As a result of the increases of other life-threatening illnesses and social issues impacting on health experienced in our communities such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, unhealthy life-styles, substance abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking, gang violence, unemployment and poverty, etc. we have developed our Care for the Carer Programme into a broader Wellness Programme offering broader education and skills training on these illnesses and issues to our volunteers who in turn will educate their family and community members.
Included in this programme are the ongoing stress relief programmes provided throughout the year for all our volunteers, staff and supervisors.
These include Spiritual Retreats, Capacitar Living in Wellness workshops, Healthy Lifestyle Nutrition Workshops, Group bonding and Debriefing Workshops which were originally provided in the Care for the Carer Programme. Since 2013 Dr Margo de Kooker has donated her time and provided monthly workshops for 24 volunteers, supervisors and staff on healthy lifestyle nutrition. The major nutrition related problem in South Africa is obesity. More thank seven in ten women above 35 years are overweight and this contributes to premature death from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension and other metabolic disorders (South African Country Co-operaton Strategy 2013 www.ho.int) Lynette Butlion of the Heart and Stroke Foundation donated her time and the necessary equipment and presented an information workshop followed by a comprehensive health care screening to 26 volunteers. This included a check of weight, height, BMI, blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels with Dr Margo on hand to offer her expertise to any of the participants who are showing tremendous growth and awareness and it is hoped that by investing in the health of the volunteers that the Care Ministry will have a more productive work force.The volunteers extend this health care information into their communities through their home based care interventions.