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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