The project set forth to accomplish two primary objectives: economic empowerment for elderly women through traditional beading, and the integration of mental health care and arts into partner services as part of a comprehensive approach to healing. This initiative has reached its conclusion after achieving success in one domain, training elderly women.
The economic empowerment component witnessed the skilling of elderly women in the traditional art of beading. Through workshops and continuous learning sessions, these women have become proficient artisans, creating beadwork for sale. This not only revitalized a cultural craft but also provided them with a source of income, thus achieving the goal of economic empowerment.
Concurrently, the project made significant strides in mental health advocacy by contributing to another project we are currently implementing with a public school. The TEWWY team, students and school staff participated in designing and creating a mural. This endeavors to foster an environment of awareness and dialogue about mental health, directly impacting the well-being of the students by giving them an outlet for expression and by making the school environment more conducive to mental health conversations.
As the project retires, it leaves behind a legacy of strengthened community ties, empowered elderly women with newfound avenues to generate revenue, and a heightened awareness of mental health among students. The mural will remain a fixture at the public school, continuing to inspire and promote mental wellness for current and future students.
Planning the launch of a wisdom and wellness talk series
By Neema Tembele | Project Leader
We have some exciting news to share!
As we prepare for a 3-month mental health promotion and suicide awareness campaign, the team has been planning exciting activities that will effectively engage communitie focusing on self-care and wellbeing including physical exercise and mind-body practices, building community, and connecting with nature. Among those activities are a podcast series where elderly women, students, teachers, and constituents from the community will gather in a safe-space and share stories and wisdom on critical issues affecting diverse communities.
The Wisdom&Wellness Talks series will continue on a monthly basis as an intitiative of the Healing Hands project.
On Thursday, February 2nd the TEWWY team started providing free weekly services. Efforts to engage with the grassroots so as to raise awareness of the services we are providing continue. During this period, TEWWY's leadership and Wisdom&Wellness Counselors have made public appearances discussing common issues that are affecting a significant percentage of the population.
Among issues discussed are the growing intergenerational gap, specifically the breakdown of social support systems within the community. In the older genereation, a young child was everyone's child in the community. This meant that other members of the community had the responsibility to help them grow up as socially responsible human beings. Another issue discussed that has been a great cause of distress among people from all demographics is financial stress that has led many people to take multiple small loans with no real means to pay them back, and in some cases leading to people committing suicide.
The office received calls from many people who resonated with what was shared by our team. People who we hope to continue helping over the phone and in-person should they be in a position to visit us on Thursdays. In these 5 weeks since the launch of weekly in-office services, the counselors continued developing their beading skills. The team has spent this time strengthen linkages with the community and public health care pathways. Among some of the goals we have set is to ensure the referrals we give are completed and possibly resolve issues that may prevent a person from getting the help they need.
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