Be Jen-Til, Heal the Nation Campaign
Sister Jenny’s BE JEN-TIL, HEAL THE NATION CAMPAIGN is a campaign that encourages society to use our hands to heal, not hurt, as a method of decreasing violence, abuse and crime in our country. In our South African context, I believe that safe and nurturing touch is capable of not only promoting a more gentle society, but also that it is a precious device to heal the wounds of our past.
The time for reconciliation is now and healing needs to take place. It is our responsibility now as people living in the new South Africa to show our children that at all times they deserve love and respect and by setting an example of how touch each other with love so that our children can become gentle, nurturing, positive and loving human beings that accept and respect each other. Children need to learn to feel good by doing good. Helping others is an uplifting, self-motivating experience that makes people feel confident and empowered and improves the quality of the life of the individual as their whole attitude to life is more positive and fruitful. Let’s teach our children how to care. No one should ever be made to feel left out or "not good enough" or unworthy in any manner whatsoever.
Every single human being is special and unique and has a role to play in society. Every single person has the right to be whoever they want to be and should be guided to choose a path that will ensure them a good education and a good emotional support system which will bring them to the realization that caring for oneself as well as for others brings a powerful and beneficial future that will bring abundance and opportunities for growth and development as opposed to damage and destruction by violence and abuse. Children, who grow up experiencing violence and abuse in the home, in turn do everything possible to influence their peers to be violent and destructive as well.
JEN-TIL is an acronym which stands for JOYOUS, ENTHUSIASTIC, NURTURING, TOUCH, IN, LOVE.
Why does Sister Jenny use massage as a means of teaching Compassion?
She became aware that by massaging the shoulders with a caring intent, the body was able to relax and heal both mentally and emotionally and she believed that she was divinely inspired that the healing creams she had developed were to be used not only for commercial purposes but to start a campaign using her “Philosophy of JEN-TIL TOUCH”.
The Healing Power of Touch
The concept originally started with a natural ability Sister Jenny had since the age of three. But Sister Jenny demonstrates that each of us has the same natural gift.
Why is Touch so important?
Touch is the most natural sense that develops in every single person. Babies are born with an inner craving or hunger to be touched. Research has shown that babies that were deprived of touch from birth have a much higher mortality rate
Children, who have experienced abuse or any form of safe, loving touch, actually have no frame of reference how to respond lovingly to their families’. How does somebody relax and feel safe as an adult if they have never experienced compassion as a child?
These victims of abuse or deprivation of love and compassion in the home, can now experience a safe non-sexual Touch which can have a powerfully positive, calming and empowering effect on the emotions, and can teach them how to show love to their own families, so the cycle of abuse and negative behavior patterns will not continue in future generations.
Remember this is not an intimate massage. JEN-TIL TOUCH must always be done fully clothed.
This Project is aimed at teaching people how to touch safely. Sister Jenny conceived this project, in faith and love for human kind. Her vision is one of love, care, compassion and respect for one another with the ultimate goal of peace and tranquility in a crime free New South- Africa. Even the most hardened criminals - as statistics have shown – had a drastic change of heart and attitude towards life, after they experienced Love and Compassion from fellow citizens”
We can demonstrate that there is no longer a need to resort to violence as a means of achieving a goal. Communication skills can be shared so that people have the confidence to hold discussions and debates in order to make themselves heard.
JEN-TIL Touch makes you feel loved, and helps to let go of aggression as well as past traumatic experiences. We need to teach our children to be gentle with their partners one day. If we can teach our children how to be compassionate, we can create a society of individuals who refrain from violence and abuse in their adulthood.
This message can be communicated through our interactive discussion and team building Massage workshop that takes approx. 2 - 3 hours. It is very important to note that this technique is done fully clothed and does not have any sexual effects or connotations, nor is there any danger of spreading viruses, as it is not done on broken skin.
Making people feel loved and cared for with our words and our actions
For every positive action, we can expect that we too, will attract like a magnet, positive experiences in our lives. Doing good always feels good.
When visiting a house of mourning, for example, or even a house where someone is ill, the need to be touched is even greater. We can express our empathy in the form of a gentle hug or gentle massage on the shoulders (with permission) or even holding the person's hand in a supportive way to show that you care.
We not only teach physical touch, but how to touch people’s lives.
History of the campaign
The official launch took place at the Pick ‘n Pay Hyper Norwood on 22 October 2002.
The original concept was inspired by Sister Jenny’s burning desire to serve humankind. Sister Jenny started doing massage at the age of three. She had a natural gift and with her tiny hands, was able to relieve pain and stress in her father who she massaged on a daily basis. In those days she had an intense need to find out how the body worked as she could not bear anyone to be in pain or suffering.
After Matric, she went on to study nursing, and qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1980. In 1989 she composed “The Nurses Song” which was a song dedicated to the Nursing Profession to honour Nurses for their love and dedication.
Sister Jenny knew her calling was to really make a difference and find a way to ease pain and discomfort. In 1991 she studied Aromatherapy in order to put her natural ability of massage to good use. After two and a half years of intense research she formulated her cream “JEN-TIL Sister Jenny’s Multipurpose Cream” and “JEN-TIL Sister Jenny’s Joints and Muscle cream”.
On the 21st April 1997 she received a letter from the South African Nursing Council giving her permission to practice Aromatherapy and Reflexology with in a nursing practice.
Sister Jenny’s Cream is fast becoming a legend but her main aim is to use the cream to stop crime and violence in South Africa. Sister Jenny believes prevention is better than cure, and if we can teach our children how to be compassionate through the power of safe, non-abusive, non-aggressive, loving touch we can create a society of compassionate, caring, non-aggressive people who will refrain from violence and abuse in their adulthood. This is the only way to stop violence in our future. Sister Jenny received a commendation from people in the UN community.
Our mission is to promote safe non-abusive touch so as to produce a society which is accountable for their actions.
Possibility of schools to participating in developing a programme that could be used in other schools to positively educate and motivate children to BE JEN-TIL (GENTLE) and lead JEN-TIL lives. Continued education and teacher training will lead to sustainability and a possibility of this being used as a pilot for local and international schools to decrease violent behavior in our youth, as well as in society.
Sister Jenny does not claim to have all the answers but she believes that if we unite together with love in our hearts each and every one of us has the potential to make a difference to our country: ultimately to “BE JEN-TIL and HEAL our NATION”
How can you get involved?