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Jan 29, 2019

TRE helps clients to overcome trauma and face life

TRE group session
TRE group session

Since our last report in November 2018, our newly trained Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) community facilitators have been hard at work! Thanks to the funds raised by our GlobalGiving family, they are bringing relief to individual clients as well as Hlokomela field staff on a weekly basis.

Who have we helped?

Staff in game lodges, local business, and farms in the Hoedspruit area and poor rural communities in Maruleng Local Municipality benefit from sessions with our two on-staff TRE facilitators, Tshepo Lewele and Kgopotso Manamela. From November 2018 to January 2019 these ladies conducted TRE sessions with 19 clients. All Hlokomela staff have access to either one-on-one or group sessions with the in-house facilitators. Our Nompilos (health workers) and peer educators also attend sessions. This helps them a lot as they are working in the field on a daily basis and need relief to counteract burnout tension. Our trained community facilitators facilitated one-on-one TRE sessions for 11 farm workers during the reporting period. These sessions were conducted at their places of work - a great benefit of the service as farm workers don’t need to take a lot of time off from work.

Will more community facilitators be trained?

With support from our friends in the GlobalGiving community, we plan to launch another round of training for 10 new community facilitators from March to September 2019. These facilitators will be based on farms as well as in the communities, where poor health conditions, violence, abuse, and poverty often result in compassion fatigue, indirect trauma and anxiety as well as personal stress and trauma.

Success stories

A local lodge owner brought one of her female staff members to Hlokomela after the young woman survived a very traumatic car hijacking. Tshepo says: “the client was struggling a lot as she was unable to sleep and concentrate at work”. “During the session, I could tell that her body was overwhelmed with tension and she reacted very well to the TRE technique. After attending two TRE sessions with me, she is able to drive and perform her duties at work again”. Another female client was referred to Hlokomela after losing her 6-year-old son in a very traumatic drowning incident. The lady couldn’t focus at work and suffered from sleeplessness for two weeks after the incident. “ I did a one-on-one session with her and she released a lot of the tension that was stored in her body. After the session she slept much better!” says Tshepo.


Jan 22, 2019

Hlokomela Women's Clinic provides some feedback!

                              Hlokomela Women’s Clinic Report




We are excited to reflect back on the last 3 months at the Hlokomela women’s Clinic.

2018 has been an award-winning year! Literally. The Hlokomela Women’s Clinic was nominated for a Community Chess Impomelelo Social innovation award.

We won a Gold award! The award ceremony was held at the prestigious Art scape Theatre in Cape Town on the 28th of November 2018. Along with this very honourable award, came a R30000-00 cheque.

The women’s Clinic decided to allocate the funds toward the production of re-useable sanitary towels.

With over a million South African girls missing school every year, due to not being able to afford sanitary products, we believe that investing in this project will allow us to help many young girls, not only for one or two months, but for much longer periods of time. Allowing them to attend school and obtain an education. This is the right of each child in South Africa.

No girl’s education should ever be hindered by the inability to obtain sanitary products.



As mentioned in previous reports, one of our greatest challenges remains the referral system for patients with possible malignant findings in their breasts.


As also previously reported, negotiations between the Breast Health Foundation, Discovery Health and Hlokomela Women’s Clinic, it has now become possible to refer patients to a Breast Clinic in Johannesburg. The Helen Josef Hospital’s Breast Clinic now allow for patients from the Hlokomela Women’s Clinic to consult with the amazing team of doctors and specialist, under the lead of Professor Carol Benn. Prof Benn is well known all around the world for her research, and ground braking work in the breast oncology field. 


We are proud to announce that we currently have 5 patients under the care of Prof Benn and her team. Each patient at a different stage of diagnosis and or treatment.


The Breast health Foundation, under the guidance of their CEO, Louise Turner and Discovery Health, has generously agreed to take care of travel costs from Hoedspruit to Johannesburg as well as to provide accommodation to patients while undergoing testing or receiving treatment.



16 Days of activism against women and child abuse


On Saturday 8 December 2018, a group of farm workers, Hlokomela employees and members of the community, participated in a fun walk, in protest against the abuse of women and children. The high summer temperatures we experience here in Hoedspruit, and it can be extremely hot with mercury rising to mid-40’s (degrees Celsius) did not prevent us from part taking in this very important event. The day ended with one of our local farms, Rederberg Estate, hosting a friendly soccer match. The day was filled with music, fun and an awareness of the cause.




The “bra” drop



During the last 18 moths of working with female farm workers, it has become apparent that so many women do not own the correct fitting under garments. Many women simply cannot afford to buy bra’s or wear wrong sizes handed down to them from family members or friends.

The Hlokomela Women’s Clinic identified the need and decided to launch a project called The Bra drop. This project allows for the donation of new or previously loved bra’s to the women’s clinic. These garments are washed and sorted according to size.

When a patient enters our clinic and the need arises, we go through out stock of bra’s and find the correct size to fit the patient.

We have had a great response with this project and we hope to help many women in 2019.


We are very excited about 2019. We trust that we will help/ guide and continue to provide much needed breast cancer screening and other women’s health related screening to our farm workers and extended communities.


Team Hlokomela Women’s Clinic

Nov 1, 2018

TRE Community facilitators graduate at Hlokomela

TRE Community Facilitators graduation ceremony
TRE Community Facilitators graduation ceremony

Through the support of our GlobalGiving family, sixteen nompilos (community health workers), peer educators, home-based carers and community workers from the Hoedspruit, Phalaborwa, and Tzaneen areas were trained as TRE Community Facilitators. TRE (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) is a method to help release tension stored in the body due to stress, anxiety, and trauma. TRE can be used in crises and after accidents as emergency interventions but is mainly taught as a self-help tool with the aim of bringing the body and mind back into balance, thereby improving overall health.

  Over a period of 6 months Dr. Erika Coertzen, a doctor of integrative medicine from Tzaneen, trained participants, culminating in a graduation celebration on 4 October 2018 at Hlokomela.

  It has long been Dr. Erika Coertzen’s dream to spread TRE to the rural communities where people have little access to mental health facilities. In a pilot project, Hlokomela in Hoedspruit hosted eight training days where participants, selected by three NGOs, learned how the body responds to stress and trauma and how to alleviate the symptoms. These NGOs, Hlokomela, CHoiCe Trust and Anova Health Institute, have been working with TRE for a number of years and have seen such positive results that they decided to support this project. Funding was, as always, a difficulty and the costs the NGOs could not cover were raised through private and corporate sponsoring, notably through our GlobalGiving project. Thank you!

  The participants soon felt the benefits of TRE on their own bodies and thoroughly enjoyed the course days. There was a wonderful sense of connection in the group and attendance was almost perfect. The feedback has been astonishing as most participants reported improvements in sleep, anxiety, irritability, digestion, aches and pains and energy levels after 6 months of practicing TRE.

  Equipped with donated yoga mats and blankets these new TRE Community Facilitators will go out and facilitate TRE with people who have experienced some form of trauma and teach it to as many people as possible as a self-help tool to support them in coping with their life circumstances.

  The pilot was a resounding success and the course will be repeated next year, spreading TRE further in our communities to counteract the effects of trauma and stress, improving the mental and physical health of the population. We are confident that we will be able to repeat the course with your continued support!

  For more information contact Susannah Cole-Hamilton on or follow us on Facebook ‘TRE Limpopo & Mpumalanga’.


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