| Sep 8, 2020
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
Many would agree that 2020 has not been a great year. COVID-19 truly put spanners in the work and changed the way we lived our lives. Whilst some have been more impacted than others, one of those who have struggled with the side effects are today's youths, especially those who have been unable to attend school, and do not have the means to study online. Lockdown and self-isolation was the reality for many, including Zimbabwe which has proven to contribute to poor mental health.
For over six months there has been one focus, protecting our physical health from COVID-19 and ensuring that healthcare services can cope during the pandemic. But perhaps it is time that we realise that physical health should not be our only concern; perhaps it is time that we realise the risk and increase of mental illness. Research shows that one of the largest groups which experienced the worst mental health dip so far were young people. Another correlation further indicated that the mental health status of youth got worse for those with lower income. A lot of youth are no longer receiving the support they used to get from teachers and friends at school, coupled with insecure food sources for those living in poverty has contributed to the increase in mental illnesses since the start of the pandemic. Whether or not it will have long-term effects is still something which is not confirmed but it is well known that lack of access to outdoor spaces, crowded households, food insecurity, violence in the home, addiction, social relations and savings are all linked to mental health.
Whilst we cannot solve all issues, we must invest in today's youth to ensure that the poor mental health does not live longer than the pandemic in itself. In Zimbabwe we are currently busy supporting youth in learning how to skateboard. Whilst the skateboarding community is eager to bring the sport to the continent, the project serves as a great space to get youth outside their homes, meet new and old friends and to move and be active. It increases their support network and gives them a chance to breathe from the trouble and stress that is caused by COVID-19. We are extremely grateful for this project and our partners on the ground who are doing what they can to support Zimbabwean youth!
Whilst covid-19 is a large set-back for the skating community in Zimbabwe, and more importantly the youth development which was going to run alongside it, it is more important than ever to encourage youth to go out, socialise and exercise. Lockdowns and school closures have resulted in poor mental health for youth across the world and science proves that being outside, meeting new and old friends and moving their bodies have positive effects on mental health. Thank you to everyone who has donated to our skater project in Zimbabwe and we hope that you will continue supporting Zimbabwean youth.
Thank you to our Donors, Fundraisers and Supporters!
Skating into Africa