Dear colleagues and partners in youth care,
It is already the end of June 2022 and somehow it feels like we missed the months between February and May this year. We had a different vision to where the year would take us and what we would like to achieve – with the floods in KwaZulu-Natal and rising prices of daily life – it has been a challenge. And even though 2022 is looking completely different, our teams have responded with remarkable speed, flexibility, and commitment to help South Africa’s most vulnerable youth.
This June we commemorated Youth Month and the country was made aware of how challenging it has been for our youth who have been burdened by mental health issues. The South African Child Gauge annual report highlighted the difficulties that were affecting the mental health of our children. It is a scary reality knowing that 10% to 20% of South African children will develop a mental disorder and/or a neurodevelopmental disability and not have the support to cope with it.
Awareness and education are needed among our communities and action needs to be taken to address this crisis. Last year GBTSA had the opportunity to discuss mental health and the different issues that surround it on ONE Gospel with wonderful guests including our very own alumni, Matladi Twala. I encourage you to watch this lively discussion on mental health and to create awareness about this important topic. Just by opening and expanding conversations about these issues we spread love and understanding, and unlock solutions and coping strategies for many.
In this issue, we give you a glimpse inside GBTSA:
Watch the Mental Health Segment that featured panellists like Jerry Mofokeng wa Makhetha, Lerato Makhetha, Gugulethu Nyatsumba, Matladi Twala and Saneliswa Mqobongo on our YouTube channel.
We commemorate Child Protection Week by bringing attention to the importance of keeping children in school.
Legal corner on the subject of Mental Health: Do we have policies in place to assist in dealing with mental health issues, and, if so, are they adequate?
Food security and how GBTSA has been creating food gardens that teach youth about sustainability.
Lee Loynes, CEO Girls and Boys Town South Africa