A man in Khayelitsha has found an innovative way to help kids in the township deal with psychological trauma: heâ€
Last year, 28-year-old Andreas Banetsi Mphunga was struck by the urgent need for registered counsellors and psychologists in Khayelitsha when, in the course of a child-development programme, kids told him about their struggles at home.
â€œSome of these children use substances to escape social ills. Their challenges are in-depth and need to be explored, because these children have got signs of depression, anxiety, and anti-social behaviour,â€ Mphunga says.
Mphunga, who received his psychology degree in 2013 from the University of the Western Cape, is registered to open a private clinic. He previouslyÂ worked from an office in Mandela Park, his home neighbourhood in Khayelitsha. His office was small, aboutÂ the same size of the interior of aÂ minibus, and Mphunga decided to let go of the space and the rent bills that came with it, to make his clinic mobile and more accessible.
â€œI know the resources are not there yet, but I donâ€
Mphunga bought the combi just four weeks ago, digging into his personal savings to foot the R28,000 bill. An additional R10,000 will be spent on upgrading the interior, tinting the windows to protect his patientsâ€
As he sits in the minibus, Mphunga points out that in the confined space of the carâ€
While combis are the staple mode of transport for public transport users across South Africa, Mphunga identified the Caravelle as the perfect mobile psychology clinic because of its popularity among youth in the township, who are often marginalised for seeking treatment at surrounding clinics.
But, with the combi, kids wonâ€
The popularity of the car means that kids will be more likely to attend therapy, but the downside is that some might not take it seriously.
â€œAt the end of the day we donâ€
â€œWhat I hope for them, is to show them despite whatever situation they have been going through, they can still make it,â€ Mphunga says.
His clinic, a non-profit, will be called Cape Township Children and Parents Counselling Centre, and he plans for the mobile operation to begin travelling to schools from August. But Mphungaâ€
As an adult who grew up in Khayelitsha, Mphunga has found his future and he wants to help youngsters do the same.
â€œThe future for a child if these problem continued being ignored is unimaginable. They donâ€