From passionate idea to tangible entity;#hugSitawa update

11:02:00 PM

In September last year, I began the journey to establish a mental health resource centre that will offer support and information for people with mental health conditions and their families. I did a publicity campaign dubbed #hugsitawa with the aim of telling my story in exchange for hugs and money to fundraise for the project.
I did a first update three months later when I won runners up at 1%'s Smart Idea contest. A lot has happened since that update and I believe its time to do a second one.
1. #hugsitawa has been released from 1% crowdfunding having raised 3198 euros to pave way for a student's battle through which MMMF aims to raise 1310 euros for a school's drive mental health awareness program to introduce young people to the helpline to be set up by the amount from the initial crowdfunding project. The helpline will be up in a month or two....yaaay.
2. MMMF has partnered and negotiated with psychologists in major regions in the country; Nairobi, Mombasa, Western, Nyanza, Eldoret and Nakuru, so that Kenyans can have affordable and accessible mental health services.
3. From the beginning of the year, MMMF has paid for psychological support for two needy women and has provided linkages to two other Kenyans who are able to pay the negotiated amount.
4. MMMF is in the final stages of partnership with a legal aid organization which will provide next to free legal services for those who face injustices because of their mental health status e.g illegal work termination among other cases.
5. MMMF was able to get an apology and newspaper title change from Star Newspaper in response to an open letter done to the editor after a stigmatizing headline on mental health.
6. MMMF has a physical location (we are not a briefcase inc type) and the #hugSitawa MPESA contributions have helped with administrative costs...soon announcements for support group meetings will be made.
We are still at the pilot/system placement/structuring stage, learning, eliminating and I am sure loads of changes will be made as we structure programs, fundraising and grant making for them and seek partners from all over so as to offer holistic support.
One thing I am proud of is the simple knowledge that all this morphed from a passionate idea to prevent Kenyans and African from suffering and wasting years of their lives because of lack of information and support and it is now a tangible entity that is offering real support and information to Kenyans and very soon Africans. As we await for that dream to come to pass, it will come true, subscribe to this blog and direct people who need support and information MMMF's way.

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