Healing Minds is a non-profit organization that runs several programmes to assist and uplift the local community. These include a daily feeding scheme for over 225 impoverished people from the area; a crèche facility for 87 toddlers whose parents are either absent, deceased or cannot afford early childhood care; a sewing skills training programme as well as a cleaning and recycling initiative. A model eco garden with an organic waste management system is also underway at the site, with the vision is to grow fresh produce to sell in order to generate funds for the centre.
The site occupied by the Healing Minds centre was once notorious for vandalism, crime, drugs, vagrancy and other ills. Today, it represents a stand against injustice and is home to many inspired volunteers who love to serve and share. The centre has also become a haven for many disadvantaged men, women and children of all ages.
Healing Minds runs a number of successful counselling programmes to promote mental and physical vitality in the township. In addition to the daily feeding scheme, Healing Minds delivers food and medication to the sick and elderly; assists the local police with victim support and facilitates reintegration initiatives to assist ex-convicts who want to make amends and rejoin the community.
Healing Minds was founded in July 2012 by Nontembiso Elizabeth Mangaliso who while collecting refuse in Walmer Township as a service provider to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, witnessed the appalling and devastating living conditions of the people in the community. She gathered a group of brave women and whatever resources they could put together to begin to combat the negative effects of high unemployment; alcohol and drug abuse; domestic violence and crime, which are the root causes of the perpetual degeneration in the location.
That was four and half years ago. Today, with the help of many willing contributors, Healing Minds is a beacon of light; providing refuge, assistance, counselling, skills, information and opportunity in order to uplift the community and introduce a healthier and more productive way of life. Healing Minds has also started to duplicate its model so that other communities work to create an active and involved workforce focused on community upliftment.
Commenting on The Boardwalk’s sponsorship of the new kitchen and sewing centre, Mike Van Vuuren, General Manager at The Boardwalk, said: “From its beginning, The Boardwalk has known that it has a role to play in helping to build and maintain a sustainable community by committing resources, support and skills to projects that ultimately lead to a better quality of life.
“Healing Minds, through the sheer passion and commitment of a small team, and despite limited resources, is changing lives for the better in Walmer. We were inspired by Mangaliso’s story and her efforts to drive meaningful change in the community. The Boardwalk is pleased to be in a position to make the new kitchen and sewing room a reality for Healing Minds. These facilities and equipment are going to make daily operations at the centre that much easier.”
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