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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