Health Warriors is a South African non-profit based in Cape Town that provides employment opportunities in well-being professions such as yoga, mindfulness, and group fitness to young female leaders from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. These young leaders then deliver mental and physical well-being programmes to adolescents girls in their local communities.
Poverty and violence disproportionately impacts South African adolescent girls and young women, with 1 in 3 girls experiencing sexual violence by the age of 18. Research has shown that up to 80% of girls living below the poverty line have been exposed to at least one traumatic event and 22% have symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. There is an urgent need for low-cost, community-based mental well-being services that promote healing and provide access to social support systems.
Health Warriors have developed structured mental well-being and yoga courses for adolescent girls who have experienced adverse childhood events and trauma. The two-month long course focuses on yoga, mindfulness, life skills and business management with the aim being to provide employment opportunities for these girls and also to improve their mental health and well-being.
This project aims to transform the lives of South African young women, challenging mental health stigmas through the use of yoga, which will improve the mental and physical health of these girls. Additionally, the program will equip the girls with the necessary skills to obtain income opportunities in the health and well-being sector. In this way, the girls will drive the health transformation needed in South Africa as well as acting as role models for other young girls in their communities.