Mother’s Day in South Africa

Mothers Day SSP 2017

 

In South Africa, Mothers Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in the month of May. People of South Africa celebrate Mother’s Day in its true spirit by acknowledging the importance of mothers in their lives and thanking them profusely for all their love and care. People also gift flowers and cards to their mother as an expression of their heartfelt feeling of gratitude and affection.

Mother's Day in South Africa

The most commonly used flowers on Mothers Day is the traditional carnation. People wear red or pink carnation for the mothers who are living while white carnation is used as a symbol of mothers who are dead. In South Africa, Mother’s Day is taken as an opportunity to thank not just mothers but also grand mothers and women who are like mothers.

Mothers are pampered by caring children on the day. Many children treat their mother with a delicious breakfast in bed but owing to the changing lifestyles, a large number of people take their mother out for dinners. Young children present their mothers with homemade gifts while the elder ones buy gifts for their mothers.

http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/mothers-day-southafrica.html

 

 

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Family Day 2017

 

 

Different FamiliesFamily Day is a public holiday celebrated in South Africa. Many countries worldwide such as Australia and Canada celebrates Family Day. It is also called the Family and Community Day and is celebrated every year in November on the first Tuesday. On this day, people take a break from the hard work and gather around with their families and enjoy quality time. Workers take the day off of work to get some rest and to be appreciated by their employers. Government agencies are closed on this day. Some private owned businesses stay open although it varies from place to place. Family Day is presently celebrated in South Africa, Alberta, Ontario, Australian Capital Territory, and Saskatchewan provinces in Canada.

It was typical in South Africa to take a day off of work after Easter. This day, which is also known as Easter Monday, was renamed as Family Day in 1995. This extra day off for the holiday was meant to give families more quality family time together and to allow them to go on vacations with friends and family.

Family Day is celebrated differently in each country and province. It is not a legal holiday in Ontario and they did not officially recognize this day until 1970. Family Day was then at that time declared a public holiday by the Saskatchewan Province. It has been reported that Alberta Territory was the first territory to recognize Family Day as a legal holiday. To minimize the cost of business, Canadian Herritage day has been made a civic holiday so that this does not allow all workers to take off work.

The government of South Africa emphasizes spending quality time with family on this day so that people can get together and have a celebration. Friends, relatives and family members will gather together, have meals, drink wine, and enjoy their time with those people that are most important to them. Many people go on vacation with their families and friends or may even invite their friends and neighbors to join in the family feast. Therefore, the day has great significance to all South African citizens as this is a public holiday. The importance of Family Day is uniting families together in the spirit of the holiday.

World Health Day 2017

 

World health Day

World Health Day, celebrated on 7 April every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization, provides us with a unique opportunity to mobilize action around a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world.

The theme of our 2017 World Health Day campaign is depression.

Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living. At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds.

Yet, depression can be prevented and treated. A better understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition, and lead to more people seeking help.

Source: World Health Organisation – World Health Day

http://www.gov.za/speeches/world-health-day-2017-16-nov-2016-1003

Healthy relationships lead to better Life

relationships-2017-ssp

 

Teddi Dineley Johnson

Unless you’re shipwrecked on a deserted island, you probably enjoy a handful of close relationships. From spouses to children to friends, parents, siblings and significant others, healthy relationships build self-esteem, improve mental and emotional health and help you live a fuller life.

“Relationships are — not surprisingly — enormously important for health, and there are lots of studies on the biological processes that account for the link between relationships and health,” says psychology professor Arthur Aron, PhD, director of the Interpersonal Relationships Laboratory at New York’s Stony Brook University.

The quality of our personal relationships also has an enormous impact on our physical health, as evidenced by a hefty number of research studies.

“We support each other in getting enough exercise, eating right, flossing — all the things that make for better health can be supported or undermined by close relationships,” Aron says.

In the movie “Cast Away,” Tom Hanks’ character — stranded on an uninhabited island — creates a face on a volleyball and talks to the ball, which he names “Wilson,” as if it were a person. Though fictional and funny, the gesture illustrates something very basic about us: Relationships are important — so important, in fact, that our brains are hardwired to form them.

“Evolution has set us up to be very good in relationships and to make them happen,” says Aron, who also teaches an undergraduate course on close relationships. “We have evolved to form relationships and to keep them together to raise children.”

That said, have you ever wondered why some of your relationships are more effective than others? Researchers have learned a lot in the last 30 years about what makes good relationships tick, and it boils down to just a few things. Unfortunately, most folks are only minimally aware of those elements, Aron says, and therefore aren’t doing everything they could be doing to improve their relationships.

 

Mind your mental health

Without question, the mental health of all parties is the most important element of a good relationship. If you suffer from depression, anxiety, insecurity or low self-esteem, seek help from a health professional right away, because it’s not just you, but also your relationship, that will suffer.

You can’t always control the stressors in your life, but for your relationships to be effective, try to keep stress to a minimum.

Also, be understanding when others are going through a tough time. Someone who loses her or his job, for example, might behave negatively for a little while. But things should get better eventually.

Keep the lines open

“We just don’t communicate!” is a common refrain in relationships — too common in fact, because after mental health, effective communication is the second most important ingredient in a healthy relationship.

Communication is important because conflicts are inevitable in relationships, and “most people are poorly prepared to deal with them well,” Aron says.

But there’s plenty of help out there. If you’re planning to wed, take advantage of the preparation courses offered through places of worship or community programs.

If you are already in a relationship, think about registering for a weekend seminar or marital enrichment course, often offered through churches, synagogues and community recreation departments.

And if you think the communication between you and your partner needs some extra help, consider couples counseling or marital therapy.

 

Build a bridge of support

Support from family and friends is an ingredient that repeatedly surfaces in good relationships. You might need someone to take the kids for the night, or help with carpooling. If you have a support system in place, or live near friends and family, don’t be afraid to ask them for a helping hand, a sympathetic ear or advice.

 “All relationships require effort and attention,” Aron says. “Sometimes that effort and attention is automatic, such as with an infant. Beyond what is automatic, for most relationships, we usually need to put attention and effort into them, and it pays off.”

 

Love Quiz: Do You Really Know Your Partner?

Worldwide leaders in research and couples therapy, Drs. John and Julie Gottman have found that one of the most important characteristics of successful relationships is the quality of the friendship between partners.

Do you really know your partner? Take our quiz below to find out. 

https://www.gottman.com/how-well-do-you-know-your-partner/

 

 

World TB Day 2017

TB Poster SSP (Primary School)

 

About TB (Tuberculosis)

Tuberculosis — or TB, as it’s commonly called — is a contagious infection that usually attacks the lungs. It can also spread to other parts of the body, like the brain and spine. A type of bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes it.

In the 20th century, TB was a leading cause of death in the United States. Today, most cases are cured with antibiotics. But it takes a long time. You have to take meds for at least 6 to 9 months.

How Is It Spread?

Through the air, just like a cold or the flu. When someone who’s sick coughs, sneezes, talks, or laughs, tiny droplets that contain the germs are released. If you breathe in these nasty germs, you get infected.

TB is contagious, but it’s not easy to catch. The germs grow slowly. You usually have to spend a lot of time around a person who has it. That’s why it’s often spread among co-workers, friends, and family members.

Tuberculosis germs don’t thrive on surfaces. You can’t get the disease from shaking hands with someone who has it, or by sharing their food or drink.

How Does Tuberculosis Affect Your Body?

A TB infection doesn’t mean you’ll get sick. There are two forms of the disease:

Latent TB: You have the germs in your body, but your immune system stops them from spreading. They become inactive. That means you don’t have any symptoms and you’re not contagious. But the infection is still alive in your body and can one day become active. To prevent this, doctors will often prescribe antibiotics. Without treatment, 5% to 10% of cases develop into active TB.

Active TB disease: This means the germs multiply and can make you sick. You can spread the disease to others.

What Are the Symptoms of TB?

There aren’t any for latent TB. You’ll need to get a skin or blood test to find out if you’re infected.

But there are usually signs if you have active TB disease. They include:

If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor to get tested. Get medical help right away if you have chest pain.

Who’s at Risk?

You’re more likely to get TB if you come into contact with others who have it. Here are some situations that could increase your risk:

  • A friend, co-worker, or family member has active TB disease.
  • You live or have traveled to an area where TB is common, like Russia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
  • You’re part of a group where TB is more likely to spread, or you work or live with someone who is. This includes homeless people, people with HIV, and IV drug users.
  • You work or live in a hospital or nursing home.

A healthy immune system fights the TB bacteria. But if you have any of the following, you might not be able to fend off active TB disease:

Babies and young children also are at greater risk, because their immune systems aren’t fully formed.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Melinda Ratini

 

Human Rights Awareness 2017

Human Rights 2017 SSP

Human rights are the basic rights everyone has, simply because they are human. In South Africa, this list of human rights is contained in the Bill of Rights, Chapter 2 of the South African Constitution, the highest law in the country. This Human Rights Day, which is celebrated annually on 21 March, make sure that you know and understand your human rights. This will help you defend yourself if your rights are violated.

What is a Human Rights Violation?

If you think any of your rights, as defined in the Bill of Rights, have been violated you can report the matter. For instance, if someone treats you differently because of your race, gender, age or ethnic group, your right to equality is being abused or violated.

The Bill Of Rights

To build a culture of human rights, it is important for every citizen to know their rights and understand their responsibilities. The Constitution protects and promotes human rights for all people in South Africa. The following is a summary of the Bill of Rights.

Equality You cannot be discriminated against. But affirmative action and fair discrimination are allowed.
Human Dignity Your dignity must be respected and protected.
Life You have the right to life.
Freedom and Security of the Person You cannot be detained without trial, tortured or punished cruelly. Domestic violence is not allowed.
Slavery, Servitude and Forced Labor Slavery, servitude and forced labour are not allowed.
Privacy You cannot be searched or have your home or possessions searched without the proper procedures being followed by the police.
Freedom of Religion, Belief and Opinion You can believe and think whatever you want and can follow the religion of your choice.
Freedom of Expression All people (including the press) can say whatever they want.
Assembly, Demonstration, Picket and Petition You can hold a demonstration, picket and present a petition. But you must do this peacefully.
Freedom of Association You can associate with whomever you want to.
Political Rights You can support the political party of your choice. If you are a citizen and at least 18 years old, you can vote.
Citizenship Your citizenship cannot be taken away from you.
Freedom of Movement and Residence You can go and live anywhere in South Africa.
Freedom of Trade, Occupation and Profession You can do whatever work you choose.
Labour Relations You may join trade unions and go on strike.
Environment You have the right to a healthy environment.
Property Your property can only be taken away from you if the proper rules are followed.
Housing The government must make sure people get access to proper housing.
Healthcare, Food, Water and Social Security The government must make sure you have access to food and water, healthcare and social security.
Children Children under the age of 18 have special rights.
Education You have the right to basic education, including adult basic education, in your own language (if this is possible).
Language and Culture You can use the language you want to and follow the culture that you choose.
Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities Communities can enjoy their own culture, practice their own religion and use their own language.

 

Access to Information You have the right to any information the government has.
Just Administrative Action Actions by the government must be fair.
Access to Courts You can have a legal problem decided by a court or a similar structure.
Arrested, Detained and Accused Persons These rights protect people arrested, imprisoned or accused of a crime.

The Constitution states that the fundamental rights of all South Africans will be protected and respected.

Let’s work together to ensure that our Human Rights are respected by all!

Healthy relationships lead to better lives

relationships-2017-ssp

 

Teddi Dineley Johnson

Unless you’re shipwrecked on a deserted island, you probably enjoy a handful of close relationships. From spouses to children to friends, parents, siblings and significant others, healthy relationships build self-esteem, improve mental and emotional health and help you live a fuller life.

“Relationships are — not surprisingly — enormously important for health, and there are lots of studies on the biological processes that account for the link between relationships and health,” says psychology professor Arthur Aron, PhD, director of the Interpersonal Relationships Laboratory at New York’s Stony Brook University.

The quality of our personal relationships also has an enormous impact on our physical health, as evidenced by a hefty number of research studies.

“We support each other in getting enough exercise, eating right, flossing — all the things that make for better health can be supported or undermined by close relationships,” Aron says.

In the movie “Cast Away,” Tom Hanks’ character — stranded on an uninhabited island — creates a face on a volleyball and talks to the ball, which he names “Wilson,” as if it were a person. Though fictional and funny, the gesture illustrates something very basic about us: Relationships are important — so important, in fact, that our brains are hardwired to form them.

“Evolution has set us up to be very good in relationships and to make them happen,” says Aron, who also teaches an undergraduate course on close relationships. “We have evolved to form relationships and to keep them together to raise children.”

That said, have you ever wondered why some of your relationships are more effective than others? Researchers have learned a lot in the last 30 years about what makes good relationships tick, and it boils down to just a few things. Unfortunately, most folks are only minimally aware of those elements, Aron says, and therefore aren’t doing everything they could be doing to improve their relationships.

 

Mind your mental health

Without question, the mental health of all parties is the most important element of a good relationship. If you suffer from depression, anxiety, insecurity or low self-esteem, seek help from a health professional right away, because it’s not just you, but also your relationship, that will suffer.

You can’t always control the stressors in your life, but for your relationships to be effective, try to keep stress to a minimum.

Also, be understanding when others are going through a tough time. Someone who loses her or his job, for example, might behave negatively for a little while. But things should get better eventually.

Keep the lines open

“We just don’t communicate!” is a common refrain in relationships — too common in fact, because after mental health, effective communication is the second most important ingredient in a healthy relationship.

Communication is important because conflicts are inevitable in relationships, and “most people are poorly prepared to deal with them well,” Aron says.

But there’s plenty of help out there. If you’re planning to wed, take advantage of the preparation courses offered through places of worship or community programs.

If you are already in a relationship, think about registering for a weekend seminar or marital enrichment course, often offered through churches, synagogues and community recreation departments.

And if you think the communication between you and your partner needs some extra help, consider couples counseling or marital therapy.

 

Build a bridge of support

Support from family and friends is an ingredient that repeatedly surfaces in good relationships. You might need someone to take the kids for the night, or help with carpooling. If you have a support system in place, or live near friends and family, don’t be afraid to ask them for a helping hand, a sympathetic ear or advice.

 “All relationships require effort and attention,” Aron says. “Sometimes that effort and attention is automatic, such as with an infant. Beyond what is automatic, for most relationships, we usually need to put attention and effort into them, and it pays off.”

 

Love Quiz: Do You Really Know Your Partner?

Worldwide leaders in research and couples therapy, Drs. John and Julie Gottman have found that one of the most important characteristics of successful relationships is the quality of the friendship between partners.

Do you really know your partner? Take our quiz below to find out.

https://www.gottman.com/how-well-do-you-know-your-partner/

 

 

 

 

 

Financial Wellness

financial-wellness-2017-ssp

Five Rules to Improve Your Financial Health

By Jean Folger | Updated June 21, 2016

The term “personal finance” refers to how you manage your money and how you plan for your future. All of your financial decisions and activities have an effect on your financial health now and in the future. We are often guided by specific rules of thumb – such as “don’t buy a house that costs more than 2.5 years’ worth of income” or “you should always save at least 10% of your income towards retirement.” While many of these adages are time tested and truly helpful, it’s important to consider what we should be doing – in general – to help improve our financial habits and health. Here, we discuss five broad personal finance rules that can help get you on track to achieving specific financial goals.

  1. Do the Math – Net Worth and Personal Budgets

Money comes in, money goes out. For many people, this is about as deep as their understanding gets when it comes to personal finances. Rather than ignoring your finances and leaving them to chance, a bit of number crunching can help you evaluate your current financial health and determine how to reach your short- and long-term financial goals.

As a starting point, it is important to calculate your net worth – the difference between what you own and what you owe. To calculate your net worth, start by making a list of your assets (what you own) and your liabilities (what you owe). Then subtract the liabilities from the assets to arrive at your net-worth figure. Your net worth represents where you are financially at that moment, and it is normal for the figure to fluctuate over time. Calculating your net worth one time can be helpful, but the real value comes from making this calculation on a regular basis (at least yearly). Tracking your net worth over time allows you to evaluate your progress, highlight your successes and identify areas requiring improvement.

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Equally important is developing a personal budget or spending plan. Created on a monthly or annual basis, a personal budget is an important financial tool because it can help you:

  • Plan for expenses.
  • Reduce or eliminate expenses.
  • Save for future goals.
  • Spend wisely.
  • Plan for emergencies.
  • Prioritize spending and saving.

There are numerous approaches to creating a personal budget, but all involve making projections for income and expenses. The income and expense categories you include in your budget will depend on your situation and can change over time. Common income categories include:

  • alimony
  • bonuses
  • child support
  • disability benefits
  • interest and dividends
  • rents and royalties
  • retirement income
  • salaries/wages

General expense categories include:

  • childcare/eldercare
  • debt payments – car loan, student loan, credit card
  • education – tuition, daycare, books, supplies
  • entertainment and recreation – sports, hobbies, movies, DVDs
  • food – groceries, dining out
  • giving – birthdays, holidays, charitable contributions
  • housing – mortgage or rent, maintenance
  • insurance – health, home/renters, auto, life
  • medical/healthcare – doctors, dentist, prescription medications, other known expenses
  • personal – clothing, hair care, gym, professional dues
  • savings – retirement, education, emergency fund, specific goals (i.e. vacation)
  • special occasions – weddings, anniversaries, graduation
  • transportation – fuel, taxis, subway, tolls, parking
  • utilities – phone, electric, water, gas, cell, Internet

Once you’ve made the appropriate projections, subtract your expenses from your income. If you have money left over, you have a surplus and you can decide how to spend, save or invest the money. If your expenses exceed your income, however, you will have to adjust your budget by increasing your income (adding more hours at work or picking up a second job) or by reducing your expenses.

To really understand where you are financially, and to figure out how to get where you want to be, do the math: Calculate both your net worth and a personal budget on a regular basis. This may seem abundantly obvious to some, but people’s failure to lay out and stick to a detailed budget is the root cause of excessive spending and overwhelming debt.

  1. Recognize and Manage Lifestyle Inflation

Most individuals will spend more money if they have more money to spend. As people advance in their careers and earn higher salaries, there tends to be a corresponding increase in spending, a phenomenon known as lifestyle inflation. Even though you might be able to pay your bills, lifestyle inflation can be damaging in the long run because it limits your ability to build wealth: Every extra rand you spend now means less money later and during retirement (see How to Manage Lifestyle Inflation).

One of the main reasons people allow lifestyle inflation to sabotage their finances is their desire to keep up with the Joneses. It’s not uncommon for people to feel the need to match their friends’ and coworkers’ spending habits. If your peers drive expensive cars, vacation at exclusive resorts and dine at expensive restaurants, you might feel pressured to do the same. What is easy to overlook is that in many cases the Joneses are actually servicing a lot of debt – over a period of decades – to maintain their wealthy appearance. Despite their wealthy “glow” – the boat, the fancy cars, the expensive vacations, the private schools for the kids – the Joneses might be living paycheck to paycheck and not saving a dime for retirement.

As your professional and personal situation evolves over time, some increases in spending are natural. You might need to upgrade your wardrobe to dress appropriately for a new position, or, as your family grows, you might need a house with more bedrooms. And with more responsibilities at work, you might find that it makes sense to hire someone to mow the lawn or clean the house, freeing up time to spend with family and friends and improving your quality of life.

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  1. Recognize Needs vs. Wants – and Spend Mindfully

Unless you have an unlimited amount of money, it’s in your best interest to be mindful of the difference between needs and wants so you can make better spending choices. “Needs” are things you have to have in order to survive: food, shelter, healthcare, transportation, a reasonable amount of clothing (many people include savings as a need, whether that’s a set 10% of their income or whatever they can afford to set aside each month). Conversely, “wants” are things you would like to have, but that you don’t need for survival.

It can be challenging to accurately label expenses as either needs or wants, and for many, the line gets blurred between the two. When this happens, it can be easy to rationalize away an unnecessary or extravagant purchase by calling it a need. A car is a good example. You need a car to get to work and take the kids to school. You want the luxury edition SUV that costs twice as much as a more practical car (and costs you more in gas). You could try and call the SUV a “need” because you do, in fact, need a car, but it’s still a want. Any difference in price between a more economical vehicle and the luxury SUV is money that you didn’t have to spend.

Your needs should get top priority in your personal budget. Only after your needs have been met should you allocate any discretionary income toward wants. And again, if you do have money left over each week or each month after paying for the things you really need, you don’t have to spend it all.

  1. Start Saving Early

It’s often said that it’s never too late to start saving for retirement. That may be true (technically), but the sooner you start, the better off you’ll likely be during your retirement years. This is because of the power of compounding – what Albert Einstein called the “eighth wonder of the world.”

Compounding involves the reinvestment of earnings, and it is most successful over time: The longer earnings are reinvested, the greater the value of the investment, and the larger the earnings will (hypothetically) be.

  1. Build and Maintain an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is just what the name implies: money that has been set aside for emergency purposes. The fund is intended to help you pay for things that wouldn’t normally be included in your personal budget: unexpected expenses such as car repairs or an emergency trip to the dentist. It can also help you pay your regular expenses if your income is interrupted; for example, if an illness or injury prevents you from working or if you lose your job.

Although the traditional guideline is to save three to six months’ worth of living expenses in an emergency fund, the unfortunate reality is that this amount would fall short of what many people would need to cover a big expense or weather a loss in income. In today’s uncertain economic environment, most people should aim for saving at least six months’ worth of living expenses – more if possible. Putting this as a regular expense item in your personal budget is the best way to ensure that you are saving for emergencies and not spending that money frivolously.

Keep in mind that establishing an emergency backup is an ongoing mission (see Building an Emergency Fund): Odds are, as soon as it is funded you will need it for something. Instead of being dejected about this, be glad that you were financially prepared and start the process of building the fund again.

The Bottom Line

Personal finance rules-of-thumb can be excellent tools for achieving financial success. But It’s important to consider the big picture and build habits that help you make better financial choices, leading to better financial health. Without good overall habits, it will be difficult to obey detailed adages like “never withdraw more than 4% a year to make sure your retirement lasts” or “save 20 times your gross income for a comfortable retirement.”