A joint endeavour of Shining Hope for Communities, the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, CORESZON and the Hospital Partnerships funding program at GIZ.
FOR COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH
In our endeavor to shift traditional thinking about how mental health from a disease-oriented to a community-centered perspective, partnering with SHOFCO is an extremely valuable learning opportunity.
Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) is an internationally acclaimed grassroots movement that catalyses large-scale transformation in urban slums by providing critical services for all, community advocacy platforms and education and leadership development for women and girls.
Since the Peter Möhrle Foundation and SHOFCO’s CEO Kennedy Odede brought us together in 2018, CORESZON and SHOFCO have been sharing knowledge from our different backgrounds and collaborating to make mental health promotion part of everyday, community life.
SHARING KNOWLEDGE, EXPERTISE AND SKILLS
The CORESZON Trainer Team at SHOFCO trains community members, colleagues and staff from other local organisations to promote mental health with the people they work, learn and live with. Each team member works within one of SHOFCO’s programs, for example primary health clinics, schools for girls, GBV prevention or the SHOFCO Urban Network (SUN), a community empowerment movement driven by citizens of Nairobi’s informal settlements.
Adapting the CORESZON training program to match the local context and mesh with existing programs is key to our collaboration’s sustainability. Feedback from the community about the training’s relevance, practicality and efficacy is a vital source of knowledge not only for the SHOFCO Team, but also for CORESZON’s overall capacity-strengthening approach.
As our partner in Kenya, SHOFCO now has the capacity to train CORESZON Trainers for other organisations who want to promote mental health with their staff and beneficiaries.
Are you with a Kenyan organization that wants to promote mental health?
Reach out to CORESZON Kenya to find out how you and your team can:
Facilitate hands-on mental health literacy
Share a peer-to-peer method for wellbeing
Integrate mental health in existing programs
Read more to find out how integrating our community-based approach to mental health promotion can make a difference!
SHOFCO and CORESZON are part of the Hospital Partnerships Program, an initiative of the German government that facilitates collaboration between health professionals from the global North and South as they co-develop and implement hands-on solutions to some of the most pressing health issues of our time.
The goal of our partnership is to model and examine how mental health promotion can be integrated into existing programs for sustainable, deep-reaching impact.
SHOFCO is now well on its way to becoming the provider of CORESZON Training in Kenya. In March 2022, the SHOFCO Team qualified as CORESZON Partners and are already training Trainers in Nairobi. In our next steps, we’ll be working on scaling up SHOFCO’s offer in Kenya, and applying SHOFCO’s expertise in facilitating community-driven change to our prevention strategy in Germany.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN TRYING TIMES
As the pandemic, climate change and a changing world order hold our attention, it’s easy to lose sight of the long-term endeavours towards global resilience in the face of current and future adversity.
Our partnership is a small part of this effort. We believe that focusing on sustainable, collaborative development is worth the time it takes for ideas, plans and actions to take root. Especially when it comes to mental health!
As we share simple knowledge and skills to promote mental health in our respective communities, we’re constantly reminded how dependent good health and wellbeing are on social determinants like food security, education, and employment. And that our efforts are only as effective as the partnerships we cultivate to ensure their sustainability.
What we’ve learned so far: collaborating to solve complex problems is, to a great extent, about trust. Trust in what we each have to offer, and in the long-term value of solutions complement each other’s goals.
Mental health basics that work in any setting
At the core of the CORESZON capacity-strengthening program is a simple, science-based method for self-care and peer-to-peer support: the Garden Method for Community Wellbeing.
As partners in a culturally diverse and interdisciplinary network, we have co-designed a way of teaching the Garden Method that makes it easy to adapt to different settings, for example schools, cultural initiatives and workplaces across sectors.
By teaching the method through experiential activities, Trainers engage groups in inspiring conversations about how our relationships and our environment can both burden and support wellbeing.
Group learning is a key element of the CORESZON Training Program. By practicing the Garden Method together, people are often able to experience how sharing strengths with each other opens our eyes for the many different ways people navigate hardship.
Recognising and appreciating strengths in each other while acknowledging how adversity impacts our lives can have a positive effect on how we perceive each other. Quite often, these conversations lead to a new understanding of mental health that fosters positive connections and encourages people to take an active interest in the many ways we can work together to promote wellbeing in our social environments.
GROWING IN DIVERSITY
A conversation with Virginia Mutheo and Monica Blotevogel at GIZ about CORESZON and SHOFCO’s partnership
The Hospital Partnerships Program was initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to facilitate sustainable collaborations that advance global health, medical capacity-building and international cooperation. Co-financed by the Else Kroener Fresenius Foundation, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) supports about 400 partnerships in 65 countries. By working together to advance healthcare, Hospital Partners contribute to Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 17: “Health and Wellbeing” and “Strengthening Partnerships”.
Support the SHOFCO Team's work
Our Hospital Partnership project funding covers the costs of travel, training and material for our joint meetings. CORESZON and SHOFCO contribute their respective staff resources to develop, run and sustainably implement the project.
By donating directly to our partnership project, you can help the SHOFCO Team continue to connect people for community wellbeing.