Wisdom&Wellness Counselors making COVID-19 soap
As a mental health stakeholder in the country, Tap Elderly Women's wisdom for Youth (TEWWY) was called-to-action to provide necessary support and resources to underserved communities - in promoting their mental and physical health during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
TEWWYs Mental Health Intervention Program (MHIP) is implemented across (15) Public Health Institutions (PHIs) in the (5) municipalities of Dar-es-Salaam (Ilala, Kigamboni, Kinondoni, Ubungo, and Temeke). The MHIP has laid the foundation for integrating mental health services in Tanzania’s multisectoral systems. TEWWYs Wisdom&Wellness Counselors (WWCs) provide mental health support services and resources as we collected data integral in understanding the magnitude of the mental health challenges in the Tanzanian communities. The data and lessons learned are recorded, monitored, and evaluated for instrumental implementation in policymaking as needed for reporting to the Tanzania Ministry of Health.
TEWWYs MHIP adapts WHOs mental health Gap Action Program (mhGAP) which offers evidence-based intervention guidelines designed to promote mental health in hopes of preventing and reducing suicides. Such services include access to the following mental health intervention programs:
Wisdom&Wellness Counselor (WWC) ~ In-Person & Mobile Responder
Elderly retired women trained to provide psychosocial mental health support, sharing life-stories, experiences and counseling skills to empower communities through in-person wisdom or online support.
Wisdom &Wellness Corners ~ Beyond What Meets the Eye: Interpersonal Therapy/Counseling [IPT/C]
An identified station at a PHI (or other community locale) where a WWC can connect persons to support services & resources including one-on-one counseling.
Wisdom&Wellness Circles ~ Let’s Share & Care: Interpersonal GroupTherapy [IPT-G] with Life-Skills Building
A safe space where Sharing & Caring have been given a special platform. Persons share life-experiences while gaining life-skills: Self-care & Healthy Lifestyle, Financial Literacy, Job Search and Entrepreneurship.
As COVID-19 took wave across the globe, anxiety levels rose due to uncertainty over contracting the COVID-19 virus and financial management in times when most activities leading to gainful income or activities that bring one joy are a high health risk with possible fatalities. During these unforeseen times, mental health support needs are at an all-time unprecedented high, and most traditional methods of providing such services that have been employed by TEWWY and its Wisdom&Wellness Counselors had to be halted, for the safety of the Wisdom&Wellness Counselors and the communities they serve, playiong our role in flattening the curve.
But there is more than one way to serve the community we love. Following direction from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and listening to peoples cries and concerns, Tap Elderly Women Wisdom for Youth adapted its services in a safe way to continue protecting our community and bring its members together.
1,750 masks and 1,500 liters of soaps were handmade in the safe confines of the Wisdom&Wellness Counselors' homes and makeshift shops. These COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE), the masks and the soap, all had special mental health messages printed onto them. Gently reminding the community that we care about them, and all around, we all care for each other, the words "Ninajilinda" and "Ninakulinda" meaning "I am protecting myself" and "I am protecting you" message read on the equipment.
The 1,500L of soap produced a total of 6000 bottles of 250mL volume. 6,000 recipients in the base of the pyramid were naturally the target population. For those already living on an income insufficient to support themselves and/or their families, affording the basic necessities like soap and mask to prevent oneself from contracting the virus is sometimes not possible. In times when financial situations are uncertain across the world, for some, having access to soap and clean water could mean the difference between life and death.
6000 liters of soap were hand-produced and distributed by the TEWWY team to Tanzanians residing across Dar-es-Salaam. Keeping an eye on the current situation, TEWWY continues to assess the risk and plan to respond accordingly. As the soaps made a very huge impact in our societies, TEWWY intends to continue providing this life-threatening disease-preventing PPE. With 8,500 more bottles already purchased, we are on a mission to gather support from everybody who has been affected by the pandemic, to join forces with us in helping save lives in our communities.
WWCs supporting their communities during COVID-19
together we are strong, to inspire & to achieve ..
communities together, prevention for all ages ...
Communities Together...I am Protecting Me & You!!!
Supporting our communities in these troubled times