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Empowering Communities

Promoting Mental Health Awareness in Communities

By Empowering Communities, News

Good mental health and well-being are essential for individuals to lead fulfilling lives and for communities to thrive. Unfortunately, mental health is still stigmatized in many communities, preventing individuals from seeking help and support when needed. This is particularly true in low-income communities where access to resources is limited, and young people are at risk of turning to vices such as substance abuse, early engagement in sexual activities, and dropping out of school.

The African Impact Foundation recognizes the importance of promoting mental health awareness in communities. Through initiatives such as Youth Insaka and LETS, The African Impact Foundation is working to increase awareness and reduce mental illness stigma in Livingstone and its surrounding communities.

Youth Insaka.

Youth Insaka is a program designed to help young people navigate the challenging time of adolescence. Through weekly workshops held in six schools, learners are taught the importance of managing their emotions and stress to improve their physical and mental well-being. Topics covered include self-care, regular exercise, discussing problems, and eating well.

LETS Gender Empowerment program. 

The LETS program is another initiative that focuses on reproductive and health management essentials. The program runs for about seven weeks, with groups meeting twice weekly for two-hour sessions.

The instructors teach participants the importance of maintaining a healthy state of mind and how it can aid in developing their talents and focusing on their passions.

These programs help young people manage their emotions and stress and emphasize the importance of self-care, regular exercise, and healthy eating. By nourishing the mind with positivity, creativity, and education, we can help individuals and communities thrive.

Find our more about our impact, here

Disrupt the cycle of poverty with African Impact Foundation 

Farmers of the Future, Greater Kruger

By Empowering Communities
Developing skills for unemployed youth through using community gardens for subsistence and for an opportunity to develop important life, agricultural and business skills for small business opportunities.
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Our initial goal is to help these unemployed young people to sustain themselves and their families through growing vegetables to supplement their diet for self sufficiency through our Farmers of the Future project in Greater Kruger. Once this is achieved we will educate the young people to build their skills for income generation.

We are currently working in partnership with Maputha Ditshaba High School who have offered us a piece of land that we will create a community garden to help local community members sustain themselves and their families and increase income generation. Initially high school graduates will have the opportunity to learn new skills and a sustainable way of feeding themselves and their families. It will be a self-sustaining model where the youth will receive equipment and training in the garden to be able to produce vegetables for their own sustenance as well as producing seedling boxes for others. As a second phase we will provide training in basic business skills to assist with future income generation and further education.

Short Term Impact: The high school graduates will be able to provide nutritious vegetables for themselves and their families as well as learning food gardening skills.

Long Term Impact: The young people from the Farmers of the Future project in Greater Kruger will create seedling boxes and vegetables to sell for income generation and so they can start their own garden at home. These youths will be using seedlings to start their own garden at home or continue into commercial farming to maximize income generation and partner with local businesses.

Bushbuckridge Local Municipality is one of the five constituents of Ehlanzeni District Municipality in Mpumalanga. Basic services such as running water, sanitation and health care are all under developed in this rural area. The area suffers severe unemployment, poverty, high rates of HIV/AIDS and a lack of basic education.

Many of the local residents live with family or extended family in basic housing due to the levels of poverty in the area, and the level of education is low with many of the population aged 20 years and above having no formal schooling. Although rates of Primary School attendance are improving, further and higher education in the area remains a challenge. This, in turn, increases the high unemployment rate, which currently sits at over 50%.

  • 2017: We started phase 1 of the project where we were able to secure permission for the use of the land from the Maputha Ditshaba High School and land has seen the developments of 87 garden beds. Having planted 1615 seedlings of cabbage, beetroot, spring onion, chillies, spinach, tomatoes and green pepper, we have been able to provide 1066 full meals for 6 participants and their families with a nutrition content of 197kg.

With the drought in South Africa, the team became innovative and have put in place an watering system with 2L plastic bottles. By planting them upside down in the soil, we won’t lose water through evaporation and because the water goes deeper in the soil the plants will grow deeper and stronger roots. The gardeners and the volunteers are already collecting them and we have already planted 15 of them. Adding to that, we put in place mulching. The idea is to cover the soil with a layer of hay/dry grass in order to retain the water in the soil and to keep it protected.

We have completed compost bins and to get some aromatic herbs to fight against some pests.

  •  2018: We started Phase 2 of the project with a local successful farmer who has allotted us with 5 hectares of his land to be cultivated by the Farmers of the Future participants for their own development. Funds were spent to support the four farmers, on the purchase of stationery items used in the workshops held to support the young farmers, ploughing of the land by the Department of Agriculture, water sources for the land, and the provision of seedlings and gardening equipment.
  • 2019: The goal is to increase the number of farmers attending the programme and to expand each phase, including the last phase which includes the business development.