In South Africa
Statistics indicate that in South Africa the incidence of deaths from gastroenteritis (diarrhoea and dehydration), HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, heart disease, diabetes, rise alarmingly every year.
Children under 5 years of age and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Many of these people would not have died if their loved ones or carers had known how to prevent illness, or how to manage illness better.There are many reasons for these alarming statistics, such as limited access to clinics and hospitals, unsafe water, poverty, lack of literacy etc. But most of all, so many of South African’s poorer people have limited knowledge of hygiene, healthy lifestyles and disease prevention.
We have seen remarkable changes in many of our participants’ lives. This is why we are passionate about helping people to learn how to manage their health better.
For example, women, in particular, as they learn about health promotion, tell us how they feel empowered to care for the health and life expectancy of their families better.
They also become interested in helping other people in their communities. Health and hygiene education also increases our participants’ chances of employment (about 25% of South Africans are unemployed).
We target the most vulnerable people in South Africa such as out of work mothers / women, the elderly, young people, and children (though we do educate other population groups too).
Many women in South Africa are vulnerable, unemployed, poorly educated and often illiterate. The high rate of violence against women exacerbates their difficulties in life. Attending our workshops gives them confidence, knowledge and skills as well as often enabling them to get employment.
Many elders look after grandchildren and other family members, so educating them about Health Education is very necessary.
Young people, often unemployed, need support with lifestyle choices, such as safe sex, pregnancy and healthy choices about alcohol and drugs.
Many children are not well-parented, so catching them when they are young, makes it likely that they will care for their health better later on.