TOGETHER LET’S ERADICATE GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

 

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.

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“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.

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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

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