| [Health & Welfare] A massive transformation is taking place in Chante Herries’ salon – and not just for those getting their hair done. Some of the stylists who work here have a background of drug addiction, and the impact it’s had on their lives has been quietly devastating. “What these women have gone through has taken away so much of their self-esteem, their confidence, their self-love,” Herries says. But in between the roar of the blow dryer, the chatter and laughs, change is in motion.|
Read Chante Herries' full story here.
| [Health & Welfare] Olivia Pharo has no intention of slowing down. When the nurse resigned, she could have taken her pension and travelled the world. But this was actually the start of her bringing better healthcare to Atlantis, a suburb in the Western Cape. Working at a local hospital, Pharo experienced the burden that gang-related casualties placed on medical staff. She grew increasingly frustrated at the disproportionately high number of patients limiting the time and quality of care she was able to give. “It is a human right for every patient to be treated with respect and dignity,” Pharo says. To ensure they receive the care they deserve, she cashed in her pension and used it to open her own clinic. |
In March 2019, the nurse started Sister Pharo’s Primary Health Care.
Read Olivia Pharo's full story here.
[Sindy Peters] There's a crazy new online challenge doing the rounds and this one comes with a bit of a bite - quite literally. It's called the #ChilliChallenge, and its heating up the internet...
Menstrual Hygiene Day
| [Health & Welfare] Vanessa Martin’s heart shattered when she saw the stray dog outside her office. The creature was emaciated and alone. Martin couldn’t just stand by and began feeding her. But this puppy wasn’t the only one in need. The streets were filled with homeless dogs and cats. Martin started picking up strays on her way to work, hiding them in the toilet cubicles until she could take them home. But that wasn’t enough. After 21 years of working as an administrative clerk, Martin had a renewed sense of purpose. So she quit. “Now I’m doing what I was created to do: rescuing animals,” she says. |
Read Vanessa Martin's full story here.
| [Health & Welfare] Listen up. You may have a hearing problem. But it takes less than two minutes to figure that out thanks to De Wet Swanepoel. He’s the inventor of a nifty phone application that detects difficulty hearing. It’s changing lives, particularly for the younger generation. “Children who don’t hear well can’t learn well and as a result, can’t perform in a school environment,” Swanepoel says. Without affordable healthcare, something as common as a slight hearing problem can go undetected and become a barrier to education. “It costs a fortune to have your hearing checked and I knew I had to do something,” Swanepoel says.|
Read De Wet Swanepoel's full story here.
| [Health & Welfare] Stiaan Scheepers starts his day doing what most kids fear – maths. Addition, subtraction, fractions and division are child’s play to him. Scheepers is a nine-year-old mathematical prodigy capable of crunching complex sums at exhilarating speeds. Numbers don’t intimidate Scheepers. Not when he’s faced far worse. |
Read Stiaan Scheepers' full story here.
| [Health & Welfare] For the b-boys of Eerste River, coming together begins with breaking. Hip-hop pumps through the neighbourhood, drawing people to the source of the sound. At the axis of the gathering is Dmitri Nell. The professional b-boy switches effortlessly between backflips, head spins, and jaw-dropping footwork. Nell moves to influence the youth of his community with this unique style of dance. “Where I come from, we are exposed to gang violence from a young age,” Nell says. Fiercely talented, he is battling criminal activity from the dance floor. “Breaking saved me,” he says. “It can save this community.”|
Read Dmitri Nell's full story here.
| [Health & Welfare] Siphokazi Mdlankomo’s culinary skills are on fire. Her passion for preparing exquisite meals carries her through life. A domestic worker for 15 years, Mdlankomo had a great relationship with the family she worked for. But not every domestic worker has the same experience. Miniscule incomes and undervalued labour imbibe thousands with resigned dreams. But Mdlankomo had the gall to shoot high. Today, she’s dishing South Africa fresh faith and a feast of home-cooked love. |
Read Siphokazi Mdlankomo's full story here.
| [Health & Welfare] Evelina Tshabalala began the race of a lifetime the day she moved to Cape Town in search of work. With a young child to take care of, 4am was the only time she had to go running. Before long, her pursuit revealed her athletic prowess. Barefoot, Tshabalala ran her first professional 10-kilometre race – and won. That afternoon, she entered a five-kilometre race. She won that too. With the prize money she could finally afford a pair of running shoes. Shortly after, Tshabalala began competing in long-distance races. She completed the London Marathon, placing 25th. With her insurmountable energy, Tshabalala then turned to the gruelling challenge of mountain climbing, and summited three of the world’s highest peaks. The fact that she’s HIV-positive has never held her back.|
Read Evelina Tshabalala's full story here.
| [Health & Welfare] Shaygam Newman doesn’t have much. But the little he has, he gives endlessly to over 200 stray creatures. Every animal finds love and care with Newman. “I belong with them, they belong with me. We’re family,” he says. His connection to strays comes from deep within his heart. Orphaned, abused, and abandoned as a child, Newman found himself homeless. Growing up, he slept on pavements. The only warmth he felt came from the dogs beside him. For many, Newman’s desperate situation might have been the crossroads towards a life of crime. But the 23-year-old had more urgent concerns than just his own survival – he had to take action against the mistreatment of animals.|
Read Shaygam Newman's full story here.
| [Health & Welfare] One thing you don’t often learn growing up is how to love yourself. Jessica Smith found that words of praise are seldom heard. Conventional expectations shadow most girls. As a result, they struggle to value their unique traits. “There are so many young women and girls across the globe who are unhappy with who they are,” Smith says. So she set out to change lives with words, watercolours, and a fox.|
Read Jessica Smith's full story here.
| [Health & Welfare] The history of Jagersfontein is rooted in mining. One of the oldest prospecting towns in South Africa, it was the site of discovery of two of the world’s largest diamonds. The mine closed down in 1969, resulting in poverty and unemployment that persist today. When completing community service in the town, Lerato Machetela recognised how young men were impacted by violence and substance abuse. But she also discovered a dormant resource far more valuable than any mineral: potential.|
Read Lerato Machetela's full story here.
| [Health & Welfare] Cape Town may be known for its coffee culture, but Valerie Steinmann’s café offers more than a freshly-brewed espresso. Instead, servings of plain milk or water are the order of the day, with a side serving of catnip. That’s because the patrons here are mostly feline. Inspired by her travels to Asia where cat cafés are a trend, Steinmann returned to open South Africa’s first. But rather than exclusively indulging the novelty of being surrounded by kittens while enjoying a meal, she decided to expand on the idea for a greater purpose. |
Read Valerie Steinmann's full story here.
| [Health & Welfare] Charlie Jacobs was keeping silent. He’d discovered he was HIV positive by accident, and remained in denial for years, refusing treatment. When he found himself close to death, Jacobs realised he had to face reality if he wanted to live. He started taking ARVs – a major step towards accepting his status. But it wasn’t enough. Jacobs needed to speak out against stigma, and he found a way to do it with a T-shirt.|
Read Charlie Jacobs' full story here.
| [Health & Welfare] Before the game ends, Nokulunga Mvandaba’s netball team already know they are winners. The coach has taught them to build up each other’s self-worth, not just how to score goals. She knows the difference support can have. While at university, someone Mvandaba trusted sexually assaulted her. Like many women who go through this, she was emotionally vulnerable and unable to deal with what had happened. “I felt like I had no one to speak to,” Mvandaba says. “It resulted in a lot of self-destructive behaviour.” Turning to alcohol and drugs to cope, her life spiraled downhill as she moved further away from her family. The experience had robbed Mvandaba of her sense of purpose. That changed when she picked up a netball, and her life.|
Read Nokulunga Mvandaba's full story here.
| [Health & Welfare] When she was just nine years old, Jacky du Plessis’ parents divorced. She started horse riding to get over the break, finding solace, comfort and safety in the bonds she formed with the animals. As she grew older, her love for them developed, as did her desire to create positive change. Wanting to use her passion for these animals and her knowledge of their therapeutic characteristics to make a difference, Du Plessis started working with horses as a form of therapy and rehabilitation for people with disabilities as well as victims of abuse and emotional trauma. Since 2009, she has used her work to help horses heal humans.|
Read Jacky du Plessis' full story here.
| [Health & Welfare] Liesl Hermanus didn’t plan to fall pregnant at university. She struggled with the experience. After giving birth, she went through bouts of unexplained tearfulness. Hermanus couldn’t breastfeed, which provoked extreme anxiety. She felt like a failure. But today, Hermanus understands that as one in three people in South Africa to experience depression or anxiety, mental health issues are nothing to be ashamed of. Pregnant women in particular are at high risk, which is why she is working to create a safe space for them to speak up and be heard.|
Read Hermanus's full story here.