atmosphere around you that helps to make worries and heartaches disappear.
Knowing that I get to make everyone in the hospitals smile and laugh, is a great Blessing!
Being a Jabulani has showed me that it is not huge…
amounts of money that can make a difference, but small things that can bring hope to a mother who sits patiently, tired on the side of the bed, and me being able to put smile on the sick child who hasn’t smiled for days.
EAST LONDON REGION
Tom Tom Jabulani
One day a very big and busy Cecilia Makiwane Hospital ward came to a brief standstill, as the ward was filled with the singing of all the doctors, nurses, mothers, fathers and children I played…
my guitar and lead them all in song! For a moment everything was peaceful and joyful.
During a shift, I decided to sing a song to one child in isolation. The child sat up and smiled at me. Her mother came to afterwards and said that she was so happy, because her daughter had not moved much in 3 days. Such a special moment!
I have been singing and dancing with the children in our East London hospitals for a year now. Every shift leaves me with a wonderful feeling of joy and a warm memory of a child that lights up after I spend some…
time with him or her I do sometimes tap dance and on more than one occasion, children have burst out laughing at me. Too cute!! The hugs and smiles that I receive from the children that spend longer periods in the hospitals and know me, are very special. They really do know how to melt my heart. Being a Jabulani has opened my heart in so many ways, it’s reminded me just what being human being is all about.
Cherry Jabulani has been with the Foundation for 4 years. There are so many wonderful memories of being a Jabulani that choosing only one is impossible. Every time a sad, or unhappy child or parent responds and forgets their pain, even if only for a few moments, and looks interested at a magic trick, or smiles or laughs, is magical for me. Having a doctor ask me to distract a child during a procedure is an achievement too. Having a doctor ask me to distract a child during a procedure is an achievement too. It’s also wonderful to hear a shout of “Jabulani!” as…
a young patient rushes up to hug me when I arrive at ward or even sometimes waylays me on the way into the hospital…that’s wonderful.Cherry Jabulani has been with the Foundation for 4 years. There are so many wonderful memories of being a Jabulani that choosing only one is impossible. Every time a sad, or unhappy child or parent responds and forgets their pain, even if only for a few moments, and looks interested at a magic trick, or smiles or laughs, is magical for me. Having a doctor ask me to distract a child during a procedure is an achievement too.
A favourite memory of mine is of a little boy, crying for his mother, about to spend a year in the TB hospital. I was playing a seated game with the rest of the children & I gathered him into my arms & rocked him. He curled up with his thumb in his mouth & went to sleep. It brings a tear to my eyes to this day. All the times when I do something silly & make a child laugh & the nurses exclaim “She’s never smiled, let alone laughed, since she was admitted”. It happened again only a short time ago & the nurse called all the other sisters in to watch as I played with the child. So rewarding.
CAPE TOWN REGION
During one of my shifts at the Red Cross Children’s hospital, I met a young girl in one of the signal…
rooms with her mom I decided to stop and show her a little magic and make her a balloon. When I started talking and making her laugh, she opened up and told me about herself, her family and school. I realised that sometimes the young children don’t always want to see magic or balloons, but rather just to have someone to talk too. On my next visit to the hospital, she was still there. When she saw me, she told me she had something special for me and handed over a beautiful handmade card with a sweet taped to the inside. I was so grateful that she thought of me during her hospital stay.
My favourite memory was to perform in a Family Focus Day. I met with our dreamers and their…
families where I had the opportunity to entertain them all. A great day filled with much laughter and smiles.
PORT ELIZABETH REGION
What has always been so bright in my mind, since I started working for Reach For A Dream, is the fact that I have made a small difference in the lives of the children…
I have a lot of parents that greet me warmly, with a smile in the street (especially when they are with their children) and they will shout “Hello Teaspoon Jabulani!” The other beautiful memory I have, is when I met this one family who hugged me and told me that I was very good at entertaining the children in the hospital. Their little girl looked forward to seeing me on my shifts, during her 3 month stay in hospital. We still keep in touch!
What I love most about being a Jabulani, is that when we laugh together, we bypass reason and logic, and speak a universal language. Nothing beats fun ! Happiness is like jam, you can’t spread it, without getting some on yourself.