Putting a smile on a child’s face

By: Anele Gcwabe

Smiling not only offers a mood boost but helps our bodies release cortisol and endorphins that provide numerous health benefits, including:

  • Reduced blood pressure.
  • Increased endurance.
  • Reduced pain.
  • Reduced stress.
  • Strengthened immune system.


If you’ve ever manged to put a smile on someone’s face, you’ve managed not only to make them happy, but to increase their years in life because you’ve also helped to boost their immune system. This is one of the many reasons why 2018 Activator, Paris Nyiko Makaringe, started his organisation, Lonwabo Lwesizwe (1000Kids 1000Smiles). It is true that when a child is happy, a nation is happy and its future leaders are in good health.

“As we face Covid 19 as a country, we have identified the need to join hands and step into the education sector to play our part , 1000kids 1000smiles’ main focus is reach to 1000 kids in the form of distributing food parcels that consists of non-perishable food, toiletries and 2nd hand clothes during this time , we do this with our different stakeholders”, says Paris as he explains their contribution to their community even during the difficult time of Covid-19.

The Lonwabo Lwesizwe initiative, Freedom Park- South of Johannesburg, is aimed at helping young children achieve peak success by relieving them of the stress of not having food, clothes, toiletries and basic stationary so that they can focus on their school work. This is an important contribution to the country and the community of Freedom Park because, as Nelson Mandela so eloquently put it, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” And changing the world is the bottom line for this 27 year old.

To date, they have been able to reach more than 10 000 Beneficiaries within a space of 5 years and have managed to partner with more than 15 Different stakeholders, including the City of Johannesburg and the Local Drug Action Committee. Offering social relief to children and their families so that they can grow up in happy homes, has been at the top of their agenda throughout the years.

Paris says that other Activators can be part of the initiative through networking and building long solid partnerships “to help us not only reach 1000 + Kids per year and enable us to improve our social relief program and offer support to the families involved.”

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