Situated in Lonely Park, a village outside Mafikeng, Moroka Mental Wellness Centre is determined to improve the well-being of those who care for the mentally ill in the community.
Thato Mpolokeng, the founder of the NPO which was registered in October 2016 says that a lot of people do not realise how important it is to take care of the caregivers. “We assist the caregivers to be the best that they can be”, she said.
The centre was born after Mpolokeng relocated from Johannesburg to Mafikeng to take care of her uncle named Moroka who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1983. Mpolokeng shares that her uncle`s condition had deteriorated to a point where he was roaming the streets unwashed and eating from rubbish bins. She explains that while she was taking care of her uncle, she realised that more people needed help and decided to reach out.
The centre is making progress in terms of its development plans. This is evident among other things in their newly erected building, testimonies from those receiving help, positive response for their painting donations and a garden with a variety of seasonal vegetables. “We are going to be developing programs for kids because we believe that it is where it all starts. We are going to be doing fun activities for the children to get them out of the streets”, said Mpolokeng.
Stephen Bekker who is in charge of gardening for the centre, has built a greenhouse and an aqua phonic system. Bekker who is currently a props buyer for one of mzanzi`s popular soapies Rhythm City, excitedly expressed his passion for gardening. “I am not a farmer as such but I have always been gardening at home. Now it is just taking it a little step further and try to inspire other people”, he said. “I have a Facebook page called Hope seeds hope which is inspired by my Buddhist practice. We are encouraged to develop ourselves and our communities through spreading hope”, he added.
Moroka Mental Wellness Centre wishes to see the community being more kind to each other. “If we are not helping each other, there is nothing we can achieve. Unity is important in order for us to make a difference”, they emphasize. The centre also wishes to express their sincere gratitude to those who have supported them as they have recently requested paint donations from the public.
To know more or make a contribution, Thato Mpolokeng can be reached on 078 991 5233 alternatively you can reach Moroka Mental Wellness Centre on Facebook.