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LADLES OF LOVE HELP MHANI GINGI TO NOURISH HUNGRY COMMUNITIES IN CAPE TOWN

Twice-weekly supplies as well as new kitchen equipment from the Ladles of Love organisation have boosted the efforts of four food kitchens Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Organisation is supporting in Cape Town, South Africa, to provide nourishing food to vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mhani Gingi’s three Soup Stations, situated in the Mannenberg/Athlone, Uitsig Community and Retreat areas, and a fourth food kitchen supported by Mhani Gingi in Mannenberg, each feed about 200 people, amounting to around 1 600 individuals receiving food a week.

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These efforts towards food security are a continuation of Mhani Gingi’s work for the past 15 years pursuing a mission to alleviate poverty and hunger through providing sustainable livelihoods for vulnerable communities.  Most of the beneficiaries are situated on the Cape Flats and in the Cape Town area.   The need among these communities has deepened as a result of the impact of the lockdown necessitated by the COVID-19 virus in the country.

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Danny Diliberto, Founder of Ladles of Love, delivers sparkling new equipment to the Mhani Gingi Community Food Kitchen on 18 June 2020.

Founding Director of Mhani Gingi, Lillian Masebenza, was overjoyed on 18 June 2020 when a delegation led by the founder of the Ladles of Love organisation in South Africa, Danny Diliberto, delivered a generous donation of two cookers, two large cooking pots, soup ladles and other kitchen equipment and utensils to assist Mhani Gingi’s soup kitchens that are preparing and distributing food in Cape Town communities presently.

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Since May 2020, Mhani Gingi has received welcome twice-weekly donations of vegetables, rice, maize and other supplies from the Ladles of Love initiative.   These donations are used to cook nutritious food at the soup kitchens.  Mhani Gingi network member, Gladys Gobodo, feeds vulnerable children in the Mannenberg/Athlone area of the Cape Flats.

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A Mhani Gingi Soup Station point distributing nutritious food in Uitsig, South Africa, in June 2020.

A group of 25 people with disabilities under team leader, Vanessa Baadjies, maintains community food gardens at Uitsig Primary School and at the Uitsig Community Centre, supervised by Mhani Gingi.  The group also provides a community soup kitchen which feeds elderly and hungry people in Uitsig.  Another kitchen is operated by the Blouvlei School for Learners with Special Needs (LSN) in Retreat.

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Sparkling new kitchen equipment from Ladles of Love

“These are not just once-off soup kitchens but a continuation of our work with vulnerable groups in our communities,” said Masebenza.  “I am so thankful for the donations from Ladles of Love which goes so well with the work we are doing on a daily basis.”

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Preparing to dish out porridge at a Mhani Gingi Soup Station point in Uitsig, Cape Town, in June 2020.

Vulnerable groups

The three Soup Stations represent the target groups of Mhani Gingi, which include vulnerable women and children, people with disabilities, and youth with special needs.

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Lillian Masebenza, Founding Director of Mhani Gingi, and staff members, proudly display a Ladles of Love apron.

The Mhani Gingi Centre of Social Entrepreneurial Excellence situated at the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children in Athlone, Cape Town, houses the Mhani Gingi Organic Herb and Seedling Nursery which supervises community gardens and promotes healthy nutrition and lifestyles.

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Another queue for food, on a Friday morning in Uitsig, Cape Town, South Africa, in June 2020.

The Centre of Social Entrepreneurial Excellence showcases innovations to include persons with disabilities in urban agriculture.  Mhani Gingi is a partner of the WoW! (WesternCape on Wellness) initiative of the Western Cape Government’s Department of Health.

Restoring Dignity organic soap factory

The Restoring Dignity Liquid Soap Producing Enterprise which Mhani Gingi established with support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, also situated at the Centre of Excellence in Athlone, empowers women survivors of domestic violence.

For further information or to order supplies of organic liquid hand soap contact Lillian Masebenza, Founding Director of Mhani Gingi, at lillian@mhanigingi.com or +27 (0)82 465 4687. 

SOCIAL WELLNESS CAN GIVE YOU SUPPORT DURING THE DIFFICULT TIME OF COVID-19

Wellness is commonly viewed as having seven dimensions: Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Social, Financial, Environmental and Spiritual. This is according to the Autumn 2020 Newsletter of the Western Cape Government’s Westerncape on Wellness initiative, WoW!

Social wellness involves building healthy, nurturing and supportive relationships as well as fostering a genuine connection with those around you.  Our relationships can offer support during difficult times, said WoW!

LM wall geraniumS 2These tips on how you can nurture your Social Wellness are taken from the WoW! Autumn 2020 Newsletter:

1. Make an effort to keep in touch with friends and family to get and give support.

2. Be thankful for the people that you have in your life; tell and show them that you appreciate them.

3. Be tolerant of others regardless of their age, race or ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender or disability.

4.  Develop an understanding of and respect for others’ views. 

5. Learn how to resolve conflict in a constructive way. There is no need for conflicts to become unpleasant or hostile.

6. Volunteering helps develop your sense of gratitude and empathy as well as being a way to meet like-minded people and develop new skills. 

7. Finding groups that share an interest with you allows you to share your knowledge and learn from others. It’s a great way to make new friends, or just to learn something new.

8. Be empathetic with yourself and with others.

9. Keep a happy emotional state and spread hope. 

10. Look for a way to adapt to new changes; and thank and appreciate others.

Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network are supporters and partners of the WoW! initiative, which promotes healthy lifestyles in partnership with communities and organisations in the Western Province.  Find more information on how to achieve a balanced, healthy lifestyle incorporating adequate nutrition and physical exercise here:  https://www.westerncape.gov.za/westerncape-on-wellness/lifestyle-tips.

MANAGE YOUR WORRY AND ANXIETY DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

It is easy to become preoccupied with COVID-19 amidst constant reminders of the pandemic.  Yet, the reaction to stress that helped keep our ancestors safe and ready to respond to the physical dangers they faced, is not always the best way to deal with the type of threats we commonly face today.  This is according to Dr Marshinee Naidoo, a psychiatrist practising at Akeso Alberton mental health facility.

Dr Naidoo explains this evolutionary role of anxiety – and why some of our emotions and responses during COVID-19 pandemic can feel so overwhelming at times.  Read the full article, published on 6 May 2020, at this link:

Is COVID-19 worry affecting your life?

Dr Naidoo also provides the following practical tips for coping with anxiety:

  • SELF-AWARENESS.  Self-awareness — Acknowledge your anxiety and understand that it is a natural yet unhelpful response to the situation, and then make a conscious effort to focus on other things.
  • STAY IN TOUCH.  Stay in touch — Studies suggest that keeping socially connected can help us cope better with stress. Keep in touch with the people you care about through phone calls, e-mails, video chat or texting, not forgetting elderly family and friends, and others who may be feeling isolated.
  • MANAGE STRESS.  Manage stress throughout your day — Incorporate yoga, exercise, meditation and breathing techniques into your routine. These activities can help to reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
  • LAUGHTER RELIEVES TENSION.  Laughter is a great tension-reliever — Try to see the humour or the lighter side of situations.
  • BE THANKFUL.  Substitute worrying for thankfulness by counting all the blessings in your life.

“Displacing worry by focusing energy on something more positive can be helpful in ensuring we are adequately rested to take on our family, work and other priorities. We all experience anxiety at some point, but when anxiety becomes persistent and starts interfering with our ability to cope with everyday life, it is time to address it and seek professional support,” Dr Naidoo says.

Re-published with kind permission of Akeso Group.  Akeso is a group of private in-patient mental health facilities and is part of the Netcare Group.

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KEEPING YOUR SPIRITS UP DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The stay-at-home and social isolation the during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown could be challenging for many people to deal with, according to Sandy Lewis, head of therapeutic services at Akeso mental health facilities.

Lewis and Mark de la Rey, a clinical psychologist at Akeso Kenilworth in Cape Town, offered the following practical advice on how to reduce stress levels and anxiety during the lockdown.  This is a summarised version of their advice.  Read the FULL VERSION at this link:  
Supporting your mental health while in lockdown
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How to reduce stress levels and anxiety during the lockdown:

  • Routine creates structure, which is particularly reassuring for children. Planning activities and having daily goals can assist in keeping one motivated.  Keep to a daily schedule for things such as meal times, exercise time and bedtime.
  • Look after yourself and practice self-care. This includes adopting a diet that is best for you and following good sleep practices.
  • Getting 20 minutes of exercise a day can also help lift your mood and reduce feelings of tension, as it releases endorphins, the ‘feel good hormone’. It can furthermore assist in supporting the immune system.
  • Should you be on your own or have problems with “cabin fever”, try to stay connected with loved ones and friends through a phone or video call or by messaging them regularly. This enables us to obtain support, share concerns and stay connected, so keep in touch with your social networks.
  • Helping others can provide a great distraction from our own anxieties, so consider ways you can assist others remotely over this period.
  • Try to use the time to engage meaningfully with your family.
  • Stay focused on the present moment and your own current issues that need addressing rather than stressing about a future we are not able to predict.
  • Support your optimism by thinking of all the wonderful ways people are supporting one another during this crisis.
  • By all means provide your children with factual information, but do try to avoid projecting your own anxieties and scaring them with some the developments associated with the pandemic.
  • Keep in mind that stress can manifest itself in the child becoming either more isolated or more defiant.
  • If you feel self-isolation is having a negative impact on your mental health, you should seek professional advice. There are a number of organisations that provide telephonic mental health support.
  • Remember, a sense of humour keeps things light, especially with children and older family members who might be feeling particularly anxious.

 Read the full article here: 
Supporting your mental health while in lockdown
.

Re-published with kind permission of Akeso Group.  Akeso is a group of private in-patient mental health facilities and is part of the Netcare Group.

Mhani Gingi wellness champions attend WoW! cooking course

Members of the Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network attended a Healthy Plant-Based Cooking Course for Wellness Champions of the Western Cape Government’s WoW! (WesternCape on Wellness) programme on 4 – 8 February 2019.

The five-day course attended by 16 ‘health champions’ from Cape Town communities focused on the health, environmental, global and economic benefits of healthy plant-based eating.  Mhani Gingi nurserywoman, Vuyiseka Tekwana, and Founding Director, Lillian Masebenza, represented the organisation.

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Vuyisa Tekwana of Mhani Gingi Nursery demonstrates a plate of healthy, plant-based food picked from the nursery gardens in Athlone, Cape Town.

Various presenters dealt with health-related topics and participants received practical cooking lessons. The course was delivered at the Private Hotel School of the Capsicum Culinary Studio in Salt River, Cape Town.

Community-based ‘health champions’

The WoW! programme includes ‘health champions’ from the community and community-based organisations who help to promote healthy, active lifestyles.  After the Train-the-Trainer course, each WoW! Wellness Champion was required to train at least 10 other people from their community group.

This resulted in a follow-up in which Mhani Gingi trained 20 people from Uitsig Community, Ravensmead, to implement knowledge gained from workshop. The group of people with physical disabilities from Uitsig Community who received the training are partners and beneficiaries of Mhani Gingi.  They maintain community food gardens at Uitsig Community Centre and at Uitsig Primary School.

TOGETHER LET’S ERADICATE GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE 

Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network, together with partners the 1.6 Million Club Sweden and Yennenga Progress, hosted a Family Unit Participative Conference in Cape Town from 17 to 19 August 2017 that drew together about 30 entities over three days. The purpose was to co-create a solution to feed into the strategy to be used in ongoing efforts directed at preventing the violation of the rights of women and children.

The initiative aimed to promote the health and safety of women and children, eradicate gender-based violence and strengthen the family unit.  It brought together service providers and organisations working in areas with high contact crime rates, government and political entities, participants from communities, and experts, with the objective of creating safer communities and forming a united voice against the violation of the vulnerable.

Holistic, integrated and inclusive

“The problems of violence in our society necessitate the need for a holistic, integrated and inclusive project to highlight the importance of the functional Family Unit,” said Lillian Masebenza, Founding Director of the Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network.  “The initiative will result in the establishment of a formal programme to achieve the objectives of the participative family conference”, she added.

Strengthening families and combating violence

Albert Fritz, Minister for Social Development in the Western Cape Province, expressed his support for the conference in a message that was screened at the event via video.

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Albert Fritz, Minister for Social Development in the Western Cape Province (centre), with Lillian Masebenza, Founding Director of Mhani Gingi (left) and Liezl van der Westhuizen, Project Manager (right).

In his message, Minister Fritz expressed his support for the family emphasis of the conference and for a holistic approach to the problems being addressed.  He acknowledged the need for more to be done to ensure the safety of women and children and to combat violence. “We need to disrupt our own programmes,” Minister Fritz said.  Things were not working enough to protect women and children.  “(The situation) cannot continue the way it is,” he added.

Preparing fathers

An added focus of the conference was preparing soon-to-be or new fathers and men in general to understand their roles and take up the responsibility to care for and protect their children and the mothers of their children.

The three-day Family Unit Participative Conference featured discussion around five integrated thematic topic areas:  Education/Skills Transfer; Social Justice & Safety; Social Entrepreneurship; Healthy Lifestyle; and Food Security & Nutrition.

Protection of the vulnerable

On 17 August, speakers highlighted current realities.  Discussion focused on current efforts and the way forward to ensure safe communities and protection of the vulnerable.  On 18 August, capacity-building sessions were facilitated by selected non-governmental organisations.  Round Table Collaborative Strategy discussions among stakeholders within the different thematic sectors aimed to come up with a draft action plan for a collaborative effort to address the challenges.  The final day, 19 August, included an inter-faith prayer circle.

Various organisations participating in the conference included non-governmental organisations working within the sectors of social justice, prevention and reduction of abuse and domestic violence; sexual and reproductive health programmes; services engaging men and boys; those equipping parents of children living with disabilities and persons who are differently abled; as well as organisations focusing on the family unit. 

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A conversation with the CEO of Artscape Theatre Centre, Marlene le Roux (right), was screened. She is pictured with Founding Director of Mhani Gingi, Lillian Masebenza (centre), and Project Manager, Liezl van der Westhuizen (left).

Raising awareness

Alexandra Charles, Founder and President of the 1.6 & 2.6 Million Club, addressed the Family Unit Participative Conference on how she built one of Sweden’s largest non-profit women’s organisations.  Carin Götblad, Regional Police Commissioner in Police Region Central, Uppsala, Sweden, and for two years a National Co-ordinator Against Domestic Violence, was another speaker.

Preventing abuse of women and children

Claudia Burger, Programme Director at Activists Networking against the Exploitation of Children (Anex), addressed the subject of the influence of abuse on the family unit.  Aneleh le Roux, Training Manager at Christian AIDS Bureau for Southern Africa (CABSA), introduced the global campaign of Thursdays in Black initiated to combat rape and violence.

Another participant in the three-day conference was poet, playwright and performer, Malika Ndlovu.

Safer spaces

Researcher for the Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI) at the Institute for Safety Governance in the Global South at the University of Cape Town, Giselle Warton, also addressed the event.  Warton is content manager of SaferSpaces, an online knowledge-sharing and networking portal for safety and crime prevention practitioners.

Another expert speaker from Sweden was Dr Veronica Svedhem Johansson, Senior Consultant in the Department of Infectious Diseases at Karolinska University Hospital and Director of the Swedish HIV National Quality Assurance Registry.  Mark Kleinschmidt, Anglican Lay Minister and Ward 60 Councillor for the City of Cape Town, served as master of ceremonies on the first and last days.

The 1.6 Million Club Sweden, which raises awareness around women’s health and lifestyle issues and lobbies for fair, gender-based, medical research, funded the initiative together with Yennenga Progress, an organisation serving as an accelerator for development.

 

WELLNESS CHAMPIONS ATTEND WOW! PLANT-BASED COOKING COURSE

Members of the Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network attended a Healthy Plant-Based Cooking Course for Wellness Champions of the Western Cape Government’s WoW! (WesternCape on Wellness) programme on 4 – 8 February 2019.

Various presenters dealt with health-related topics and participants received practical cooking lessons. The course was delivered at the Private Hotel School of the Capsicum Culinary Studio in Salt River, Cape Town.

Vuyiseka Tekwana of Mhani Gingi Nursery s
Vuyisa Tekwana of Mhani Gingi Organic Vegetable and Herb Seedling Nursery demonstrates a plate of healthy, plant-based food picked from the nursery gardens in Athlone, Cape Town.

Community-based ‘health champions’

The WoW! programme includes ‘health champions’ from the community and community-based organisations who help to promote healthy, active lifestyles.  After the Train-the-Trainer course, each WoW! Wellness Champion was required to train at least 10 other people from their community group.

This resulted in a follow-up in which Mhani Gingi trained 20 people from Uitsig Community, Ravensmead, to implement knowledge gained from workshop. The group of people with physical disabilities from Uitsig Community who received the training are partners and beneficiaries of Mhani Gingi.  They maintain community food gardens at Uitsig Community Centre and at Uitsig Primary School.

FATHERS CAN MAKE A CHANGE

As part of the Family Unit Participative Conference, Mhani Gingi hosted a 5-day Fatherhood Training Workshop in Cape Town from 20 to 24 November 2017 for organisations who participated in the conference.  The initiative was for male delegates who are interested in forming support groups and becoming support group facilitators – with a specific focus on new or soon-to-be fathers in their communities.

Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network hosted the training in partnership with 1.6 Million Club Sweden and Yennenga Progress, who also funded and collaborated in the Family Unit Participative Conference.

The Fatherhood Training Workshop was presented by Nils Pettersson.  He has worked with the Swedish organisation, Men for Gender Equality, and has conducted similar initiatives in Latvia, Poland, Burkina Faso, Zambia and other countries.

The objective was to begin fathers’ groups in different organisations, said Pettersson.  Participants were trained how to conduct groups. The 14 participants who attended, from all over South Africa, were all interested in a project to involve, engage and inspire fathers, in order to empower women and children, said Pettersson.

The workshop content created awareness about gender issues in family life and explored the local context to create material for use in fathers’ group meetings.

Equitable partners

“The main objective with this work is to empower women and children and (to encourage) a non-violent approach. Men have to take on more of the unpaid work in the home and care-giving of children. By engaging men in a positive way as equitable partners and good fathers, we can achieve a change not only for women and children but also for men themselves,” said Pettersson.

FAMILY UNIT PARTICIPATIVE CONFERENCE

Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network, in collaboration with Swedish partners 1.6 Million Club Sweden and Yennenga Progress, are hosting a Family Unit Participative Conference in Cape Town from 17 to 19 August 2017 aimed at co-creating solutions that after the conference will feed into ongoing efforts directed at preventing the violation of the rights of women and children and strengthening the family unit.

This initiative to help promote the health and safety of women and children and eradicate gender-based violence includes among its planned outcomes the formation of support groups for mothers and fathers.

“Mhani Gingi wishes to contribute to enhancing the role of duty-bearers, community leaders, other non-governmental organisations also involved in this plight, government departments and service providers to improve the human rights and safety situation in the Western Cape.

“The focus will be on uniting women and men from different backgrounds to ensure a renewed emphasis is placed on women’s health, restoring their dignity, empowering them economically and ensuring safety of the vulnerable within our fragile communities,” said Lillian Masebenza, Founding Director of Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network.

The participative conference will focus on areas that experience high contact crime rates, including Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Nyanga/Philippi, Langa, Uitsig in Ravensmead, Manenberg and surrounding areas.  Service providers and other stakeholders already operating in these areas are being engaged with a view to reclaiming safe community spaces and enhancing joint efforts.

A voice against violation of the vulnerable

“The problems of violence in our society necessitate the need for a holistic, integrated and inclusive project to highlight the importance of the functional Family Unit.  This is a big challenge in that many ‘families’ are child-headed,” Masebenza said.

JoinUS

“This project’s focus is a holistic and integrated approach, making the Family Unit, in whichever form, its point of departure.  Its strength will be on networking with existing services, organisations, political leaders and other entities already functioning within these areas to come together as one voice against violation of the rights of women, children and the vulnerable,” Masebenza said.

 

For 14 years Mhani Gingi had focused mainly on women, youth, children at Early Childhood Development facilities, as well as on People with Disabilities (PWDs).  An additional focus would be a proactive approach to preparing soon-to-be or new fathers and men in general to understand their roles and take up the responsibility to care for and protect their children and the mothers of their children, she added.

The conference will bring together about 300 delegates over the three days to share and showcase success stories or community-grown initiatives, identify current challenges, and formulate pro-active strategies to address issues flowing from the conference.

Integrated topic areas include:

  1. Education/Skills Transfer;
  2. Social Justice & Safety;
  3. Social Entrepreneurship;
  4. Healthy Lifestyle; and
  5. Food Security & Nutrition.

The participative conference will encourage interaction between the audiences and speakers so that discussions lead to implementable, co-created solutions and collaborative outcomes.  Important to note is that the work of this project will be ongoing towards establishing a programme, Masebenza said.

Experts from Sweden are among the speakers.  The 1.6 Million Club Sweden, which promotes women’s health, will fund the initiative together with Yennenga Progress, an organisation serving as an accelerator for development.  For further information, willingness to get involved or support for this project, contact Project Manager for Mhani Gingi on the initiative, Liezl van der Westhuizen, at +27 (0)21 531 8577 or +27 (0)82 373 0971.  Or e-mail director@creatividad.co.za.

BONTEHEUEWEL WALKING LADIES HOST SEMINAR ON MENTAL HEALTH

About 100 women shared personal experiences and discussed depression and teenage suicide at a Health and Human Rights seminar hosted on 27 August 2016 by the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies in collaboration with the 1.6 Million Club South Africa and Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network.

However, the event was cut short by the sound of gunshots from gang activity in the area, which disrupted proceedings at the Bonteheuwel Community Hall and brought home the reality of challenges faced by women living in communities of Cape Town.

The keynote address on teenage suicide was delivered by Cassey Chambers, Operations Director of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, SADAG.  Chambers said it was important to encourage women to “keep talking and sharing” and to acknowledge mental health problems that affected them “before it is too late”.

Teenage suicide is becoming more and more of a problem in South Africa as attitudes to speaking about the problem shift, Chambers said.  “The youngest suicide that we are aware of was a seven-year-old,” she told the seminar.  Parents needed to realise that children were also at risk for depression and to talk to them about depression and anxiety.  “Don’t wait for there to be a crisis,” she said.

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Cassey Chambers, Operations Director of SADAG

Based on South African National Youth Risk Behaviour Survey 2011 statistics, one in four teenagers in South Africa had experienced sad or hopeless feelings and 31.5% of teenagers had made suicide attempts requiring medical treatment, Chambers said.

“It is important to be informed and to be able to recognise the warning signs … and also to know that there is a dedicated helpline with counselling available.”

Lillian Masebenza, Founding Director of Mhani Gingi, said:  “We are all faced with the scourge of mental illness.  It is important for us to be aware of the signs and to know who to turn to.”  She looked forward to further collaborations working together to empower the less fortunate who were faced with traumatic experiences on a  daily basis.

Pastor Elizabeth Stevens opened proceedings.  The programme included a “Peace Diet” that seeks an end to all wars, including gang and drug wars.  The Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies, led by Soraya Salie, planned an item called “Shaking Off the Shackles of Abuse”.

Perpetrators often took advantage of unlettered women and children, said Salie.  “We say NO to violence and abuse against Women and children!!”

The Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies are an interfaith group without barriers of faith, culture, creed, colour, gender or age.  They have been in operation for the past nine years.

SADAG 24-hour helpline:   0800 12 13 14

AWARENESS SEMINAR ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE

An awareness seminar on Mental Health, Disability and Substance Abuse took place in Cravenby Estate, Cape Town, on 20 August.  This was part of the series of Women’s Month 2016 health events being presented by the 1.6 Million Club South Africa and Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network.

Ward Councillor, Beverley van Reenen, opened the event.  Occupational Therapist from Akeso Clinic Kenilworth, Megan Hofhuis, addressed the topic of Physical Disability.  Lillian Masebenza, Founding Director of Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network, also spoke and Councillor Suzette Little delivered the Keynote Address.  Health Ambassadors will take messages promoting good health back into communities after the health events.

The purpose of the 20 August event was to tackle social inclusion and to address social challenges that affect communities, said Van Reenen.  “There are many social ills and dangers that affect our communities on a daily basis which include the associated substance abuse,” she said.

“I believe that in partnering with Mhani Gingi we could tackle the problem together as one and make a bigger impact.”

Produce grown by 25 disabled individuals who operate a vegetable garden at Uitsig Community, assisted by Mhani Gingi, was showcased at the event.

“Uitsig, according to statistics, has the highest prevalence of TB (tuberculosis) in the world – not just in the Western Cape or South Africa.  The crime rate is also very high.  We are hoping that by promoting the work of the disabled to propagate vegetables and herbs, which they eat, donate as well as sell to generate income, we are addressing the problem of unemployment and chronic poverty.

“Food security is essential in promoting healthy lifestyles.  This way we hope to close the health gap,” said Masebenza.

The theme of the 2016 health events presented by the 1.6 Million Club South Africa and Mhani Gingi is “Closing the Health Gap through Innovation and Inclusivity.”

Health and Human Rights event on 27 August 2016                   

An event on Health and Human Rights will be held in association with the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies at Bonteheuwel Community Centre on 27 August.  Cassey Chambers, Operations Director of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, SADAG, will speak on the subject of Teen Suicide Prevention.

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WOMEN’ S DAY EVENT ON HEALTHY BODY AND MIND

 

Events being held in Cape Town communities during Women’s Month in August 2016 to promote mental and physical well-being included a Women’s Day celebration at Blouvlei Resources Centre in Retreat on 12 August addressing the subject of Healthy Body, Healthy Mind.

The events being presented by the 1.6 Million Club South Africa and Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network on the theme of “Closing the Health Gap through Innovation and Inclusivity” kicked off with a seminar hosted by Kenilworth Akeso Clinic on 16 July for educare principals from the greater Philippi area, Old Crossroads and Khayelitsha.

Women’s Day 2016 celebration

The event on 12 July to celebrate Women’s Day 2016 was attended by partners of the Blouvlei School for learners with special needs.  Blouvlei School Principal, Cordelia Romes, said:  “At Blouvlei we have strong females making a difference and we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the pressures that we deal with daily and to enhance coping with these, by taking care of ourselves.  The economy, family structures, job demands, substance abuse, single parent households, and the fall of values and morals add to the stress.”

Miriam Daniels, a Social Worker from the Retreat Day Hospital, spoke on the topic of Health is a State of Mental, Physical, Spiritual and Social Well-being.  Daniels said that many daily stress factors impacted on women and they needed to strike a balance in their lives between the different sources of pressure.  Daniels offered advice on how to achieve mental well-being, which affected how women felt, how they dealt with daily challenges, how they expressed themselves and how they connected with the world, she said.

Mhani Gingi has partnered with Blouvlei School to strengthen its gardening programme in which four learners with cognitive disabilities are being equipped with skills to cultivate nutritious food.

Health seminar on 20 August 2016

A seminar on the theme of Mental Health, Disability and Substance Abuse will take place in Cravenby Estate, Uitsig, on 20 August.  Ward 25 Councillor, Beverley van Reenen, will open the event while Lillian Masebenza, Founding Director of Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network, will introduce Health Ambassadors who will take messages promoting good health back into communities.

Speakers from the South Africa Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) and Akeso Specialised Psychiatric Clinics will address the topics of Drug Abuse and Physical Disability.  There will also be input from the Cape Provincial Department of Health.

Uitsig is a densely populated area known for problems such as crime, gangsterism and drug abuse as well as having the highest tuberculosis (TB) infection rates on the Cape Flats.

Produce grown by 25 disabled individuals who operate a vegetable garden at Uitsig Community, assisted by Mhani Gingi, will be showcased at the event on 20 August.  “We are hoping that by promoting the work of the disabled to propagate vegetables and herbs, which they eat, donate as well as sell to generate income, we are addressing the problem of unemployment and chronic poverty.  Food security is essential in promoting healthy lifestyles.  This way we hope to close the health gap,” said Masebenza.

Health event on 27 August 2016

An event being held in association with the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies at Bonteheuwel Community Hall on 27 August will focus on Health and Human Rights.  Somchiyah Thembaka will present her Peace Diet and Cassey Chambers, Operations Director of SADAG, will speak on Teen Suicide Prevention.  Chambers will address the state of teenage suicide in South Africa today, warning signs, how to get help and what the community can do to prevent teenage suicide.

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ENSURING WELLNESS  OF EDUCARE PRINCIPALS

The 2016 Health Events being organised by the 1.6 Million Club South Africa and Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network kicked off with a seminar “giving back” to seven Early Childhood Development (ECD) facility principals from the greater Philippi area, Old Crossroads and Khayelitsha in Cape Town.

The event on 16 July afforded the ECD principals an opportunity to “refuel, recharge and re-energise” as a thank-you for their tireless and vital work in the community.  “They give so much to so many and seldom think of their own well-being,” said Mhani Gingi Trustee, Joan Wright.

Kenilworth Akeso Clinic hosted the event.  Megan Hofhuis, an Occupational Therapist at Kenilworth Akeso Clinic, facilitated a workshop for the principals on physical and emotional well-being and the importance of taking care of themselves.  The Light and Healing Centre provided two blind therapists who gave the principals a head, neck and back massage.

 Stress is a major factor affecting the principals in their daily work and ensuring their wellness is paramount, according to Wright.  “These are the leaders in the ECD space without whose leadership, vision, passion and dedication the children could not attain to future progress,” she said.

The 2016 Health Events being presented by the 1.6 Million Club South Africa and Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network have the theme of “Closing the Health Gap through Innovation and Inclusivity”.  Akeso Specialised Psychiatric Clinics and the South African Depression and Anxiety Group are providing speakers for some of the events.    

 

LAUNCH OF 2016 HEALTH EVENTS

Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network together with the 1.6 Million Health Club South Africa and Akeso Specialised Psychiatric Clinics will launch a series of Health Events in Bonteheuwel, Cravenby Estate, Ravensmead, Nyanga, Philippi and Retreat communities of Cape Town during July and August 2016 on the theme of “Closing the Health Gap through Innovation and Inclusivity”.

The events to honour Youth Month in June, Mandela Day in July and Women’s Month in August are a continuation of the successful Women’s Health Seminars held in 2015.  Akeso, together with The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), will provide speakers.

Topics to be covered at the 2016 Health Events

Teen Suicide:   This accounts for more than nine percent of teen deaths, according to SADAG, and is on the rise in South Africa as youth are subjected to increasing pressures.

Substance Abuse:  The cause of multiple problems in communities.

Single Parenting:  The stresses for single parents and the elderly who are looking after their grandchildren when parents have passed on prematurely.

Disability and Skills Development:  The importance of economic freedom in counteracting ill health.

Mental Health and Disability:  Understanding mental problems and addressing stigma.

Planned events

  • 16 July 2016:  Seven educare centre principals attended a Health Seminar hosted by Akeso Kenilworth Clinic.
  • 20 August 2016: A Health Event in the Cravenby-Ravensmead area will focus on Mental Health, Disability and Substance Abuse.
  • 27 August 2016: A culminating Health Event in collaboration with the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies will focus on Health and Human Rights.

For further information please contact:  Lillian Masebenza, Founding Director of Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network.  Cell phone:  082 465 4687.  Telephone:  021 531 8577.

 

 

New Upcoming Event on 22 August!

The 1.6 Million Club South Africa and Mhani Gingi are excited to invite you all to join our interactive seminar focusing on women’s mental health. It is our greatest pleasure to have invited several prestigious speakers from different background to share with us the ideas on healthy lifestyle, stress management and women empowerment. Be the change you want to see n the world! Come and join us now!
Invitation to The Women's Health Brunch Programme v2

The cost is R200 which includes food, participation in all activities, and also sponsors the entry fee for a community member. Below are the payment details.
***Please send a copy of the payment receipt to millionclubsa@gmail.com. A confirmation email will be sent once the payment has been received.

Bank: First National Bank
Branch No: 250655
Account Name: Mhani Gingi Trust
Account No: 62454928501
Reference: Full Name off attendee

What is 1.6 Million Club South Africa?

The 1.6 Million Club South Africa is a collaboration between the 1.6 Million Club Sweden and Mhani Gingi, with the primary  goal of ensuring all women have the best possible quality of life and health. The partnership strives to guarantee equal rights for women by advocating gender equality and by promoting a holistic and gender-based approach to healthcare.

The Club partners with organizations and individuals from different sectors to develop activities such as monthly workshops related to women’s health. These workshops focus on raising awareness of various topics such as gender based violence, substance abuse, and nutrition. The workshops lead up to a large convention where guest speakers from both the 1.6 Million Club Sweden and Mhani Gingi, as well as experts from various disciplines, give inspiring talks and host hands on activities for the attendees. This year’s event is being held on 22 August, 2015 with an overarching theme of mental health, and many sub themes related to women’s health. The Club also raises awareness around sexual assault by distributing flyers in different areas of Cape Town.

An organization focusing on issues around women´s health and lifestyle